ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – St. Louis is known as the hotbed for start-ups. Forbes, Popular Mechanics, and other traded publications rate the Gateway City the top or one of the top cities in America.
Jobs are being created and money generated. Capital Innovators is one of the local organizations making it happen.
“We're seeing investors from Silicon Valley and New York and from all over country taking about St. Louis and the cool things going on,” said Brian Dixon, COO of Capital Innovators.
The organization, located in the Cortex District, prides itself on making dreams come true for start-ups and pumping up the local economy.
“Start-ups have a high failure rate. But out of the 70 companies we have invested in, 95 percent are still operating, which is unheard of,” Dixon said.
Many of those companies are located in the St. Louis-area.
One of those companies is Focalcast, which moved to St. Louis from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They're a cloud collaboration platform, taking all the digital devices we use in life and connects them together with no downloads, installs, or hardware. An iPhone can connect with a smartboard, laptop, or PC anywhere in the world, so all involved on a project can be on the same page.
“In the last year after going through program, we have been able to double our team; raise funds,” said David Turner, CEO of Focalcast. “We love St. Louis. It has been fantastic here.”
Some other local companies they have helped accelerate include LockerDome, Isle411, and Label Insight.
“When our managing partner, Judy Sindecuse, created (Capital Innovators), it was her vision to provide funding for smart founders to get good ideas and provide mentorship to help scale business effectively,” Dixon said.
Capitol Innovators focuses on tech starts-ups, but St. Louis has other accelerator programs as well.
Dixon said besides having companies like his here dedicated to helping with great program in place, the cost of starting a business here is very cheap as opposed to doing it in many other places.