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The St. Louis Regional Chamber today announced its new Vice President, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Andrew Smith. Smith will lead Chamber initiatives that increase regional capacity to support entrepreneurs with the capital, infrastructure and networked relationships.
In his position, Smith will help build relationships and opportunities among area entrepreneurs, local and national investors and the established St. Louis business community. Smith will also be responsible for leading Spirit of St. Louis Ventures, the Chamber’s impact-investment enterprise that has made founding investments in six early stage business accelerators including Prosper Women Entrepreneurs Startup Accelerator, The Yield Lab and SixThirty.
“St. Louis is one of fastest-growing startup communities, fastest-growing cities for technology jobs and is attracting all-time record levels venture capital invested” said Chamber President and CEO Joe Reagan, “But we’re not satisfied. We need to continue to grow and attract talent and investment from around the country and world. We are lucky to attract talented individuals like Andrew that will bring new experiences and perspectives to help fuel our growth.”
The Regional Chamber leads initiatives in entrepreneurship and innovation as a key strategy to create economic opportunity and mobility. Startups are particularly successful in in St. Louis’ key growth industries: biosciences, financial services, health and logistics.
Smith’s experience and national connections in financial and health technology will help connect St. Louis entrepreneurs with investors and other resources throughout the country, especially in New York City where Smith began his career. As an entrepreneur, Smith founded and sold two successful health technology startups and has been involved in nearly every aspect of starting and scaling new businesses including fundraising, business development, data and analytics, product development and initial public offerings (IPOs). Recently, he moved his professional focus to enhancing customer experience through the application of data and technology at Signature HealthCARE, long-term care provider and Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby. Smith is currently pursuing his Master’s of Data Science at Indiana University.
“I look forward to supporting entrepreneurs and innovators by helping them leverage the Chamber’s data, networking, and business development resources to scale their businesses and activate their vision,” said Smith. “Entrepreneurs have a unique and valuable perspective on the economic, policy, and infrastructure issues affecting the broader St. Louis community.”
“They aren’t just starting and relocating businesses in St. Louis, they are helping transform our region to face 21st century challenges,” Smith said.
Smith takes over the role formerly held by Jason Hall, who held the position for three years. Hall is understood to be in the early stages of a new collaborative civic initiative focused on economic development in the heart of the St. Louis region.