It is rare for a non-profit enterprise like T-REX to co-locate venture accelerators, organizations providing grants and in-kind support services, venture capital companies, an SBA-funded resource center, and training/mentoring organizations alongside startup companies. The following organizations, all located in T-REX, have individually contributed to economic growth in the St. Louis region. The driving force in each case is the belief that a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem will support the creation and growth of high-growth companies and high-paying jobs. By giving local startups the resources needed to grow and thrive in our St. Louis ecosystem, these Entrepreneur Support Organizations have brought positive energy and momentum to the City of St. Louis. These organizations include:
SixThirty provides fintech startups with $100K in funding, mentors, and connections to the top financial services companies in the country.Backed by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and venture capital firm Cultivation Capital, SixThirty invests in eight financial-based technology startup companies each year, four for the Fall class and four in the spring. Those companies selected to take part in the 14-week accelerator program will receive hands-on training, mentoring, and networking opportunities with the top financial services companies in the region. Why St. Louis? St. Louis is one of the largest financial services hubs outside of New York. It’s home to Edward Jones, Scottrade, Stifel Nicolaus, and US Bankcorp CDC, Wells Fargo Advisors, and boasts one of the most dynamic, explosive startup communities in the country. Why SixThirty? 630 is both the height and width of the Gateway Arch measured in feet, and was selected as the name of the accelerator to highlight the strength of its financial services sector.
SixThirty provides cybersecurity startups with up to $250K in funding, mentors, and connections to the top cybersecurity companies in the country.Backed by CISOs and other corporate executives and the venture capital firm Cultivation Capital, SixThirty CYBER is a business development accelerator that invests up to $250,000 in a handful of cyber security-based technology startup companies each year. The selected companies receive hands-on training, mentoring, and networking opportunities with the top CISOs and executives of regional private companies (like financial services, manufacturing, and aerospace/defense) as well as Federal Sector leaders in defense, finance & intelligence nationally.
Arch Grants has given $5.3 million in equity-free grant money to 104 startup companies since 2012. In the first two cohorts, 35 companies have obtained $6.5 million in revenues and $17.7 million in additional funding.Through the Arch Grants Global Startup Competition, Arch Grants selects promising startups to receive $50,000 in equity-free grant money and a host of support services. Arch Grants provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to start a business with non-dilutive (not equity or debt) capital. In addition, Arch Grants supports the growth of winning companies by providing free accounting, legal, marketing, web hosting, human resources, and financial consulting services.
Cultivation Capital invests in tech startups through its IT funds and in biomedical tech startups through its Life Science fund.Cultivation Capital is a venture capital firm that supports extraordinary entrepreneurs. We are a family of venture funds that invest in technology and life sciences companies. We actively invest out of a variety of funds, and support and invest in multiple accelerator programs focusing on areas like financial technology, agriculture technology, cyber security technology, and women-led companies. Since 2012, Cultivation has syndicated and led investment rounds with over 100 other venture firms, angel groups, and corporate venture arms. With the help of these partnerships, our portfolio has gone on to raise over $688 million. These funds have backed 40 companies since the firm was founded in 2012, making us one of the most active seed investors in the country. Cultivation Capital helps startups get to the next level with the help of our investors, general partners, and portfolio companies.
ITEN is a nonprofit organization that mentors young companies. Under ITEN's mentorship, these companies have raised $151 million since 2006.ITEN is a catalyst for the regional IT ecosystem, accelerating scalable tech startups with programs for rapid product development, connections to talent, networking, and access to funding. ITEN’s offerings are designed by entrepreneurs and require neither payment nor equity from the startups. ITEN is currently assisting over 220 start-up ventures and engaging more than 70 volunteer mentors. ITEN's programs form a venture roadmap from concept through design, prototype, launch, revenue, funding and rapid scaling. Guidance is from serial entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, important community influencers and an Entrepreneur in Residence. Access to investors, key service providers and qualified talent means lower barriers to rapid growth. Major events sponsored by ITEN include 1 Million Cups, weekly, Second Tuesday networking, monthly, the annual Gateway to Innovation, plus support for StartUp Connection and other regional, special events. ITEN hosts a web-based IT job listing service. Their Business Model Validation program is designed for pre-revenue ventures and ventures that may be producing revenue but have encountered challenges to their basic business model. They also have a successful Mock Angel program for entrepreneurs to hone their investor presentations.
From 2014 through 2016, the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers and Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers assisted clients in creating more than $2 billion in economic impact.The Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC), funded by SBA and the State of Missouri, helps businesses in every stage from concept to start-up, growth to renewal, mature to succession. They provide professional business analysis, business consultations and access to technology resources. They hold educational training seminars on a variety of business topics, including: financial analysis, strategic planning, technology commercialization, management, HR, social media, marketing, taxes, customer service, business plan, start-up and more.
Prosper Women Entrepreneurs Startup Accelerator invests in women-led startup companies.Prosper Women Entrepreneurs (PWE) through its Startup Accelerator makes investments in women-led technology, healthcare technology, and consumer product companies. The PWE Startup Accelerator invests $50,000 in each of the selected women-led companies and provides mentorship through a three-month business development program. The program is offered twice a year with up to 6 companies in each class. In addition to capital, the program matches the companies to mentors, networks and other resources that enable their growth. Particular attention is given to companies that:
- Have a product or service positioned for significant growth
- Have a large target market
- Have a substantiated problem that they’re solving
- Have shown some traction and customer engagement in their market
- Are in the technology, healthcare technology or consumer products industries