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  #41  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2013, 9:42 PM
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Originally Posted by fflint View Post
Hey, I'm glad the tech sector is growing rapidly in St. Louis. It's a great city and can use as diverse economy as it can get.

I can think of another benefit to having several different tech nodes spread throughout the country, rather than just a couple big nodes--it gives young workers the choice to avoid living in a place with an overheated cost of living like we suffer in the Bay Area. I would imagine a programmer could live pretty damn well in a city like St. Louis.
Yeah I love the Bay Area, probably the most beautiful Metro in the country, but I'll take 80K in the Lou over 100k in San Fran any day. You could live like a king in St. Louis or any similar market like Milwaukee, Cleveland, Pittsburgh etc. 100k is not even considered "upper middle class" on the coasts. I know single people in St. Louis that make 40k that drive new cars, go out every weekend, live in nicest urban neighborhoods, and can still save money. I'm actually worried that if people discover that there is cool cities in the Midwest outside of Chicago, where you can actually live an urban lifestyle St. Louis may not be such a bargain anymore.
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  #42  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2013, 7:10 AM
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SXSW is underway and Inc. Magazine is touting another social media start-up based out of St. Louis. Click With Me Now will present as one of four finalist at the SXSW Accelerator competition. Check out the demo, below.

Click the article link see all four.


4 Social Companies to Get to Know at SXSW
Eric Markowitz | Inc.com staffMar 6, 2013

Click With Me Now

Plenty of tools already exist to allow users to share what's on their screen with other users--but few do it with the ease of Click With Me Now. The company's core value over its competitors is a piece of proprietary technology (patent pending) that gives users "a 1-click, no-download, no-cost way to share their screen." The company is especially bullish on the use-case scenario of online shopping.

"Whether someone is buying a personal computer, a dress, or a new car, consumers often bring a friend to get a second opinion and have someone to interact with during the trip," the company notes."When shopping online, however, consumers are left alone and lose this entire social aspect, leading to anxiety and shopping cart abandonment." Right now, the company is still scheduling demos in beta, but it will be exhibiting at the SXSW Interactive Accelerator competition.

Video Link
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  #43  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2013, 10:57 PM
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Mar 15, 2013, 11:30am CDT
Riot Games St. Louis outpost supports "most played game in the world"


St. Louis office of Riot Games

More than 32 million people around the world each month play League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena video game. And a 40-member staff in a Clayton office building plays a big role in making sure the game is always up and available.

League of Legends was developed by Riot Games and since its introduction in 2009 it has quickly become the most popular online video game, with millions of players logging more than a billion hours per year.

The game is free to play, but makes money by allowing players to purchase upgrades, new characters and other virtual items.

"The St. Louis office really serves as the bedrock and the foundation of powering the game and making it work on that scale," said Nathan Beemer, an engineering manager at Riot Games who works out of the St. Louis office.

Gelb build a small team in St. Louis dedicated to supporting the infrastructure that makes the game work. The company moved into its current office space, an entire floor in The Sevens Building in Clayton (7777 Bonhomme Ave.), last June.

Riot Games had 20 employees locally about a year ago and has doubled its staff since. Beemer said the company is looking for more talented engineers and developers and the local office could grow to between 65 and 80 employees over the next year.

The great thing about running a video game company in St. Louis, Beemer said, is there isn't a lot of local competition for top talent like there would be in California. Riot Games hires seasoned engineers and developers and also attracts interns and top graduates from Washington University and the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.
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  #44  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2013, 6:01 PM
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St Louis: New Capital of the World
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  #45  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2013, 9:42 PM
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Jack Dorsey is on 60 Minutes tonight. He explains how he came up with Twitter and Square.
_________________________________

Jack Dorsey tells '60 Minutes' Twitter, Square creation stories
This Sunday, Dorsey, the founder of two of the tech world's hottest companies, goes back to his roots in St. Louis to talk about how he got interested in microcommunications.
by Daniel Terdiman  March 14, 2013 3:05 PM PDT|CNET.com

During the episode, which will air Sunday evening on CBS (CNET's parent company), Dorsey will talk about growing up in St. Louis and his eventual move to San Francisco and the creation of the 140-character medium that became Twitter. He'll also talk about being forced out of the social-networking company (and his eventual return) as well as the founding of Square, one of the hottest companies in the mobile payments space.

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  #46  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2013, 12:33 AM
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^So Dorsey's story about leaving St. Louis to start up a business is the opposite of a start-up founder saying "meet me in St. Louis."
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  #47  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2013, 2:34 AM
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^So Dorsey's story about leaving St. Louis to start up a business is the opposite of a start-up founder saying "meet me in St. Louis."
Good Lord.

(sigh)

Actually, Square was a collaborative effort STARTED in St. Louis between Jack Dorsey, Jim McKelvey (seen below) and Robert Morley.

Although now fully based in SF, Square has had offices in St. Louis and New York.

You can read the whole story about how Square was conceived, started and patent disputed in St. Louis here. <-------READ IT.

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  #48  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2013, 2:48 AM
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I'm not seeing how St. Louis gets credit for being the site of a start-up that has always been headquartered in San Francisco.
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  #49  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2013, 3:20 AM
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Because if it weren't for St Louis he wouldn't have had the opportunity to have been raised, so therefore St Louis gets credit for any start ups he establishes whether they're based in Silicon Valley or Timbutku.
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  #50  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2013, 2:13 PM
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I'm not seeing how St. Louis gets credit for being the site of a start-up that has always been headquartered in San Francisco.
By the way, did you see the 60 Minutes interview with Dorsey and read the article I posted? I had nothing to do with them. I promise.

Okay, since you like proof, here is more proof for you.

Videos: Square still has a small office in St. Louis.

FYI: At the 2:30 minute mark of the first video, Dorsey talks about the St. Louis office of Square.

So no, St. Louis doesn't get the credit for being the start-up's actual home base. But the start-up does have an office located in the city, which is relevant to the posting. The office used to be a lot bigger, but the start-up still has a presence in St. Louis. Further, St. Louis also gets credit for being the place where it was conceived and is still being nurtured. SF just gets the big prize, unfortunately. Congratulations. Silicon Valley is the bomb.com.

Further, there have been other St. Louis start-ups to either relocate to or open satellite offices in Silicon Valley (Aisle411, for example). For some start-ups, the Silicon Valley just have more resources for them - and that's okay.
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  #51  
Old Posted May 16, 2013, 2:23 PM
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A major tech incubator to expand to CORTEX
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By Tim Bryant
05/16/13

CIC-St. Louis website



Cambridge Innovation Center, one of the nation’s leading business incubators, plans to establish a startup facility at the CORTEX bioscience district in St. Louis.
The center will be CIC’s first expansion from its home in Cambridge, Mass.

At CORTEX, CIC will occupy most of a floor at a former telephone factory undergoing a $73 million conversion into labs and research space by Wexford Science & Technology of Baltimore. Renovation of the building, at 4240 Duncan Avenue, is scheduled for completion this fall.

CIC says it serves more than 500 startups and small- to mid-sized companies in Cambridge, adding that it anticipates the ability to house as many as 100 companies.

CORTEX officials have scheduled for today a ceremony to rename the former phone factory @4240, in reference to its location. The CIC announcement is to be part of the event.

“We were struck by the breadth and energy of the startup community in St. Louis,” Ranch Kimball, CIC Partners’ president and chief executive, said in a statement. “We saw that energy in the dynamic companies we met and the university campuses we visited.

“When we decided to expand, we felt we could play an exciting role in the innovation environment in St. Louis.”

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  #52  
Old Posted May 16, 2013, 2:31 PM
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May 16, 2013, 6:28am CDT
CORTEX inks deal with Cambridge Innovation Center
Amir Kurtovic
Reporter-
St. Louis Business Journal


The Heritage Building is being renamed @4240 and will initially house Washington University offices of Technology Management and Research Administration, with additional lab and office space available for lease.

Wexford Science & Technology, the company developing the Heritage Building at the CORTEX biotech and medical research district in Midtown, Thursday announced that the Cambridge Innovation Center will be a major tenant at the $73 million development. It is the center's first location outside of Boston.

The Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), located next to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has built a successful business providing co-working space for the scientists, researchers and student entrepreneurs in the Boston area. CIC St. Louis will occupy the majority of the second floor of the 183,000-square-foot building, located at Duncan and Boyle avenues, and will be able to house up to 100 companies when fully occupied, according to a statement.

“We were struck by the breadth and energy of the startup community in St. Louis,” said Ranch Kimball, president and CEO of CIC Partners. “We saw that energy in the dynamic companies we met and the university campuses we visited. When we decided to expand, we felt we could play an exciting role in the innovation environment in St. Louis.”

The Business Journal reported the fact that the CIC was looking to expand in St. Louis back in February but CIC Partners officials would not confirm plans to locate at the building.

The other announcement coming from Wexford Thursday is that the building, formerly known as the Heritage Building, would be called @4240 and that construction is expected to be complete by late 2013. The building is part of the $186 million second phase of development at CORTEX, which also includes the construction of a $45 million office building for BJC Healthcare and major infrastructure improvements.

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  #53  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2013, 1:43 PM
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May 16, 2013, 6:28am CDT
CORTEX inks deal with Cambridge Innovation Center
Amir Kurtovic, Reporter
St. Louis Business Journal


St. Louis mayor, Francis Slay, at the ground-breaking for @4240

Wexford Science & Technology, the company developing the Heritage Building at the CORTEX biotech and medical research district in Midtown, Thursday announced that the Cambridge Innovation Center will be a major tenant at the $73 million development. It is the center's first location outside of Boston.

The Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), located next to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has built a successful business providing co-working space for the scientists, researchers and student entrepreneurs in the Boston area. CIC St. Louis will occupy the majority of the second floor of the 183,000-square-foot building, located at Duncan and Boyle avenues, and will be able to house up to 100 companies when fully occupied, according to a statement.

“We were struck by the breadth and energy of the startup community in St. Louis,” said Ranch Kimball, president and CEO of CIC Partners. “We saw that energy in the dynamic companies we met and the university campuses we visited. When we decided to expand, we felt we could play an exciting role in the innovation environment in St. Louis.”

The Business Journal reported the fact that the CIC was looking to expand in St. Louis back in February but CIC Partners officials would not confirm plans to locate at the building.

The other announcement coming from Wexford Thursday is that the building, formerly known as the Heritage Building, would be called @4240 and that construction is expected to be complete by late 2013. The building is part of the $186 million second phase of development at CORTEX, which also includes the construction of a $45 million office building for BJC Healthcare and major infrastructure improvements.


A rendering of @4240's interior

@4240 puts the CORTEX District on a competitive playing field with other research districts across the country. It makes St. Louis even more attractive to national companies,” said Dennis Lower, president and CEO of CORTEX. “It’s amazing to look out of my CORTEX window and I see an old Southwestern Bell telephone factory transforming into a high tech research facility — and know it will house nearly 500 high tech jobs in the heart of our city.”

Wexford officials expect that the renovated building will attract national research organizations and will house more than 450 full-time research, technology and related jobs. Washington University’s offices of Technology Management and Research Administration are two of the building’s first tenants with additional lab and office space available for lease.

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  #54  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2013, 1:46 PM
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Wall Street Journal
Video: Will St. Louis Become the Next Silicon Valley?
06/11/13

St. Louis is in the early stages of an entrepreneurial boom. The city's experience may carry lessons for the country as a whole, which has become less enterprising in recent decades. WSJ's Ben Casselman reports.

_______________________________________


Wall Street Journal
Cities Hunt for Startup Magic
Entrepreneurial Culture Seen as Growth Key; $100 Million Seed Fund in St. Louis
06/11/13


Creative director Rasheed Sulaiman, left, and co-founder Gabe Lozano of the sports-themed social network LockerDome.

ST. LOUIS—This city, which sponsored Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic and served as the starting point for Lewis and Clark's westward expedition, is trying to recapture its risk-taking spirit.

Stung by the takeover of iconic local companies such as Anheuser-Busch, which was sold to Belgian brewing giant InBev in 2008, and by the failure to recruit big employers to replace them, locals are trying a new approach: building the next generation of businesses from the ground up.

On Thursday, a coalition of local leaders from both the public and private sectors will unveil plans to raise $100 million over five years to invest in and support local startups. The effort is the latest in a series of steps intended to revive an entrepreneurial culture that even local boosters acknowledge has faded over the generations.

"St. Louis has a pretty deep history, and it's built on entrepreneurs and risk-takers," said Judy Sindecuse, chief executive of Capital Innovators, a two-year-old early-stage investment firm, and one of the leaders of the nascent local startup scene. "Now we need to redevelop that."

In similar moves, in recent years cities and states across the country have established venture funds, tax incentives and other programs meant to encourage new businesses. Such efforts have been especially popular in cities such as Pittsburgh, Detroit and Cleveland that have seen their industrial economies decline in recent decades.

The focus on entrepreneurship comes at a time when job growth has been slow and rates of business formation are falling nationally. Economic research suggests a possible connection between the two trends: Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, among others, has found that cities with high rates of entrepreneurship experience faster job growth.

But it isn't clear how cities can best foster entrepreneurship—or even whether it's possible to do so. Even success stories haven't necessarily been the result of government policies, Mr. Glaeser said.

"It's not at all obvious that governments know how to promote entrepreneurship," Mr. Glaeser said. "The theory is sound. Whether or not they're actually going to be able to produce this is much less sure."

St. Louis is hoping it has history on its side. Once the gateway to the western frontier, the city emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a commercial and industrial hub. Anheuser-Busch, pet-food company Ralston Purina, aircraft maker McDonnell Douglas and other local firms grew into national and even global brands.

But the region's frontier spirit gradually gave way to a reputation for business conservatism. One by one, the city's iconic companies were sold to out-of-towners, and few others stood in line to take their place. When Anheuser-Busch was sold in 2008, many locals saw the deal as the end of an era, even though the brewer has retained a significant presence in the city.

"It absolutely was such a crushing blow to St. Louis because that is the global brand that identifies St. Louis," said Rick Holton Jr., a local financier who traces his lineage to both Budweiser co-founder Adolphus Busch and explorer William Clark. "People started saying, 'The party's over.' "

Now Mr. Holton and other local leaders are trying to revive the risk-taking spirit. In the past two years, a web of independent but intersecting efforts has sprung up to support local companies. Among them: Ms. Sindecuse's firm, Capital Innovators; Cultivation Capital, an early-stage venture-capital firm in which Mr. Holton is a general partner; and Arch Grants, a nonprofit group that has in the past two years awarded 35 startups with $50,000 apiece in financing.

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  #55  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2013, 2:52 PM
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It's good to dream and work toward something.

But it's funny...Atlantic Cities today has an article about the countless cities that are trying to be the "Next Silicon Valley" and how different their realities are with the scale of the real one.

Aspiring to the second tier is more believable though less catchy. Be the next Boston, Austin, Seattle, etc.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2013, 1:38 AM
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This looks like a group of folks waiting for Chicken Little to come to the podium:



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  #57  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2013, 5:39 AM
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Game industry finds a foothold in St. Louis
June 09, 2013 9:00 am • By David Nicklaus
St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Platform software engineers with Riot Games, play League of Legends live online at their Clayton office on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, where the company, which makes one of the most popular online multiplayer video games, plans to add up to 40 more positions. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Asian fans of League of Legends, one of the world’s most popular online games, probably have no idea that their play is being monitored in a 10th-floor office in Clayton.

They probably don’t care, either. All they want to know is that the game works and that it regularly presents them with new characters and new challenges. And that’s the job of the 40 people who work here for Riot Games, the Santa Monica, Calif., company that created League of Legends.

The St. Louis area isn’t known as a hotbed of video game development, but the industry has developed a mini-hub here.

Riot arrived in 2011. Graphite Lab, which develops children’s games for brand-name companies such as Disney and Hasbro, has been here since 2009 and now has nine employees in its Maryland Heights studio.


Riot Games' 10th floor offices in Clayton.

Other industry players range from Simutronics, a 27-year-old studio with 30 employees in Maryland Heights, to startups such as Butterscotch Shenanigans, which is just releasing its second game.

In part, the game industry here is a byproduct of the mobile-computing revolution. By creating app stores where any developer can sell — or give away — a game, Apple and Google have democratized the industry.


“The development budgets for these games also are significantly lower, which means the high cost of production is no longer a barrier to entry,” says Walt Scacchi, research director at the University of California-Irvine Center for Computer Games and Virtual Worlds.

That’s exactly what Samuel and Seth Coster, co-founders of Butterscotch Shenanigans, are figuring. They released their second game, Quadropus Rampage, for Android devices last week and say it will be available in the Apple store this week.

Samuel Coster says the brothers’ development costs are “phenomenally low. You have to eat, you have to pay rent, and literally for Seth and me those are the only expenses we have.”


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  #58  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2013, 6:43 PM
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Givver Puts Booker, McAuliffe Fundraising 1 Click Closer
By Joan E. Greve
ABC News
Jul 8, 2013 4:12pm



Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s nearly 1.4 million Twitter followers now have a one-click way to help the “social media phenom” in his campaign for U.S. Senate.

So, too, do supporters of Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman running for governor in Virginia.

The two campaigns have started using Givver, the “first platform dedicated to fundraising with Twitter,” according to its website, which allows backers to tweet dollar contributions to charitable and political causes, ranging from $3 to $250. Users must sign up for Givver before they can donate.

Booker introduced Givver to his supporters June 14 by tweeting, “Help me reach $100k goal by tomorrow. You can tweet to #give $5 to our Senate campaign – sign up at givver.com/cory-booker-for-senate #Booker4Senate.” “The folks at Givver reached out to us and helped us get set up just to see how it goes,” said Larry Huynh, a member of Booker’s digital team.

“When the idea and the platform was brought to our attention, we said, ‘For sure, let’s give it a go.’ With his huge presence on Twitter, it really made sense that we were providing folks who are supporters of Cory Booker any mechanism to support the campaign in any way they see fit,” Huynh added.

The Booker campaign declined to say how much money it has raised on Givver. “I think it’s overall been successful because, again, it’s a pretty straightforward process,” Huynh said. “It doesn’t require a huge infrastructure on our end and so there aren’t huge fixed costs.”

McAuliffe hasn’t tweeted about it, and his campaign’s Givver activity isn’t as far along. A McAuliffe representative confirmed to ABC News that the campaign has signed up to use Givver and is setting up its account.

The campaigns’ participation could also help Givver, a start-up founded last summer in St. Louis.

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  #59  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2013, 6:59 PM
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Jul 11, 2013, 11:23am CDT
Call from Google is a game-changer for catering startup



It’s not every day that Google calls, offering up a piece of new business.

But it’s a heck of a day — and a business game-changer — when it happens, according to Ed Spinaio of Time to Cater, a concierge catering service based in St. Louis.

Launched in 2011, the startup arranges catering for clients, taking into account budget, event information and food preferences via a network of more than 300 caterers and restaurants in the U.S. and Canada. “You hope that something this great happens to your business,” Spinaio said. “And it did actually happen.”

Spinaio, a former medical sales rep, founded the company with partner Gary Hilligoss, who thought there had to be an easier way to arrange catered food for visits to doctor’s offices. Time to Cater, which lets customers enter their preferences online, took its first order in March 2011, and within four months was handling 10 to 15 orders a month and had gross revenue of nearly $4,000 a month. By mid-2012, the business had grown to 150 clients and $15,000 to $25,000 in gross revenue monthly, as the company shifted from medical sales clients to a broader, corporate clientele. The Google call came this past November.

So how did the search engine giant find it? A Google search, of course.

Last summer, Chief Technology Officer Chris Gorrell relaunched the company’s website and began using enhanced search engine optimization techniques. “I said, ‘Is this real? Are you really from Google?’” Spinaio recalled thinking at the time.

In November 2012, Time to Cater coordinated lunch for 150 people participating in a Google webinar in 12 different locations. The company grossed $10,000 and landed an even bigger job in December, when Google again called to see if Time to Cater could handle an event for 5,000 people in more than 200 locations.

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  #60  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2013, 10:07 AM
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St. Louis: A Model For Aspiring Tech Hubs
ENTREPRENEURS | 7/25/2013



Only a few U.S. cities can claim to be technology meccas. Silicon Valley, Boston, Seattle, and — recently — New York City are responsible for the lion’s share of successful tech startups in the U.S., but they can no longer stake a sole claim. New tech hubs, like St. Louis, are emerging. St. Louis’ rise can serve as a model for other would-be hubs.

I started my company six years ago in St. Louis. I remember the challenge of finding talented local personnel for key roles like Ruby on Rails developer and search engine optimization consultant. Fortunately, the St. Louis entrepreneurial ecosystem has come a long way. The city recently birthed a host of impressive venture-backed tech companies such as Appistry, CrowdSource, LockerDome, and Bonfyre. And government leaders recently announced a plan to raise $100 million over five years from local companies, investors, and foundations to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses in St. Louis.

I believe there are a few key reasons why St. Louis (and cities like it) has been successful in fostering tech entrepreneurship. When smaller cities play to their strengths while simultaneously working to shore up their deficiencies, they can attract talented entrepreneurs and help them succeed. These contributing success factors include:

Reduced costs: Thanks to cloud servers and Web services that reduce upfront capital requirements, it’s less expensive than ever for people to launch a digital company anywhere. Not only that, St. Louis has an incredibly low cost of living. These two factors make it inexpensive to start a company here.

Local support from universities: In our city, Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University offer nationally respected entrepreneurship programs. The students and graduates are highly talented and knowledgeable, and the program’s incubators and accelerators are yielding high-potential startups. I was a student of the WashU program when I formed Varsity Tutors, and I continue to marvel at the advances and achievements of my fellow graduates.

Growth of local VC firms: Several early-stage tech VC firms, like Cultivation Capital, have opened their doors, complementing the established later-stage venture and private equity firms already in operation here. This gives local investors the chance to reinvest in their hometown communities.

Emergence of wealthy angels: During the past 20 years, a huge number of St. Louis-based Fortune 500 companies have been acquired, including Anheuser-Busch, McDonnell Douglas, Trans World Airlines, and Ralcorp. Many executives at these companies experienced massive buyouts, and some are looking to reinvest those windfall profits into local startups. My hope is that today’s entrepreneurs in St. Louis will choose to reinvest their capital and create a sustainable ecosystem like the ones seen in Silicon Valley, Boston, and Seattle.

Mentoring assistance from entrepreneurs: It’s crucial for business owners who’ve experienced substantial success to give back to their communities by mentoring up-and-coming entrepreneurs. This has been the backbone of Silicon Valley’s success, and St. Louis is starting to follow suit with several formal programs.
Attracting entrepreneurial talent: Local St. Louis accelerators are wisely offering modest prizes and grants to companies that move their operations. Arch Grants and Capital Innovators have both been successful in convincing entrepreneurs to relocate to St. Louis for $50,000 worth of funding. The quality of each of their respective classes of startups continues to improve, elevating the local talent level for an incredibly modest investment per company.

Emphasizing education: New York City recently began highlighting the importance of computer science to students at a very young age. This is a prime example of how to integrate real-world, employable skills into the educational culture of a city. My hope is that St. Louis officials take note of Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts in this regard.

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