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 editors@eqstl.com.

Growth:

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.