After five months of rigorous competition, the winners of the 2015 Accelerate St. Louis Challenge are ready to accept their share of the $120,000 cash prize. Chosen from 140 applicants, these startups characterize what it means to be the best and brightest in the St. Louis area.
“I want to congratulate these winners for this incredible accomplishment. I know all of these companies will go on to do big things, and we are so glad to be part of their story,” said St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. “High-growth startups are fueling job growth, and it’s drawing a lot of attention to St. Louis because of the ways we invest in our startup community. I see it as a real job growth driver, and I continue to put my support behind it wherever I can.”
Through funds provided by long-time sponsor Edward Jones, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership awards the top three startups with cash prizes totaling $100,000 ($50,000, $30,000, $20,000 respectively). Additionally, there are four Bright Futures Inclusion Awards, which offer additional, potentially compounding, cash prizes of $5,000 each in the following categories: minority-, woman-, immigrant-, and veteran-owned businesses.
“We are so proud to partner with Edward Jones on the Accelerate St. Louis Challenge. We thank them for helping fund our thriving group of startups in St. Louis,” said Sheila Sweeney, CEO of St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. “We know the companies that win this competition could easily be the next Edward Jones, Express Scripts or World Wide Technology. This competition is a way to grow our economy by investing in the fastest, most revolutionary ideas.”
In its sixth year, Accelerate St. Louis Challenge (formerly St. Louis Startup Challenge) has awarded over half a million dollars to the best St. Louis-based startups and coordinated over 375 hours of free marketing, legal and accounting services.
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Cash prizes are accompanied by professional office space within the STLVentureWorks small business incubator network, complimentary showcase at Startup Connection, and top-tier accounting, legal and marketing services. Legal, accounting and marketing services are donated by Thompson Coburn; Carmody MacDonald; RubinBrown; BDO St. Louis; Common Ground Public Relations; Spoke Marketing; Polsinelli; and Elasticity. Incubator space is donated by STLVentureWorks. Video production is provided by Elasticity. Bright Future Inclusion Award sponsors include: PlanCorp (veteran); Commerce Bank (immigrant); BDO (woman); and Bryan Cave (woman).
Winners were announced at the annual Startup Connection on November 18, 2015.
Connect with Accelerate St. Louis Challenge