In a new video released today by Arch Grants, three startups share their experiences building their business in the rapidly growing startup ecosystem of St. Louis. You can consider St. Louis to be well-known for many things including the strange cheese we put on a local pizza from Imo’s, toasted ravioli, and an iconic city skyline thanks to a unique monument, the Arch.
But, there’s more occurring here than just will the Cardinals win another World Series. The true entrepreneur spirit, coupled with the Midwest values that are inherent with the people here, means it’s primed to be an incredibly special environment to foster innovation and growth from some of the best minds in the world.
In addition to the three startups featured, Jim McKelvey, a St. Louis native who is known for many things including Square, Third Degree Glass Factory, and most recently SixThirty, a FinTech accelerator, shared the idea behind Arch Grants. “There is a difference between distributing wealth and creating wealth. If I write a check to the zoo, right now, I’m distributing my wealth,” he said. “But if I build a company here that generates a billion dollars of revenue and my employees go to the zoo and they support the zoo, then I’m generating wealth. The idea behind Arch Grants is we bring the wealth creators here, we grow that resource here, and then it populates throughout the city.”
Now, this doesn’t mean that there’s not room to improve here in St. Louis. But, what this city does have going for it is a great spirit of collaboration and openness where the startup community comes together to help each other. It also doesn’t hurt that St. Louis offers great talent to choose from as well as several wonderful programs like Arch Grants, Cultivation Capital, Capital Innovators, Arch Angels, the newly formed SixThirty, and others.
Check out the video to see this startup community hard at work. What other cities are well on their way to fostering a similar environment? Share your thoughts in the comments.