Tech Startups Bring New Faces to St. Louis as Investment Dollars Double in 2013
There's more money pouring into to St. Louis' tech startup scene, and it's bringing workers from the U.S. and abroad to the city, says a new report.
Phillie Casablanca on Flickr Investments in tech startups doubled in 2013, according to ITEN.
Financial investments into tech startups doubled in 2013 to more than $66 million from $30 million in 2012, and more local startups received funding than ever before, the IT Entrepreneurial Network (ITEN) says in a new report.
The year 2013 saw an upswing in funding and community partnerships, which means the tech scene in St. Louis "is growing into its adolescence, and after a thorough exam, it appears to be an increasingly healthy ecosystem," says the St. Louis Tech Startup Report.
We may not be Silicon Valley, but ITEN says the collaboration and support available to new startups sets St. Louis apart.
"People are stepping up and seeing entrepreneurs and the innovation sector as important for growing long-term here in the region, and that message is starting to resonate," says Francis Chmelir, director of operations at ITEN. "[St. Louis] is going to be our own unique entity, no matter what happens. The important thing is that we do as good a job as possible utilizing the local resources we have here."
ITEN Francis Chmelir, director of operations at ITEN.
Those local St. Louis resources include Arch Grants, which fund startups in St. Louis, and Cortex, a high-density innovation hub bordered by Washington University and St. Louis University, ITEN says.
Half of the founders behind local startups are from St. Louis or the state of Missouri, but the rest brought their big ideas here from another city in the U.S. or from abroad. Five percent of the founders are from Latin America, and three percent are from Asia, according to the report.
Those transplants "tend to fall in love with the city," Chmelir says. "They tend to be ecstatic about the amount of support that is here. We are doing a very good job with people who are coming from outside the region. I think that's really a strength."
Continue reading to see why community partnerships matter to entreprenuers.