STL Startup News: Weekly Download – Dec. 4

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


St. Louis-based LaunchCode received a $350,000 grant last week to open a location in Rhode Island. LaunchCode places budding programmers at apprenticeship jobs across the country. The non-profit, co-founded by Jim McKelvey of Square, offers free coding boot camps and recently opened a mentor center just north of the Central West End. LaunchCode has also expanded to Kansas City and Miami.

Cortex further expanded its footprint in St. Louis’ central corridor on Tuesday with the purchase of 3.5 acres from Pace Properties. Cortex President and CEO Dennis Lower told the St. Louis Business Journal that Cortex paid $3 million for the property located on Vandeventer Avenue across from IKEA.

2014 Arch Grants winner WonderWoof landed BowTie, a wearable smart device for pets, on the shelves of Harrods in London this holiday season, including a £250 GBP gold-plated version available exclusively at the high-end department store. BowTie, which sells for $95 on their website, also received a glowing review in Forbes.

Arch Grant-winning startups are staying in St. Louis, according to a recent report by St. Louis Public Radio. Of the 55 startups selected as recipients of the $50,000 gifts, 80 percent have remained in St. Louis after the one-year that is required of the grant recipients. Of the remainder: six moved away, four folded and one, Obsorb, was acquired by Canadian company MetaLab.

Locally owned Park Avenue Coffee opened its 4th STL location this week at CIC @4240.


A new women’s coworking space is opening this winter in West County. Carpe Diem Coworking, located in a Victorian-style mansion in Manchester, will give tours of the building in January and plans to open a month later. Owner and CEO Jennifer Loeffel says the space will include a podcasting room, collaboration and conference rooms, desk space for 85 women and four private cubicles. Women will be able to rent space on a monthly or drop-in basis. More info.

New to the tech scene in St. Louis? Lumogram whipped together the ABC’s of STL Startups guide to help you learn the ropes. The startup, which turns company logos into animated GIFs, launched its beta service in November and was founded by a team led by Tyler Kessler of Invisible Girlfriend and Goober.

Are you more of a visual learner? Check out EQ’s own St. Louis startup ecosystem map.


Gateway Media announced Thursday that the Clayton-based company had acquired, a viral media site that receives nearly 60 million visitors a month. Gateway Media is an Answers Corp. spinoff that owns a number of entertainment and culture websites including, which won a 2015 Webby Award for Best Food & Drink Website.

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.