This is a repost from a Tech.li article with their permission with a link a bottom of article.
1.St. Louis is Cool
If you like sports, St. Louis is your kind of town. If you like eating, restaurants abound and if Mardi Gras is your type of thing, try checking out the nation’s biggest Mardi Gras celebration outside of New Orleans in the French District. In a city dripping with history, there is plenty of culture to keep anyone satiated, if/when you ever take a day off from growing the business, of course.
People in St. Louis definitely exude the friendly, Midwestern vibe that can be missing on the coasts and are quick to offer a helping hand- St. Louis’ Mayor, Francis Slay, is promoting the great things happening in the St. Louis startup scene in his personal blog
St. Louis is referred to as the Gateway City due to the numbers of immigrants that passed through it on their way to settle the West. With what feels like the whole city pulling for the Digital Ecosystem, St. Louis is definitely a great place to launch a startup.
2. Nothing Succeeds Like Success
While St. Louis is busy wooing entrepreneurs to the city, it currently has a crop of very successful entrepreneurs growing successful businesses in its ecosystem.
Lockerdome is a Sports Social Network/LinkedIn mashup that allows athletes to create profiles and, as the website says, its “where athletes are found.”
Lockerdome recently expanded its offices in St. Louis and was selected as one of 25 companies to present at the Silicon Valley Showcase event.
Gremln provides a social media toolkit to companies so they can control their social media profiles and track important metrics associated with those accounts so companies can track their impact on existing and potential customers. (Techli originally covered Gremln here: Gremln Helps Businesses Sell More With Social Media)
Both companies went through the Capital Innovators Accelerator program and are blowing up fast in their respective spaces. While both companies are successful, they are a small sampling of the current crop of successful startups located in St. Louis doing big things.
Having a built in cadre of successful startups is always a good thing for a digital ecosystem to truly thrive. Some of St. Louis’ current entrepreneurs will no doubt exit over the next few years and some of them will become investors themselves in the next generation of entrepreneurs to come up.
3. Show Me State is #6 For New Entrepreneurs
According to the Kauffman Foundation’s annual ‘Index of Entrepreneurial Activity,’ Missouri is ranked sixth among all 50 states in entrepreneurial activity. That is a considerable improvement from 2009, when the state ranked next to last in 2009 and in 2010 came in 35th place.
Currently, four out of every 1,000 Missouri residents are starting a new entrepreneurial venture. This puts Missouri right behind Arizona, Texas, California, Colorado, and Alaska. With all the activity happening in St. Louis now, it shows no signs of slowing down.
Encouraging entrepreneurs to, “Build Something Gigantic,” T-Rex gets its name from the building it occupies. (It’s formal name is Tec @ Railroad Exchange Building, hence T-Rex.)
Located in St. Louis’ up and coming downtown, T-Rex is a non-profit space located close to everything in St. Louis’ downtown and best of all, rent starts at around $150. Per month. Yes that’s the truth. (You saw the part about cost of living up above, right?)
Rent gets companies’ high-speed internet access, a working environment where like-minded entrepreneurs share ideas and successes together and an office with a door that closes. You know, for when you need to make a sales call/curl up in the fetal position and cry because you made the web app before the mobile one. Stuff like that.
As a bonus, there are Tyrannosaurus Rex’s (Rexii?) decorating the walls all over the place.
5. Booming Digital Ecosystem Forming
You should launch your startup in St. Louis. Yes, St. Louis. Anyone can move out to San Francisco and pay $2000/month for a one bedroom and even more for office space. Here’s the thing, entrepreneurs: you don’t have to be in the Valley. With the current boom happening in digital startups, chances are your first client/user doesn’t live in San Francisco anyway — they can be anywhere.
As more entrepreneurs figure out they can have a high quality of life AND build their startups, cities are recognizing the value startups bring in the form of tax revenue, the creation of high quality jobs, and an influx of creative energy that is good for any city.
More than other cities, St. Louis has muscled its way into the digital arena and all signs point to the ecosystem there not only growing but accelerating fast.
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