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St Louis Regional Chamber has created The Spirit of St. Louis Fund I to address strategic capital investment issues that could help successfully growing startups at a critical point in their journey to become enterprise scale companies.
Based on research and feedback from St. Louis area startups, the St Louis Regional Chamber discovered St. Louis suffers from a seed round funding gap known as the “valley of death.”
Despite creating a robust network of accelerator programs to boost early stage startups and making solid progress toward offering later rounds of financing available to mature companies heading to market, seed round funding is necessary to help promising startup companies invest in the jobs and infrastructure needed to take their businesses to the next level.
So, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, will open up $5 million in new seed capital for the region’s highest impact startups. The Spirit of St. Louis Fund I is part of the Chamber’s strategic efforts to create jobs and attract investment through entrepreneurship and innovation.
This is the Chamber’s first venture into seed round financing.
“St. Louis has received great press and recognition for becoming a global startup hub, especially in areas like financial technology and biosciences, “said Chamber Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Andrew Smith. “But to help startups create new jobs and become the next Express Scripts or Boeing, we need to support them at every stage of growth. This is what the Spirit of St. Louis Fund I and the Chamber aims to do.”
Since 2013, the Chamber has deployed over $1 million in capital funding to area funds and accelerators, which has turned into over 600 high-paying jobs and nearly $100 million in new capital investment for startup businesses.
Nationally recognized funds and accelerators SixThirty, 630 Cyber, Stadia Ventures, Prosper Women Entrepreneurs, the Yield Lab, and the St. Louis Fashion Fund are among the Chamber’s successful investment portfolio. The Spirit of St. Louis Fund I was created in partnership with Cultivation Capital, Twain Financial Partners and local banks.