STL Startup News: Weekly Download – Dec. 11

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Here’s a recap of STL startup news this week. Have news to share? Email us at


Venture Café’s weekly happy hour gathering for entrepreneurs and innovators celebrated its 20,000th visitor on Thursday. The gatherings held at the @4240 building in the Cortex district offer networking opportunities, roundtable discussion and talks on various subjects in tech, startups and innovation.

Making Moves:

Dabble, which moved to St. Louis from Chicago upon winning a 2014 Arch Grant, has moved back the Windy City and raised $1 million from a group of that city’s investors. This comes after their recent investments from Capital Innovators and Arch Grants. Dabble provides a simple way to teach and enroll in classes spanning a wide range of interests. Classes currently offered in St. Louis include furniture repair, kombucha making and tango lessons.

STL Startups in the National Media:

Forbes published a story on Tuesday proclaiming St. Louis as an example of “the right way to build a tech city.” The article traces St. Louis’ emergence as a breeding ground for bioscience startups back to a round of some 600 layoffs at pharma giant Pfizer in 2010 and efforts by local incubator Biogenerator to keep those skilled workers in town.

Upcoming deadlines:

Early applications close for Arch Grants’ Spring 2016 Competition on December 15. Apply here.

Applications close for fintech accelerator SixThirty’s Spring Cohort 2016 on Dec. 18. Apply here.

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Brian Heffernan is St. Louis-based freelance journalist who has been published by Al Jazeera America, Riverfront Times and St. Louis Magazine. He also runs product and communications for Joojoo, a St. Louis startup that helps friends share recommendations about where to go, what to do and whom to hire. Brian earned both a master's and bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and loves corndogs.