Fundraising for Your Startup in STL? Start Here.

There are many ways to grow your venture in St. Louis. We break it down for you.

Get Going with Grants

Have an idea–a product even–but need a little boost? There are a few grant funding opportunities available in St. Louis that are worth a shot.

Arch Grants gives away $50,000 in cash, plus office space and access to other resources, to almost a dozen companies twice per year. As a grant, the capital is non-dilutive.

The Accelerate St. Louis Challenge gives away $120,000+ every fall during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Winnings range from $5,000 for Bright Futures awards to $50,000 plus in-kind services for first place winners. Bonus: Awards are presented at Startup Connection, the biggest startup event of the year, giving winners some exposure to over 1,500 startup enthusiasts.

The Balsa Foundation gives away the $5,000 Balsa Grant specifically to first-time entrepreneurs. Awards are given twice per year.

Apply to an Accelerator

With their emphasis on a structured curriculum (typically 12 to 16 weeks) and mentorship, plus between $50,000 and $100,000 in capital, accelerator programs are a fantastic way to focus on growth. Luckily for St. Louis startups, the city has several of them.

Capital Innovators: St. Louis’ first startup accelerator, and ranked a Top 10 nationally

SixThirty: A FinTech accelerator focused on growing financial technology firms from around the world

SixThirty CYBER: An accelerator dedicated to cyber security companies.

BioGenerator: The investor arm of BioSTL, BioGenerator is focused on health and plant science startups.

Prosper Women Entrepreneurs: Dedicated to women-led companies.

Stadia Ventures: An accelerator specifically for sports tech startups.

The Yield Lab: A St. Louis-based AgTech accelerator program, which launched an additional outpost in Galway, Ireland in 2016.

See EQ’s Guide to St. Louis Accelerator Programs for specifics on each program and their respective application deadlines.

Try for MTC Idea Funds

The Missouri Technology Corporation’s IDEA (Innovation, Development, and Entrepreneurship Advancement) Fund promotes the formation and growth of businesses that engage in the transfer of science and technology into job creation. Programs include:

Missouri TechLaunch: Pre-seed funding awarded to startups for intellectual property development and evaluation.

Seed Capital Co-Investment Program: Designed to accelerate private investment in Missouri-based startups and to increase the overall investment impact of that third-party investment, the program awards seed capital funds that match other capital investments.

Venture Capital Co-Investment Program: For high-tech start-ups that succeed in achieving critical commercialization milestones with seed capital financing and need access to venture capital to grow, add new employees, and penetrate the marketplace. Through this program, MTC will award venture capital funds that match other capital investments.

High-Tech Industrial Expansion Program: Through this program, MTC makes investments that can be used to purchase equipment, facilitate construction, and hire key personnel.

Next Level: Venture Capital

When it’s time to open a round of funding, there are a few go-to venture capital firms that St. Louis startups turn to.

Cultivation Capital: Technology and life sciences

iSelect Fund: AgTech, energy, medical, enterprise software/IT

Lewis & Clark Ventures: Tech, agriculture, software, human sciences, manufacturing, energy, pharmacy solutions

Arsenal Capital Management: All industries

Ascension Ventures: Healthcare, information technology, healthcare services, medical devices and diagnostics

Monsanto Growth Ventures: Agriculture

Prolog Ventures: Food and beverage products, AgTech, biotesting

RiverVest Venture Partners: Life sciences

Washington University William Greenleaf Eliot Seed Fund: For companies with WashU “DNA”—students, faculty, alumni

Fill in the Gaps: Angel Investors

St. Louis Arch Angels: BioTech, AgTech, software, systems and support

Billiken Angels Network: All industries

Private Equity firms

Here are two private equity firms in St. Louis that have invested in local startups:

FTL Capital: All industries

Twain Financial Partners: All industries

See more information on these funds in this chart.