Entrepreneurship & Innovation Strategy

With entrepreneurship and innovation identified as a key element in our strategy to transform St. Louis, the Chamber strives to expand the capacity of the St. Louis region to support entrepreneurs with the capital, infrastructure and networked relationships needed to create and scale new enterprises.

Through Accelerate St. Louis, an initiative lead in collaboration with the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, the Chamber works to amplify authentic communications about St. Louis’ dynamic startups, expand the supply of capital available to startups and the entrepreneur support infrastructure, stimulate connectivity, and advocate for policy that favors economic development and job creation through entrepreneurship. 

The Chamber promotes a risk-taking culture in St. Louis by making direct investments in innovative and catalytic collaborations through the Spirit of St. Louis Ventures. We have made founding investments in a number of companies and organizations including six early-stage business accelerators, T-Rex, LaunchCode, and InvestMidwest. This is part of the Chamber’s comprehensive strategy to support the formation of early-stage capital and expand the region’s capacity to support entrepreneurship.

To encourage innovation, the Chamber delivers economic development solutions to existing businesses to help them fund, run and grow their enterprises within the St. Louis region. For example, our Green Business Challenge, a partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden, assists companies in integrating sustainable business practices into their daily operations. Our Connect at Breakfast programs provide key insights from area business leaders along with opportunities to network with Chamber members. Each year, the Chamber honors companies, institutions, and organizations who make the St. Louis region the best place to live, work and invest with the prestigious Arcus Awards.  Additionally, we are expanding the Chamber’s membership base and launching a new tiered membership focused on delivering on-demand economic development solutions and affinity programs.