STL Startup News: Weekly Download – Dec. 18

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

Braggin’ Rights:

St. Charles County ranks best in the state for tech job growth and is the only Missouri county to land in the top 25 nationally. That’s according to research by the Progressive Policy Institute, which based its rankings on the number of information and technology jobs added between 2011 and 2014 and relative to the size of the local economy. The public policy think tank attributed some of St. Charles County’s high ranking to the area’s thriving aerospace supply industry, including expansions by Seyer Industries and LMI Aerospace.

PromisePay, an 2014 alum of SixThirty’s fintech accelerator, has been named one of the 50 “emerging stars” on the global Fintech 100 list, which is published by H2 Ventures and KPMG. PromisePay provides a payment platform for a online marketplaces. The company has offices in St. Louis, San Francisco and Melbourne, Australia.


Making payments to the municipal court just got easier for some city residents. The St. Louis City Municipal Court launched a service this week that allows defendants enrolled in gradual fee-payment plans to pay and receive subsequent court dates online.


St. Louis’ Cultivation Capital led a $5.3 million investment in DealCloud, a finance-focused software company based in Charlotte, N.C. DealCloud provides a software-as-a-service platform for business development, pipeline management and deal execution for private capital markets. Cultivation Capital principal Allison Carmen declined to disclose how much the venture group contributed to the deal, but called it the “largest initial investment Cultivation has made to date.” The venture group was joined in the investment by Hamilton Lane, Holekamp Ventures, Holton Capital Group, Rick Kushel and Joe Maxwell.  

Monsanto Growth Ventures contributed to a $17 million round of growth funding of agtech startup Blue River Technology, which uses computer vision, machine learning and robotics to help farmers tend to crops. Alphabet CEO Eric Schmidt, Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund, Syngenta Ventures, Data Collective Venture Capital and Khosla Ventures were among the Silicon Valley-based startup’s other investors. Monsanto Growth Ventures is looking to invest $150 million in startups by 2020.  


Nominations have opened for the 2016 Arcus Awards. The awards recognize St. Louis-area businesses, organizations and institutions for leadership in several categories including: entrepreneurship and innovation, financial services, biosciences, inclusion and talent attraction, public policy, health, multimodal logistics and educational attainment. The awards ceremony will be held February 25 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. Make a nomination here. 

Upcoming deadlines:

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

Applications close for sports business Stadia Accelerator Spring 2016 on Dec 27. 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.