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Getting Where You Need To Go: 15 Organizations All St. Louis Entrepreneurs Need to Know About


What do you need to get your start up off the ground? Authors and entrepreneurs Neal Cabage and Sonya Zhang found that customers, product, timing, competition, finance and team are the key factors in startup success. That’s why places like Silicon Valley, New York and Boston are startup hubs. Entrepreneurs flock there, run into each other and share ideas. Competition is fierce, but necessary, to perfect ideas and get them off the ground. And, investors are plentiful. 

However, other cities around the country, like St. Louis, are beginning to make waves in the startup scene. In 2013, $380 million were invested in St. Louis startups. Topping the list of Popular Mechanics 14 Best Startup Cities in America, it’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur in St. Louis. 

So, if you have your idea, passion and are willing to put in some long hours to create a business in St. Louis, here are the organizations you must know about:

Accelerate St. Louis is all about connections. It introduces investors to startups, entrepreneurs to the community at large and connects startups with the knowledge and resources they need to succeed.  

Arch Grants wants St. Louis to be a place entrepreneurs look to grow their businesses. In order to do this, they've provide funding to startups through their Arch Grants Global Startup Competition since 2012. Winners receive $50,000 and support services to make their ideas a reality.  

Center for Emerging Technologies (CET) has provided training programs, facilities, support services and access to capital since 1998 to promising bioscience, medical and other technology companies.

Center for Entrepreneurship is part of St. Louis University’s John Cook School of Business. Founded in 1987, the center helps entrepreneurs develop their business ideas and put their plans into action.

Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Education (CEEE) at the University of Missouri in St. Louis offers professional development, community outreach efforts and consulting services with both entrepreneurs and the public.  

Innovate St. Louis acts as a link between entrepreneurs and the world at large and between entrepreneurs and investors. Started in 2007, companies they have worked with have created more than 110 jobs, raised $80 in investments and boast $50 million in annualized revenues.

Innovative Technology Enterprises at UMSL is an incubator space that provides facilities and technology use for science and tech companies.

Information Technology Entrepreneur Network (ITEN) is “entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs” by providing mentoring opportunities, online resources, and networking events. With programs like their Business Model Validation and Mock Angel Program, new innovators can learn the ropes before standing in front of investors.

Six Thirty invests up to $100,000 in financial technology companies every year in the St. Louis community. Chosen companies are supported through training, mentorship programs and networking opportunities.

Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship is housed at Washington University, which was named to Entrepreneur’s list of Top 25 Colleges for Entrepreneurship in 2015. The center works to encourage entrepreneurship and an innovative and collaborative atmosphere for the university. Additionally, the center provides competitions, skill building opportunities, mentors and internships.

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership is a regional partnership between St. Louis City and St. Louis County to support regional economic development through new businesses, innovation and finance.

St. Louis Regional Chamber helps companies start, expand or move within the Greater St. Louis region.

T-REX encourages collaboration and new ideas through a “network of creativity.” The building offers workspace and community areas for innovators to grow their own ideas and learn from each other.  

Up St. Louis offers programs, events and community activities to encourage entrepreneurship throughout the St. Louis region.

Venture Café St. Louis connects entrepreneurs to each other every Thursday from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the @4240 building. All innovators are invited to discuss their current projects and learn from one another.   

Let us know if we left something off the list in the comments!

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