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ST. LOUIS
TECH STARTUP
REPORT
Highlighting the history, growth, and outlook for
tech industry startups in the St. Louis region
This report is an attempt to cover as completely as possible the growth and overall status of the technology startup
landscape in St. Louis, as of year end 2012. The report is based entirely on original data reported by the more than
250 startups that ITEN has tracked since 2008.
ITEN accelerates tech startups with programs for rapid product development, connections to talent, essential
networking, and access to funding. Designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, requiring neither payment nor equity,
ITEN is a unique community asset building a new culture of innovation in St. Louis and beyond. ITEN can be found on
the web at www.itenstl.org and @itenstl on twitter.
About This Report
About ITEN
5St. Louis Tech Startup Report
INTRODUCTION
Table of Contents
BY JIM BRASUNAS — EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ITEN
ITEN is very pleased
to present the 2012
Tech Startup Report
to the community,
highlighting the
explosive growth
during 2012 in the Greater St. Louis
region’s tech startup ecosystem.
This report provides important data and insights about
what’s happened, how we got here, and where we’re going.
It is a very exciting journey that is still in its early stages.
As you’ll see in the report, $30 million was
invested in St. Louis-area tech deals in 2012.
This is in addition to $40 million that had been put
into deals during 2009-2011, according to ITEN’s
data. We also would note that funding of St. Louis
tech ventures is accelerating, coming from both
existing investors, new investors and recently
established investor groups.
Beyond attracting increasing investments,
more tech startup companies in St. Louis are
entering into a fast-growth mode, characterized
by growing revenue as well as quickly adding
new employees. The impact of revenue growth
and employee growth is just beginning to be felt in
the region, and we anticipate that the accelerat-
ing growth of these metrics will soon be making a
material impact on the economy of the region.
The growth in St. Louis’ startup tech sector
has been remarkable, and 2012 was the most
impressive year yet. Still, major challenges
remain. In spite of the emergence of new funding
vehicles, many worthy deals are challenged in find-
ing seed capital and A Round funding. This short-
age becomes more and more acute as the quality
and volume of the deals produced in the tech sec-
tor grows. We need to find solutions to this problem.
Second, as the region’s tech companies grow and
expand, we need to find ways to attract and train
the talent that these new companies need. St. Louis
has recently been named the fastest growing region
for tech jobs. That’s a real honor and also a call to
arms: we need to make sure tech talent is available
to fuel the growth of tech companies. A scarcity of
talent is potentially as challenging to our startup
ecosystem’s success as a scarcity of capital.
Ingredients for Continued Success
There are several things we can learn from the success
of startups in other cities. One is the need to develop
greater collaboration between for-profit and not-for-
profit organizations in the startup space. Each plays a
number of essential roles. The missions and objectives of
both interests align most of the time, but occasionally there
are instances when they don’t align. In those times it’s very
important that the interests of the entrepreneur are carefully
considered, because at the core of every successful startup
Tech Startups in St. Louis:
The State of the Region
INTRODUCTION
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
/ KEY TRENDS
THE COMPANIES
05
08
10
THE MONEY
HIRING AND
JOB GROWTH
APPENDIX
20
24
28
6 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 7St. Louis Tech Startup Report
INTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTION
ecosystem are serial entrepreneurs. Serial entrepreneurs
are key to the region’s ability to learn how to create suc-
cessful new ventures.
Corporate involvement is critical. We look forward to
increasing participation from the St. Louis corporate com-
munity, and are beginning to see greater interest from
established companies in how St. Louis tech startups can
benefit them. Their role is important as early adopters of
locally grown technology innovations, potential acquirers
of tech startups, and as a source of and destination for the
talented workforce needed by both startups and estab-
lished companies.
Our area’s universities are also vital to the success of
the startup community, as a source of technology innova-
tions, talented graduates and inspirational support and
collaboration. With a continuing dedication from all parties
for close collaboration to expand and improve the tech
ecosystem, St. Louis has an opportunity to create a new
culture of innovation and look forward to a brighter future.
How We Got Here
While this report focuses on 2012, it is worthwhile to
glance back for a moment at the foundations that have en-
abled our recent growth. Without these foundational efforts,
our current progress would not have been possible.
The Missouri Venture Forum was an early provider of
connections for entrepreneurs and investors, and the
InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum and the St. Louis
Arch Angels have been supporting selected high-growth
startups since the early 2000’s, although primarily in life
sciences and medical device technology. In 2003, the
Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) established the
first IT-focused incubator in the region, producing compel-
ling tech companies SliceHost, Global Velocity and others.
Innovate St. Louis was formed in 2007 and launched
its flagship mentoring program, the Venture Mentoring
Service (IVMS). Based upon an MIT mentoring program,
IVMS was a pioneer in offering incubator-quality mentor-
ing without the need for a real estate component. Under
the same Innovate St. Louis umbrella, ITEN was formed
in 2008, thanks in a very large part to the support of the
Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC). ITEN’s model
didn’t require an incubator and in focusing on tech compa-
nies, leveraged the growing ubiquity of high-speed Internet
access. The need for tech companies to be collocated with
their server array had gone away, and startup companies
were freed up to be anywhere.
ITEN’s mission has been two-fold: first to be the cata-
lyst for the emergence of a vibrant startup ecosystem that
generates great tech startups; second, to identify gaps in
the ecosystem and find ways to address those deficien-
cies, through events, programs, other innovations, or the
encouragement of partners who can provide the needed
elements.
In those early days, local tech entrepreneurs had a bleak
notion of St. Louis. Many of them felt they were the only
tech startup in town, there was no support for them in the
community, and to find investors they’d eventually have
to go to the west coast. The investors we connected with
in those days had a predictably similar view: there were
no interesting tech deals in St. Louis and they found their
deals through relationships with investor groups from the
west coast. So both were right, but only because they
weren’t connected with each other.
In those early days of 2008 and 2009, ITEN focused
on building those connections that otherwise wouldn’t
have existed. We used a combination of public and pri-
vate events as well as trying to chart what was going on
and who needed what on a huge excel spreadsheet. To
really build a community, though, we soon needed men-
tors. We looked for individuals who understood the tech
startup landscape and/or could provide immediate value
to entrepreneurs needing advice and direction. Most of the
mentors we’ve brought in are serial entrepreneurs, tech
investors and others currently working in the tech space
with small, medium or large-scale enterprises. They have
expertise across the board, not just in coding and big data
applications but also marketing, sales, finance, operations,
legal and other specialized needs.
Near the end of 2009, we launched the Mock Angel
program, which prepares our most promising ventures for
investor discussions. The mentor group affiliated with this
program includes a number of investors, serial entrepre-
neurs and financial experts familiar with valuation issues
for startups. This program has been very influential in the
community and has produced many of the companies
that are gaining great traction today. While we don’t credit
all of their success to participation in this program, there
is unanimous agreement among the graduates of Mock
Angels that it has been of great value to them. We can
proudly say that about three quarters of Mock Angel gradu-
ates have received outside funding.
This increasing quality deal flow provided opportunities
for investors, and in the last couple of years we’ve wit-
nessed not only heightened interest from the Arch Angels
in tech deals, but also the founding of Capital Innova-
tors in 2011, FinServe Tech Angels, and new investment
programs from Arch Grants and Cultivation Capital in early
2012. Simultaneous with the founding of Capital Innova-
tors, T-Rex opened its doors, providing affordable office
space specifically for new tech startups. T-Rex is a huge
success story with over 40 companies on two floors of the
Railway Exchange building downtown.
There’s no denying that with the advent of new players in
the tech ecosystem, some jostling for branding space has
occurred, but the overarching spirit of collaboration and
cooperation has carried the day, and is a real hallmark of
what’s right with the startup community in St. Louis. ITEN
works very closely with all of the organizations mentioned,
celebrating their successes as indications of the overall
health of the community. Many of the startups on our Top
Ten lists in this report have benefitted greatly from the sup-
port of one and often two or three of these groups.
For example, Yurbuds, Aisle411, Multicoreware,
NorseCorp, Food Essentials, Lockerdome and others are
emerging success stories that a number of organizations
have helped. To quote a familiar saying, “It takes a village.”
A recent reflection of that collaboration is the launch of the
AccelerateStLouis website, enabling startups across all
industry sectors to be recognized.
Let’s end by coming back to our number one priority,
and that’s the entrepreneur and her or his vision, dedica-
tion, and team. Without the entrepreneur, investors, funds,
and venture development organizations are all useless. As
a community, we need to recognize that our region’s future
depends upon the success of the pioneers who are creat-
ing the successful new high-growth ventures. And as the
community embraces entrepreneurship as a foundational
element of what St. Louis must become, I believe we’ve
shown that given great entrepreneurs (which we have!),
our collaborative and growing support ecosystem can
accelerate and multiply many times over the community
impact and potential success of these new ventures.
A few words about the data presented in this report.
None of the data is from secondary sources, but all comes
directly from the 250+ startups that participate or have
participated in ITEN and have volunteered to share their
information with us. Therefore, our report covers as com-
pletely as possible the total number of tech startups in our
region. We believe this study includes more than 80% of
the high-growth tech startups in the region. Included are
companies that have joined ITEN since our inception in
2008. Some very notable companies that were founded
before that time, such as Appistry, Exegy, Global Velocity
and others, while sometimes considered startups by oth-
ers, are not included in our study. And finally, a lot has hap-
pened since the end of 2012, and in some cases if we did
our Top Ten lists today there would be changes. In many
cases companies would move up the list because of their
continuing successes into 2013, but as we’d expect, there
are a couple that would be moving down.
Please enjoy the progress we report herein. Feel free to
quote or extract any of the information from the report; we
only ask that you reference ITEN as the source.
Here’s to our community’s continued success.
— Jim
SECTION TITLE
9St. Louis Tech Startup Report
EXECUTIVE
SUMMARY /
KEY TRENDS
The St. Louis tech startup community
has reached a state of critical mass,
and is poised for continuing growth.
The ecosystem for tech startups in the St. Louis region, which
has been under development for years, has taken firm root.
More new tech companies than ever are being founded in St.
Louis. Just as important, they are finding funding and talent in
the region.And some companies are beginning to find exits
through acquisition.Within ITEN, there are now more than 250
startups that count themselves as members -- a number that
has doubled in less than two years.
St. Louis tech startups have access to better
resources than they have had at any time in the
past. Access to money and employee talent are
two of the most vital factors to fueling startup ex-
pansion. Over the last two to three years in particu-
lar, St. Louis has seen a significant increase in the
number of organizations focused on helping tech
startups through grants, funding, education and
access to resources. A list of these organizations
can be found in the Appendix. Many of these new
efforts are derived from intensive and ongoing col-
laboration among public and private entities across
the St. Louis metropolitan area.
Investors, both inside and outside of St. Louis,
are paying significantly more attention to St.
Louis tech startups. In 2012, there were several
St. Louis-based, non-private sector organizations
that invested in St. Louis tech startups. Many of
these groups did not exist more than two years ago.
Nearly all of these groups are growing and expand-
ing their membership.
The vast majority of St. Louis tech startups are
founded by area natives. Well over 70 percent of
the companies surveyed for this report were started
by natives of the St. Louis Metro region, including
the Metro East. Retaining and nurturing “home-
grown” talent has been a priority topic among civic
and business leaders for years. More of those who
are passionate, ambitious and driven to realize their
business idea or dream are choosing to chase that
dream in St. Louis.
More entrepreneurs from outside of St. Louis
are starting and keeping their companies here,
too. While St. Louis natives show well among ITEN
companies, most of the companies in the ITEN
Top 10 include founders who were not born in St.
Louis. Even so, there is still work to be done to
attract more entrepreneurs to get them to base
their operations here, and the statistics show that
it is happening. The region’s universities and more
recently Arch Grants are playing important roles in
attracting outside entrepreneurs.
St. Louis tech startups are diverse. They can be
found across industry segments and focus on very
different products and services. St. Louis tech start-
ups offer solutions in IT, healthcare, mobile, indus-
trial/manufacturing, gaming, social media, “green”
and clean energy tech, sports, and more.
Key Trends in the St. Louis
Tech Startup Community
11St. Louis Tech Startup Report
THE
COMPANIES
Earlier this year, ITEN published its
Top Ten, Next Ten, and Fast Ten lists
of companies.
Our “Top” lists seek to recognize and celebrate those early
stage tech ventures that are getting the most traction, most
likely to become a lasting success, and most likely to make
significant contributions to the St. Louis region’s economic
prosperity through the growth of well-paying jobs, and
wealth creation for the founders and investors.
Any yardstick is likely to favor some companies over oth-
ers, and incomplete data from some makes it difficult to get
an accurate view of their progress. Our lists of companies
are subject to these challenges and although we’ve made
every effort to create a level playing field, our method for
creating our lists is inevitably going to reward one at the
expense of another.
For our Top Ten and Next Ten lists, as well as the
industry-segmented lists of Top Threes in this report, we
focus on these key metrics: total funds raised (from all
sources including friends and family, grants, debt and equity
from outside sources), current monthly revenue, and total
employees (including founders working full time on the
venture). We believe outside funding, customer revenue and
employees hired are reasonable criteria to measure a ven-
ture’s importance to the community. As a fourth consider-
ation, we include the growth in those three primary metrics
over the course of 2012. By doing so, we give added weight
to the traction that companies are getting right now, and
reward the ones that are growing rapidly.
For our Fast Ten list, we look only at companies founded
in 2010 or later, and give additional consideration to the
growth in metrics during calendar year 2012. We think
the companies on the Fast Ten list are ones most likely to
emerge and make an impact in the next couple of years.
We don’t consider factors such as the number of freemi-
um (non-paying) customers, click throughs, site visits, visit
durations, search engine rankings, etc.
A final note: we are limited in our evaluations by the will-
ingness of companies to share with us what is their propri-
etary data. As you can see from our report and any of our
other reports and publications, ITEN does not divulge any
company-specific data. Some companies are more forth-
coming than others and in a few cases this lack of willing-
ness has had an impact on their rankings.
Overview
The growth in tech companies in St. Louis has been impressive and it has helped
put us on the map nationally. Our reputation as a place that supports startups is
well-founded, in no small part due to the excellent service provided by ITEN. This
is truly a bright spot for the future of the St. Louis economy.
DENNY COLEMAN, PRESIDENT & CEO
ST. LOUIS COUNTY ECONOMIC COUNCIL
12 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 13St. Louis Tech Startup Report
THE COMPANIESTHE COMPANIES
ITEN Top Ten
Yurbuds | www.yurbuds.com
Yurbuds was founded in 2008 to solve the market need for a quality earphone/
headset solution for use with iPods™, cell phones, telemarketing headsets and
all other types of earphone communication devices.
MulticoreWare Inc. | www.multicorewareinc.com
MulticoreWare Inc. is the leading provider of programmer productivity tools,
libraries and application development services for homogeneous and
heterogeneous multicore CPU and GPU architectures.
NorseCorp | www.norse-corp.com
NorseCorp, a leading innovator of IT security and fraud prevention solutions,
is the only provider of live, actionable, cyber threat intelligence. The company’s
patent-pending IPViking technology continuously monitors the Internet for hacker
activity and high risk network traffic.
Aisle411 Inc. | www.aisle411.com
aisle411 collects, organizes and monetizes product inventory and location data
through a mobile engagement platform, bringing simplicity to in-store search and
navigation.
Hexagrid Computing | www.hexagrid.com
Hexagrid is a software company that has developed a software platform that
specializes in building Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Clouds.
FoodEssentials | www.foodessentials.com
Food Essentials provides grocery retailers and brands with big data-driven infor-
mation about ingredients and additives in food products, enabling them to target-
market to consumers with dietary concerns.
Trade Harbor | www.tradeharbor.com
Trade Harbor is a pioneer in voice authentication services, focused on the bank-
ing and financial transaction industries.
LockerDome | www.lockerdome.com
LockerDome is a social media platform for sports; it is one of the fastest growing
online sports properties in the world. More than ten million people now use Lock-
erDome to consume content and interact with like-minded people around their
favorite sports interests.
Virtual Nerd | www.virtualnerd.com
Virtual Nerd is an engaging, interactive, intuitive software that utilizes video-based
instruction to improve student achievement in mathematics.
Mortgage Returns | www.mortgagereturns.com
Mortgage Returns works with the data already captured within a mortgage com-
pany’s back-end loan origination system. Based on each mortgage company’s
unique database, Mortgage Returns prompts every loan officer in the company
with the details on who to contact, when to contact them, and why.
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14 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 15St. Louis Tech Startup Report
THE COMPANIESTHE COMPANIES
ITEN Next Ten
Systematic Revenue | www.systematicrevenue.com
Systematic Revenue provides growing businesses with an easy to use and affordable mar-
keting automation system to consistently follow up with all of their prospects and customers
in a meaningful and relevant way.
BusyEvent | www.busyevent.com
BusyEvent provides a comprehensive, mobile app-driven solution for event planning, execu-
tion, exhibitor-to-attendee interactions and information, and follow-up big data intelligence.
Makaboo Personalized Gifts | www.makaboo.com
Makaboo is a high-quality online retailer of personalized baby and children’s gifts.
Blendics | www.blendics.com
Blendics makes software tools that allow designers of integrated-circuit systems to develop
their products more rapidly and at less cost.
Gremln | www.gremln.com
Gremln offers a wide array of essential and intuitive features to help businesses make the
most of their social media strategies. From message management and customer engage-
ment to social analytics and education, Gremln’s unique feature set is specifically designed
to help businesses master the social marketing landscape.
Off Campus Media | www.offcampusmedia.com
Off Campus Media, a proven college marketing company, leverages its national network of
college student Ambassadors and proprietary technology to better understand and connect
with millions of college students. OCM’s Bonfyre app enables immediate sharing among
event-goers.
BizMed | www.bizmedsolutions.com
BizMed™ is supporting physicians in office-based practices by providing affordable
knowledge, expertise and tools to simplify and manage the regulatory and business aspects
of medical practices.
Foxtrax Vehicle Tracking, Inc. | www.goxtraxgps.com
Foxtrax Vehicle Tracking provides GPS vehicle tracking to small businesses.
Greenvelope | www.greenvelope.com
Greenvelope provides beautiful electronic invitations online that are delivered to guests in a
personalized “envelope” for special occasions.
Lifestream Communications | www.lifestreamcom.com
Lifestream Communications is a provider of visual communications products
(videoconferencing), streaming/archiving products and services to the healthcare industry.
16 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 17St. Louis Tech Startup Report
THE COMPANIESTHE COMPANIES
ITEN Fast Ten
Splice Machine | www.splicemachine.com
The Splice SQL Engine™ enables companies to unlock the insights in their Big
Data and to put these insights into action in hyper-personalized web, social and
mobile applications that increase customer retention and revenue.
simMachines | www.simmachines.com
simMachines provides a next generation database that is capable of answering
similarity queries. Similarity queries enable the creation of next generation appli-
cations. Our engine is not only the fastest available, it is also very easy to use.
SirenGPS, LLC | www.sirengps.com
Siren develops smartphone technology to connect you and your family to emer-
gency services and information — making communities safer.
Time to Cater | www.timetocater.com
A national, web-based catering concierge service that connects BUSY people
with the RIGHT caterer for their needs and budget to save them TIME and
MONEY
Evtron Inc. | www.evtron.com
Evtron Inc. is an Information Technology corporation providing Enterprise Cloud
Storage and Co-Location services.
Dorsata, Inc. | www.dorsata.com
Early stage HIT company focused on the development and implementation of
clinical pathways.
Dead Inventory Management System (DIMS) |
www.deadinventorymanagement.com
DIMS provides a platform for industrial concerns with excess inventory to find
customers who need products or parts that are often discontinued or not available
through conventional sales channels.
Click With Me Now, Inc. | www.clickwithmenow.com
Click With Me Now has the unique opportunity to engage with and provide ser-
vices to EVERY person who uses a web browser! The Click With Me Now appli-
cation is intuitive, requires no-downloads and best of all it’s free.
Rollsale | www.rollsale.com
RollSale is “rolling wholesale”, a new way of conducting wholesale operations via
a transactional social network for used car dealers.
Material Mix, LLC | www.materialmix.com
Material Mix is a disruptive web-based exchange platform that commoditizes the
trade of industrial byproducts within the current waste collection industry; helping
waste and recycling professionals reduce operating expenses, recover investment
on inventory, and monetize the trade of their recyclables.
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18 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 19St. Louis Tech Startup Report
THE COMPANIESTHE COMPANIES
Top 5 States where Founders are originally from:
Age of the Youngest Founders:
Patents applied for:
Patents granted:
Ethnicity of the Founders:
Gender of the Founders:
Facts & Figures Segment Rankings
There are
35 companies
with a founder
under the age
of 25
Caucasian (82%)
African
American (9%)
Asian (7%)
Hispanic (1%)
Other (1%)
25
73
12
79%
male
21%
female
Women-Owned
1. Makaboo
2. BuildingWorks, LLC
3. Material Mix
Minority-Owned
1. MulticoreWare Inc.
2. Hexagrid Computing, LLC
3. G2 Media
Green Tech
1. FoodEssentials
2. BusyEvent
3. Greenvelope
Security
1. NorseCorp
2. Parameter Security
3. Siren GPS
Mobile
1. aisle411
2. Siren GPS
3. IDC Projects
Social Media
1. LockerDome
2. Off Campus Media / Bonfyre
3. Dealie Do
Sports
1. Yurtopia
2. LockerDome
3. LogYourRun
The surge in start-up activity in St. Louis over the past two years and the
growing number of high-quality deals have attracted the attention of national
investors who are now finding it worth their while to visit our region.
DONN RUBIN, CEO
BioSTL
Missouri (>80%)
Illinois (5%)
California (2%)
Massachusetts,
Michigan, Kansas,
Washington (1%)
21St. Louis Tech Startup Report
THE
MONEY
$30 million invested into St. Louis
tech startups in one year is a major
milestone and a great accomplish-
ment for our region. This represents
a steep increase over previous years,
and more than 40% of the total in-
vestment since ITEN started tracking
such activity in 2008.
Well over half of this new money has gone into a small
handful of local deals, many of them listed in our Top Ten
and Next Ten lists. This is to be expected, since investors
will gravitate to the most compelling deals that are getting
significant customer or investor traction. On the other hand,
what’s most interesting is where the rest of the money is go-
ing. We have indicated, through our Fast Ten list, that there
are others outside of the spotlight getting investor interest. A
successful ecosystem produces more than a small handful
of great deals; a successful ecosystem is a living system
that is supporting many deals at all stages of development.
For the long-term health of the community, the increas-
ing amount of money going into more earlier-stage deals
is probably more significant in the long run than a well-
known deal raising an additional one to two million dollars,
because it shows that sustainable financing momentum is
building from the bottom of the pyramid.
Despite the fact that we still have many very interesting
ventures having to look (and sometimes move) to other
parts of the country, the trend is most definitely going in the
right direction. St. Louis now offers multiple options for seed
funding for tech deals, and more than one way of raising
up to $500K to $1M in funding. Beyond that level, the going
gets tougher and there’s no question we need more access
to funding for A rounds. A continuing quality deal flow will
help attract funding alternatives, and the outlook is bright in
the intermediate and long term. Meanwhile, today’s deals
will still need to work hard to find local financing at those
levels.
Overview
It is truly impressive to see the critical mass that we seem to be reaching on the
information technology startup scene in St. Louis. The advent of new Angel
investors, venture funds, and T-Rex, coupled with ITEN’s continued commitment
to mentoring and preparing our startups for funding, is really paying dividends. I
look forward to continued positive momentum, the success of our startups and
the positive impact it has on our community.
MARK SHOWERS, CIO
REINSURANCE GROUP OF AMERICA
22 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 23St. Louis Tech Startup Report
THE MONEYTHE MONEY
Monthly Combined Revenue of All
ITEN Companies:
Money Invested in All ITEN
Companies (Cumulative Total):
Outside Funding Sources
(Percentage of Sources):
Revenue
Funding
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
2012201120102009
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
2012201120102009
Friends and
Family (52%)
Angel
Investors (23%)
Accelerators (9%)
Grant
Funding (7%)
Customer
Funding (2%)
Other (7%)
Of all ITEN member companies:
■ 30% have generated revenue
■ 1 in 4 raised outside funding
Of active companies:
■ 35% have revenue
($200 to $1M per month)
■ Half have raised outside funding
(a couple thousand to multiple millions)
■ Of those companies raising money,
43% have revenue
Of companies that have ceased
operations:
■ 1 in 6 had revenue
■ 1 in 12 had raised outside funding
■ Of those raising money, 8% had revenue
Key Facts & Figures
Information technology is dominating a revolutionary culture of entrepreneurism
in the St. Louis region. Hundreds of high-quality enterprises are emerging,
brilliant opportunities encouraged by robust mentoring from entities such as
ITEN, exciting new sources of initial financing like Arch Grants and several
capital enterprises.Yet we, the nation and world are at an early stage of the
transforming influence of this limitless technology. Our regional challenge is to
continue to encourage this fragile development, in part by ensuring the
availability of substantial scaling capital.
DR. BILL PECK, CHAIRMAN
INNOVATE ST. LOUIS
Total Invested (in Millions)
Monthly Revenue (in Millions)
$5.2M
$70.6M
$40.3M
$28M
$17.5M
$3.5M
$1.2M
$819K
25St. Louis Tech Startup Report
HIRING AND
JOB GROWTH
St. Louis is rapidly gaining traction as
a hot city for interesting and talented
technology employees.
A recent report on the tech job site Dice.com lists St. Louis
as the country’s top city in year-over-year growth in tech
jobs. ITEN is seeing these opportunities within our start-
ups in the data gathered in 2012. The rapid growth in job
creation numbers from ITEN startups validates these high
national rankings.
In polling ITEN client companies for their potential future
job openings, ITEN is seeing preliminary data on how to
better address talent gaps in the region. The needs of tech
startups are heavily based in technical areas with over 32%
of our startups planning to hire more coders, programmers,
and designers. However, startups clearly see the need for
customer acquisition and market awareness as well. The
next highest sectors of projected needs for ITEN startups
come in the form of Sales (20%) and Marketing (19%). The
data coming from startups clearly dictates that the region
needs to continue to keep focus on attracting and retaining
talent in many forms, to keep up the healthy growth we are
seeing in the tech startup ecosystem.
Overview
The growth in entrepreneurial
activity in St. Louis over the last 18
months has been nothing short of
explosive. This is especially true in
the tech space. I credit the amazing
community effort being put forth.
With everyone pulling together
toward a common goal under the
“all boats rise” theory, our ability to
achieve success is limitless.
It makes me proud to be a
St. Louisan!
JUDY SINDECUSE, CEO / MANAGING PARTNER
CAPITAL INNOVATORS
26 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 27St. Louis Tech Startup Report
HIRING AND JOB GROWTHHIRING AND JOB GROWTH
Overall Growth in New
Full Time Employees:
Top Positions/Areas of Expertise Desired
Number of employees companies
are planning to hire in 2013:
Key Facts & Figures
185 425Employees expected to be
hired in 6 months
Employees expected to be
hired in 12 months
0
200
400
600
800
1000
201220112010
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
OtherHRLegalFinanceC-levelOperationsMarketingSalesTech
Company Quotes
St. Louis’ tech startup scene is exploding.
The talent, financial resources, and
overall support have all come together at
just the right time, allowing LockerDome
to build a world-class company right here
in St. Louis.
GABE LOZANO, CEO / CO-FOUNDER
LOCKERDOME
Building Norse from St. Louis was not
easy as we started in early 2010 before
many of the programs now available were
present, outside of ITEN and the Capital
Innovators accelerator, of which we were
in its inaugural class. That said, I am very
excited to see the rising start-up scene
with programs to support entrepreneurs
as they grow their companies. The T-Rex
offices downtown are buzzing, and a
great indicator of these programs result-
ing in success.
SAM GLINES, CEO
NORSECORP
The St Louis start-up community has
all of the pieces of a larger, more
sophisticated market, but maintains
the straight-talking Midwest flavor. This
community is full of very smart, genuinely
nice people who really want you to
succeed even if they don’t have a
financial interest. They also don’t mind
telling you when they think you are on the
wrong track – which is just as valuable.
PAUL RAUNER
SirenGPS
When I see the Gateway Arch
monument, I can relate to the pioneers
that came to St. Louis as part of the
westward expansion of the United States.
In a similar way, I came to St. Louis to
conquer digital lands, to elucidate
business applications of similarity search
and pattern recognition.
DR. ARNOLDO MULLER-MOLINA, FOUNDER, DATA SCIENTIST
simMACHINES
850
601
455
32%
20% 19%
9% 8%
6%
4% 2%
< 1%
29St. Louis Tech Startup Report
APPENDIX
For a complete list of resources, both in state and out
of state, please go to www.itenstl.org/useful-links
Education & Development
Accelerate St. Louis
AccelerateStLouis.org is a one-stop website that connects
entrepreneurs to resources and investors who can help
them in launching and growing their businesses in the St.
Louis region.
www.acceleratestlouis.org
Center for Emerging Technologies
The Center for Emerging Technologies (CET) provides
the specialized facilities, knowledgeable support services,
entrepreneur training programs, and access to capital
needed to establish and develop next generation medical
and other advanced technology companies. CET has been
a key member of a St. Louis public-private-three university
partnership focused on creating all of the elements needed
to commercialize innovations through new companies, grow
a competitive life science industry cluster, and be a leading
center of tech-based economic development.
www.emergingtech.org
Center for Entrepreneurship, St. Louis University
The goal of Saint Louis University’s Entrepreneurship Cen-
ter is to help entrepreneurs combine their business passion
with the planning skills taught in a world-class institution, to
produce high-performing organizations.
business.slu.edu/centers-of-distinction/
center-for-entrepreneurship
ITEN
A catalyst for tech startups in the St. Louis region, and a
provider of education and training programs at every stage
of the startup lifecycle.
www.itenstl.org
Innovate Venture Mentoring Services (IVMS)
IVMS provides mentoring teams for innovative start-up
ventures in all disciplines.
www.innovatevms.org
University of Missouri St. Louis
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Education
(CEEE) at UMSL addresses the vital need for economic
literacy by contributing to the understanding of economics,
personal finance, and entrepreneurship through education
and outreach to children and adults.
umsl.edu/~pcs/academic-units/
econ-ed.html#.UZKusCs4UyA
Washington University Skandalaris Center
The Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies serves
Washington University in St. Louis and the broader St. Lou-
is community, working to build an innovation environment
where ideas and people can connect and cause action that
changes lives.
sc.wustl.edu/Pages/default.aspx
MOSourceLink
MOSourceLink connects small business owners with a
network of nonprofit resource organizations that provide
business-building services. We facilitate the linking of these
resource organizations to one another and to established,
emerging and start-up small businesses throughout the
region.
www.mosourcelink.com
30 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 31St. Louis Tech Startup Report
APPENDIXAPPENDIX
Funding
Arch Grants
Arch Grants seeks to create a more robust startup culture
and infrastructure in St. Louis. To increase employment
growth and establish St. Louis as a place where entrepre-
neurs want to start and grow their businesses, Arch Grants
offers startups funding in the form of grants and supports
the startups as they remain or transition to downtown St.
Louis. The Arch Grants Business Plan Competition helps to
shape the image of St. Louis among aspiring entrepreneurs
and others looking to have a formative role in building a
new entrepreneurial climate in St. Louis.
www.archgrants.org
Billiken Angels
The goal of the Billiken Angels Network is to provide infu-
sions of expertise and capital to firms that show promise
to make a difference for the St. Louis economy and region.
BAN is willing to look at firms in all industries and evaluates
firms at all stages, not just start-ups.
www.billikenangels.com
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators provides tech startups with the funding,
resources, and connections they need to reach the next
level. The Capital Innovators Accelerator Program provides
seed funding, project-based mentorship from a seasoned
pool of knowledgeable entrepreneurs, stellar perks, net-
working, and follow-on funding opportunities over the
course of 12 weeks.
www.capitalinnovators.com
Cultivation Capital
Cultivation Capital is a venture capital firm managed by
a team of serial entrepreneurs. The firm invests in young
technology companies whose ideas have the potential to
disrupt the way we live and work. The goal of Cultivation
Capital is to take revenue-generating businesses to the next
level with expertise, guidance and funding.
www.cultivationcapital.com
Missouri Technology Corporation / IDEA Funds
The Missouri Technology Corporation funds several pro-
grams across the state of Missouri that support the growth
of innovative businesses.
www.missouritechnology.com/commercialization-programs
St. Louis Arch Angels
The mission of the St. Louis Arch Angels is to provide
opportunities for members to obtain outstanding financial
returns by investing in early-stage companies with high
growth potential in the St. Louis Region and accelerat-
ing them to market leadership. The Arch Angels are a part
of the St. Louis region’s seed to later stage equity capital
continuum and are targeting an investment range that is
generally underserved by institutional venture capital firms.
www.stlouisarchangels.com
Offices & General Resources
T-Rex
T-REx is a coworking space and technology incubator locat-
ed in the heart of downtown St. Louis. Facilities are located
in the historic Railway Exchange Building, which has been
converted into a hub for the St. Louis startup scene. T-REx
is home to a growing community of entrepreneurs, develop-
ers, designers, mentors, educators and more.
www.downtowntrex.com
Lab 1500
Lab1500 is an entrepreneurial center founded on the
principle that collaboration drives innovation. It is designed
to be a cool, comfortable place where members can utilize
co-working space, network with likeminded entrepreneurs,
and attend classes, workshops and events.
www.lab1500.com
Helix Center Biotech Incubator
The Helix Center Biotech Incubator offers affordable, high-
quality wet and dry lab and office space to bioscience,
technology, and plant and life science startups. The incuba-
tor for plant and life science companies is designed to help
emerging companies grow, graduate and flourish.
www.slcec.com/helix-center.html
ST. LOUIS TECH STARTUP REPORT SPONSORED BY:

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ITEN St. Louis Tech Startup Report

  • 1. ST. LOUIS TECH STARTUP REPORT Highlighting the history, growth, and outlook for tech industry startups in the St. Louis region
  • 2. This report is an attempt to cover as completely as possible the growth and overall status of the technology startup landscape in St. Louis, as of year end 2012. The report is based entirely on original data reported by the more than 250 startups that ITEN has tracked since 2008. ITEN accelerates tech startups with programs for rapid product development, connections to talent, essential networking, and access to funding. Designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, requiring neither payment nor equity, ITEN is a unique community asset building a new culture of innovation in St. Louis and beyond. ITEN can be found on the web at www.itenstl.org and @itenstl on twitter. About This Report About ITEN
  • 3. 5St. Louis Tech Startup Report INTRODUCTION Table of Contents BY JIM BRASUNAS — EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ITEN ITEN is very pleased to present the 2012 Tech Startup Report to the community, highlighting the explosive growth during 2012 in the Greater St. Louis region’s tech startup ecosystem. This report provides important data and insights about what’s happened, how we got here, and where we’re going. It is a very exciting journey that is still in its early stages. As you’ll see in the report, $30 million was invested in St. Louis-area tech deals in 2012. This is in addition to $40 million that had been put into deals during 2009-2011, according to ITEN’s data. We also would note that funding of St. Louis tech ventures is accelerating, coming from both existing investors, new investors and recently established investor groups. Beyond attracting increasing investments, more tech startup companies in St. Louis are entering into a fast-growth mode, characterized by growing revenue as well as quickly adding new employees. The impact of revenue growth and employee growth is just beginning to be felt in the region, and we anticipate that the accelerat- ing growth of these metrics will soon be making a material impact on the economy of the region. The growth in St. Louis’ startup tech sector has been remarkable, and 2012 was the most impressive year yet. Still, major challenges remain. In spite of the emergence of new funding vehicles, many worthy deals are challenged in find- ing seed capital and A Round funding. This short- age becomes more and more acute as the quality and volume of the deals produced in the tech sec- tor grows. We need to find solutions to this problem. Second, as the region’s tech companies grow and expand, we need to find ways to attract and train the talent that these new companies need. St. Louis has recently been named the fastest growing region for tech jobs. That’s a real honor and also a call to arms: we need to make sure tech talent is available to fuel the growth of tech companies. A scarcity of talent is potentially as challenging to our startup ecosystem’s success as a scarcity of capital. Ingredients for Continued Success There are several things we can learn from the success of startups in other cities. One is the need to develop greater collaboration between for-profit and not-for- profit organizations in the startup space. Each plays a number of essential roles. The missions and objectives of both interests align most of the time, but occasionally there are instances when they don’t align. In those times it’s very important that the interests of the entrepreneur are carefully considered, because at the core of every successful startup Tech Startups in St. Louis: The State of the Region INTRODUCTION EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / KEY TRENDS THE COMPANIES 05 08 10 THE MONEY HIRING AND JOB GROWTH APPENDIX 20 24 28
  • 4. 6 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 7St. Louis Tech Startup Report INTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTION ecosystem are serial entrepreneurs. Serial entrepreneurs are key to the region’s ability to learn how to create suc- cessful new ventures. Corporate involvement is critical. We look forward to increasing participation from the St. Louis corporate com- munity, and are beginning to see greater interest from established companies in how St. Louis tech startups can benefit them. Their role is important as early adopters of locally grown technology innovations, potential acquirers of tech startups, and as a source of and destination for the talented workforce needed by both startups and estab- lished companies. Our area’s universities are also vital to the success of the startup community, as a source of technology innova- tions, talented graduates and inspirational support and collaboration. With a continuing dedication from all parties for close collaboration to expand and improve the tech ecosystem, St. Louis has an opportunity to create a new culture of innovation and look forward to a brighter future. How We Got Here While this report focuses on 2012, it is worthwhile to glance back for a moment at the foundations that have en- abled our recent growth. Without these foundational efforts, our current progress would not have been possible. The Missouri Venture Forum was an early provider of connections for entrepreneurs and investors, and the InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum and the St. Louis Arch Angels have been supporting selected high-growth startups since the early 2000’s, although primarily in life sciences and medical device technology. In 2003, the Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) established the first IT-focused incubator in the region, producing compel- ling tech companies SliceHost, Global Velocity and others. Innovate St. Louis was formed in 2007 and launched its flagship mentoring program, the Venture Mentoring Service (IVMS). Based upon an MIT mentoring program, IVMS was a pioneer in offering incubator-quality mentor- ing without the need for a real estate component. Under the same Innovate St. Louis umbrella, ITEN was formed in 2008, thanks in a very large part to the support of the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC). ITEN’s model didn’t require an incubator and in focusing on tech compa- nies, leveraged the growing ubiquity of high-speed Internet access. The need for tech companies to be collocated with their server array had gone away, and startup companies were freed up to be anywhere. ITEN’s mission has been two-fold: first to be the cata- lyst for the emergence of a vibrant startup ecosystem that generates great tech startups; second, to identify gaps in the ecosystem and find ways to address those deficien- cies, through events, programs, other innovations, or the encouragement of partners who can provide the needed elements. In those early days, local tech entrepreneurs had a bleak notion of St. Louis. Many of them felt they were the only tech startup in town, there was no support for them in the community, and to find investors they’d eventually have to go to the west coast. The investors we connected with in those days had a predictably similar view: there were no interesting tech deals in St. Louis and they found their deals through relationships with investor groups from the west coast. So both were right, but only because they weren’t connected with each other. In those early days of 2008 and 2009, ITEN focused on building those connections that otherwise wouldn’t have existed. We used a combination of public and pri- vate events as well as trying to chart what was going on and who needed what on a huge excel spreadsheet. To really build a community, though, we soon needed men- tors. We looked for individuals who understood the tech startup landscape and/or could provide immediate value to entrepreneurs needing advice and direction. Most of the mentors we’ve brought in are serial entrepreneurs, tech investors and others currently working in the tech space with small, medium or large-scale enterprises. They have expertise across the board, not just in coding and big data applications but also marketing, sales, finance, operations, legal and other specialized needs. Near the end of 2009, we launched the Mock Angel program, which prepares our most promising ventures for investor discussions. The mentor group affiliated with this program includes a number of investors, serial entrepre- neurs and financial experts familiar with valuation issues for startups. This program has been very influential in the community and has produced many of the companies that are gaining great traction today. While we don’t credit all of their success to participation in this program, there is unanimous agreement among the graduates of Mock Angels that it has been of great value to them. We can proudly say that about three quarters of Mock Angel gradu- ates have received outside funding. This increasing quality deal flow provided opportunities for investors, and in the last couple of years we’ve wit- nessed not only heightened interest from the Arch Angels in tech deals, but also the founding of Capital Innova- tors in 2011, FinServe Tech Angels, and new investment programs from Arch Grants and Cultivation Capital in early 2012. Simultaneous with the founding of Capital Innova- tors, T-Rex opened its doors, providing affordable office space specifically for new tech startups. T-Rex is a huge success story with over 40 companies on two floors of the Railway Exchange building downtown. There’s no denying that with the advent of new players in the tech ecosystem, some jostling for branding space has occurred, but the overarching spirit of collaboration and cooperation has carried the day, and is a real hallmark of what’s right with the startup community in St. Louis. ITEN works very closely with all of the organizations mentioned, celebrating their successes as indications of the overall health of the community. Many of the startups on our Top Ten lists in this report have benefitted greatly from the sup- port of one and often two or three of these groups. For example, Yurbuds, Aisle411, Multicoreware, NorseCorp, Food Essentials, Lockerdome and others are emerging success stories that a number of organizations have helped. To quote a familiar saying, “It takes a village.” A recent reflection of that collaboration is the launch of the AccelerateStLouis website, enabling startups across all industry sectors to be recognized. Let’s end by coming back to our number one priority, and that’s the entrepreneur and her or his vision, dedica- tion, and team. Without the entrepreneur, investors, funds, and venture development organizations are all useless. As a community, we need to recognize that our region’s future depends upon the success of the pioneers who are creat- ing the successful new high-growth ventures. And as the community embraces entrepreneurship as a foundational element of what St. Louis must become, I believe we’ve shown that given great entrepreneurs (which we have!), our collaborative and growing support ecosystem can accelerate and multiply many times over the community impact and potential success of these new ventures. A few words about the data presented in this report. None of the data is from secondary sources, but all comes directly from the 250+ startups that participate or have participated in ITEN and have volunteered to share their information with us. Therefore, our report covers as com- pletely as possible the total number of tech startups in our region. We believe this study includes more than 80% of the high-growth tech startups in the region. Included are companies that have joined ITEN since our inception in 2008. Some very notable companies that were founded before that time, such as Appistry, Exegy, Global Velocity and others, while sometimes considered startups by oth- ers, are not included in our study. And finally, a lot has hap- pened since the end of 2012, and in some cases if we did our Top Ten lists today there would be changes. In many cases companies would move up the list because of their continuing successes into 2013, but as we’d expect, there are a couple that would be moving down. Please enjoy the progress we report herein. Feel free to quote or extract any of the information from the report; we only ask that you reference ITEN as the source. Here’s to our community’s continued success. — Jim
  • 5. SECTION TITLE 9St. Louis Tech Startup Report EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / KEY TRENDS The St. Louis tech startup community has reached a state of critical mass, and is poised for continuing growth. The ecosystem for tech startups in the St. Louis region, which has been under development for years, has taken firm root. More new tech companies than ever are being founded in St. Louis. Just as important, they are finding funding and talent in the region.And some companies are beginning to find exits through acquisition.Within ITEN, there are now more than 250 startups that count themselves as members -- a number that has doubled in less than two years. St. Louis tech startups have access to better resources than they have had at any time in the past. Access to money and employee talent are two of the most vital factors to fueling startup ex- pansion. Over the last two to three years in particu- lar, St. Louis has seen a significant increase in the number of organizations focused on helping tech startups through grants, funding, education and access to resources. A list of these organizations can be found in the Appendix. Many of these new efforts are derived from intensive and ongoing col- laboration among public and private entities across the St. Louis metropolitan area. Investors, both inside and outside of St. Louis, are paying significantly more attention to St. Louis tech startups. In 2012, there were several St. Louis-based, non-private sector organizations that invested in St. Louis tech startups. Many of these groups did not exist more than two years ago. Nearly all of these groups are growing and expand- ing their membership. The vast majority of St. Louis tech startups are founded by area natives. Well over 70 percent of the companies surveyed for this report were started by natives of the St. Louis Metro region, including the Metro East. Retaining and nurturing “home- grown” talent has been a priority topic among civic and business leaders for years. More of those who are passionate, ambitious and driven to realize their business idea or dream are choosing to chase that dream in St. Louis. More entrepreneurs from outside of St. Louis are starting and keeping their companies here, too. While St. Louis natives show well among ITEN companies, most of the companies in the ITEN Top 10 include founders who were not born in St. Louis. Even so, there is still work to be done to attract more entrepreneurs to get them to base their operations here, and the statistics show that it is happening. The region’s universities and more recently Arch Grants are playing important roles in attracting outside entrepreneurs. St. Louis tech startups are diverse. They can be found across industry segments and focus on very different products and services. St. Louis tech start- ups offer solutions in IT, healthcare, mobile, indus- trial/manufacturing, gaming, social media, “green” and clean energy tech, sports, and more. Key Trends in the St. Louis Tech Startup Community
  • 6. 11St. Louis Tech Startup Report THE COMPANIES Earlier this year, ITEN published its Top Ten, Next Ten, and Fast Ten lists of companies. Our “Top” lists seek to recognize and celebrate those early stage tech ventures that are getting the most traction, most likely to become a lasting success, and most likely to make significant contributions to the St. Louis region’s economic prosperity through the growth of well-paying jobs, and wealth creation for the founders and investors. Any yardstick is likely to favor some companies over oth- ers, and incomplete data from some makes it difficult to get an accurate view of their progress. Our lists of companies are subject to these challenges and although we’ve made every effort to create a level playing field, our method for creating our lists is inevitably going to reward one at the expense of another. For our Top Ten and Next Ten lists, as well as the industry-segmented lists of Top Threes in this report, we focus on these key metrics: total funds raised (from all sources including friends and family, grants, debt and equity from outside sources), current monthly revenue, and total employees (including founders working full time on the venture). We believe outside funding, customer revenue and employees hired are reasonable criteria to measure a ven- ture’s importance to the community. As a fourth consider- ation, we include the growth in those three primary metrics over the course of 2012. By doing so, we give added weight to the traction that companies are getting right now, and reward the ones that are growing rapidly. For our Fast Ten list, we look only at companies founded in 2010 or later, and give additional consideration to the growth in metrics during calendar year 2012. We think the companies on the Fast Ten list are ones most likely to emerge and make an impact in the next couple of years. We don’t consider factors such as the number of freemi- um (non-paying) customers, click throughs, site visits, visit durations, search engine rankings, etc. A final note: we are limited in our evaluations by the will- ingness of companies to share with us what is their propri- etary data. As you can see from our report and any of our other reports and publications, ITEN does not divulge any company-specific data. Some companies are more forth- coming than others and in a few cases this lack of willing- ness has had an impact on their rankings. Overview The growth in tech companies in St. Louis has been impressive and it has helped put us on the map nationally. Our reputation as a place that supports startups is well-founded, in no small part due to the excellent service provided by ITEN. This is truly a bright spot for the future of the St. Louis economy. DENNY COLEMAN, PRESIDENT & CEO ST. LOUIS COUNTY ECONOMIC COUNCIL
  • 7. 12 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 13St. Louis Tech Startup Report THE COMPANIESTHE COMPANIES ITEN Top Ten Yurbuds | www.yurbuds.com Yurbuds was founded in 2008 to solve the market need for a quality earphone/ headset solution for use with iPods™, cell phones, telemarketing headsets and all other types of earphone communication devices. MulticoreWare Inc. | www.multicorewareinc.com MulticoreWare Inc. is the leading provider of programmer productivity tools, libraries and application development services for homogeneous and heterogeneous multicore CPU and GPU architectures. NorseCorp | www.norse-corp.com NorseCorp, a leading innovator of IT security and fraud prevention solutions, is the only provider of live, actionable, cyber threat intelligence. The company’s patent-pending IPViking technology continuously monitors the Internet for hacker activity and high risk network traffic. Aisle411 Inc. | www.aisle411.com aisle411 collects, organizes and monetizes product inventory and location data through a mobile engagement platform, bringing simplicity to in-store search and navigation. Hexagrid Computing | www.hexagrid.com Hexagrid is a software company that has developed a software platform that specializes in building Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Clouds. FoodEssentials | www.foodessentials.com Food Essentials provides grocery retailers and brands with big data-driven infor- mation about ingredients and additives in food products, enabling them to target- market to consumers with dietary concerns. Trade Harbor | www.tradeharbor.com Trade Harbor is a pioneer in voice authentication services, focused on the bank- ing and financial transaction industries. LockerDome | www.lockerdome.com LockerDome is a social media platform for sports; it is one of the fastest growing online sports properties in the world. More than ten million people now use Lock- erDome to consume content and interact with like-minded people around their favorite sports interests. Virtual Nerd | www.virtualnerd.com Virtual Nerd is an engaging, interactive, intuitive software that utilizes video-based instruction to improve student achievement in mathematics. Mortgage Returns | www.mortgagereturns.com Mortgage Returns works with the data already captured within a mortgage com- pany’s back-end loan origination system. Based on each mortgage company’s unique database, Mortgage Returns prompts every loan officer in the company with the details on who to contact, when to contact them, and why. 1 6 2 7 3 8 4 9 5 10
  • 8. 14 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 15St. Louis Tech Startup Report THE COMPANIESTHE COMPANIES ITEN Next Ten Systematic Revenue | www.systematicrevenue.com Systematic Revenue provides growing businesses with an easy to use and affordable mar- keting automation system to consistently follow up with all of their prospects and customers in a meaningful and relevant way. BusyEvent | www.busyevent.com BusyEvent provides a comprehensive, mobile app-driven solution for event planning, execu- tion, exhibitor-to-attendee interactions and information, and follow-up big data intelligence. Makaboo Personalized Gifts | www.makaboo.com Makaboo is a high-quality online retailer of personalized baby and children’s gifts. Blendics | www.blendics.com Blendics makes software tools that allow designers of integrated-circuit systems to develop their products more rapidly and at less cost. Gremln | www.gremln.com Gremln offers a wide array of essential and intuitive features to help businesses make the most of their social media strategies. From message management and customer engage- ment to social analytics and education, Gremln’s unique feature set is specifically designed to help businesses master the social marketing landscape. Off Campus Media | www.offcampusmedia.com Off Campus Media, a proven college marketing company, leverages its national network of college student Ambassadors and proprietary technology to better understand and connect with millions of college students. OCM’s Bonfyre app enables immediate sharing among event-goers. BizMed | www.bizmedsolutions.com BizMed™ is supporting physicians in office-based practices by providing affordable knowledge, expertise and tools to simplify and manage the regulatory and business aspects of medical practices. Foxtrax Vehicle Tracking, Inc. | www.goxtraxgps.com Foxtrax Vehicle Tracking provides GPS vehicle tracking to small businesses. Greenvelope | www.greenvelope.com Greenvelope provides beautiful electronic invitations online that are delivered to guests in a personalized “envelope” for special occasions. Lifestream Communications | www.lifestreamcom.com Lifestream Communications is a provider of visual communications products (videoconferencing), streaming/archiving products and services to the healthcare industry.
  • 9. 16 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 17St. Louis Tech Startup Report THE COMPANIESTHE COMPANIES ITEN Fast Ten Splice Machine | www.splicemachine.com The Splice SQL Engine™ enables companies to unlock the insights in their Big Data and to put these insights into action in hyper-personalized web, social and mobile applications that increase customer retention and revenue. simMachines | www.simmachines.com simMachines provides a next generation database that is capable of answering similarity queries. Similarity queries enable the creation of next generation appli- cations. Our engine is not only the fastest available, it is also very easy to use. SirenGPS, LLC | www.sirengps.com Siren develops smartphone technology to connect you and your family to emer- gency services and information — making communities safer. Time to Cater | www.timetocater.com A national, web-based catering concierge service that connects BUSY people with the RIGHT caterer for their needs and budget to save them TIME and MONEY Evtron Inc. | www.evtron.com Evtron Inc. is an Information Technology corporation providing Enterprise Cloud Storage and Co-Location services. Dorsata, Inc. | www.dorsata.com Early stage HIT company focused on the development and implementation of clinical pathways. Dead Inventory Management System (DIMS) | www.deadinventorymanagement.com DIMS provides a platform for industrial concerns with excess inventory to find customers who need products or parts that are often discontinued or not available through conventional sales channels. Click With Me Now, Inc. | www.clickwithmenow.com Click With Me Now has the unique opportunity to engage with and provide ser- vices to EVERY person who uses a web browser! The Click With Me Now appli- cation is intuitive, requires no-downloads and best of all it’s free. Rollsale | www.rollsale.com RollSale is “rolling wholesale”, a new way of conducting wholesale operations via a transactional social network for used car dealers. Material Mix, LLC | www.materialmix.com Material Mix is a disruptive web-based exchange platform that commoditizes the trade of industrial byproducts within the current waste collection industry; helping waste and recycling professionals reduce operating expenses, recover investment on inventory, and monetize the trade of their recyclables. 1 6 2 7 3 8 4 9 5 10
  • 10. 18 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 19St. Louis Tech Startup Report THE COMPANIESTHE COMPANIES Top 5 States where Founders are originally from: Age of the Youngest Founders: Patents applied for: Patents granted: Ethnicity of the Founders: Gender of the Founders: Facts & Figures Segment Rankings There are 35 companies with a founder under the age of 25 Caucasian (82%) African American (9%) Asian (7%) Hispanic (1%) Other (1%) 25 73 12 79% male 21% female Women-Owned 1. Makaboo 2. BuildingWorks, LLC 3. Material Mix Minority-Owned 1. MulticoreWare Inc. 2. Hexagrid Computing, LLC 3. G2 Media Green Tech 1. FoodEssentials 2. BusyEvent 3. Greenvelope Security 1. NorseCorp 2. Parameter Security 3. Siren GPS Mobile 1. aisle411 2. Siren GPS 3. IDC Projects Social Media 1. LockerDome 2. Off Campus Media / Bonfyre 3. Dealie Do Sports 1. Yurtopia 2. LockerDome 3. LogYourRun The surge in start-up activity in St. Louis over the past two years and the growing number of high-quality deals have attracted the attention of national investors who are now finding it worth their while to visit our region. DONN RUBIN, CEO BioSTL Missouri (>80%) Illinois (5%) California (2%) Massachusetts, Michigan, Kansas, Washington (1%)
  • 11. 21St. Louis Tech Startup Report THE MONEY $30 million invested into St. Louis tech startups in one year is a major milestone and a great accomplish- ment for our region. This represents a steep increase over previous years, and more than 40% of the total in- vestment since ITEN started tracking such activity in 2008. Well over half of this new money has gone into a small handful of local deals, many of them listed in our Top Ten and Next Ten lists. This is to be expected, since investors will gravitate to the most compelling deals that are getting significant customer or investor traction. On the other hand, what’s most interesting is where the rest of the money is go- ing. We have indicated, through our Fast Ten list, that there are others outside of the spotlight getting investor interest. A successful ecosystem produces more than a small handful of great deals; a successful ecosystem is a living system that is supporting many deals at all stages of development. For the long-term health of the community, the increas- ing amount of money going into more earlier-stage deals is probably more significant in the long run than a well- known deal raising an additional one to two million dollars, because it shows that sustainable financing momentum is building from the bottom of the pyramid. Despite the fact that we still have many very interesting ventures having to look (and sometimes move) to other parts of the country, the trend is most definitely going in the right direction. St. Louis now offers multiple options for seed funding for tech deals, and more than one way of raising up to $500K to $1M in funding. Beyond that level, the going gets tougher and there’s no question we need more access to funding for A rounds. A continuing quality deal flow will help attract funding alternatives, and the outlook is bright in the intermediate and long term. Meanwhile, today’s deals will still need to work hard to find local financing at those levels. Overview It is truly impressive to see the critical mass that we seem to be reaching on the information technology startup scene in St. Louis. The advent of new Angel investors, venture funds, and T-Rex, coupled with ITEN’s continued commitment to mentoring and preparing our startups for funding, is really paying dividends. I look forward to continued positive momentum, the success of our startups and the positive impact it has on our community. MARK SHOWERS, CIO REINSURANCE GROUP OF AMERICA
  • 12. 22 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 23St. Louis Tech Startup Report THE MONEYTHE MONEY Monthly Combined Revenue of All ITEN Companies: Money Invested in All ITEN Companies (Cumulative Total): Outside Funding Sources (Percentage of Sources): Revenue Funding 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 2012201120102009 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 2012201120102009 Friends and Family (52%) Angel Investors (23%) Accelerators (9%) Grant Funding (7%) Customer Funding (2%) Other (7%) Of all ITEN member companies: ■ 30% have generated revenue ■ 1 in 4 raised outside funding Of active companies: ■ 35% have revenue ($200 to $1M per month) ■ Half have raised outside funding (a couple thousand to multiple millions) ■ Of those companies raising money, 43% have revenue Of companies that have ceased operations: ■ 1 in 6 had revenue ■ 1 in 12 had raised outside funding ■ Of those raising money, 8% had revenue Key Facts & Figures Information technology is dominating a revolutionary culture of entrepreneurism in the St. Louis region. Hundreds of high-quality enterprises are emerging, brilliant opportunities encouraged by robust mentoring from entities such as ITEN, exciting new sources of initial financing like Arch Grants and several capital enterprises.Yet we, the nation and world are at an early stage of the transforming influence of this limitless technology. Our regional challenge is to continue to encourage this fragile development, in part by ensuring the availability of substantial scaling capital. DR. BILL PECK, CHAIRMAN INNOVATE ST. LOUIS Total Invested (in Millions) Monthly Revenue (in Millions) $5.2M $70.6M $40.3M $28M $17.5M $3.5M $1.2M $819K
  • 13. 25St. Louis Tech Startup Report HIRING AND JOB GROWTH St. Louis is rapidly gaining traction as a hot city for interesting and talented technology employees. A recent report on the tech job site Dice.com lists St. Louis as the country’s top city in year-over-year growth in tech jobs. ITEN is seeing these opportunities within our start- ups in the data gathered in 2012. The rapid growth in job creation numbers from ITEN startups validates these high national rankings. In polling ITEN client companies for their potential future job openings, ITEN is seeing preliminary data on how to better address talent gaps in the region. The needs of tech startups are heavily based in technical areas with over 32% of our startups planning to hire more coders, programmers, and designers. However, startups clearly see the need for customer acquisition and market awareness as well. The next highest sectors of projected needs for ITEN startups come in the form of Sales (20%) and Marketing (19%). The data coming from startups clearly dictates that the region needs to continue to keep focus on attracting and retaining talent in many forms, to keep up the healthy growth we are seeing in the tech startup ecosystem. Overview The growth in entrepreneurial activity in St. Louis over the last 18 months has been nothing short of explosive. This is especially true in the tech space. I credit the amazing community effort being put forth. With everyone pulling together toward a common goal under the “all boats rise” theory, our ability to achieve success is limitless. It makes me proud to be a St. Louisan! JUDY SINDECUSE, CEO / MANAGING PARTNER CAPITAL INNOVATORS
  • 14. 26 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 27St. Louis Tech Startup Report HIRING AND JOB GROWTHHIRING AND JOB GROWTH Overall Growth in New Full Time Employees: Top Positions/Areas of Expertise Desired Number of employees companies are planning to hire in 2013: Key Facts & Figures 185 425Employees expected to be hired in 6 months Employees expected to be hired in 12 months 0 200 400 600 800 1000 201220112010 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 OtherHRLegalFinanceC-levelOperationsMarketingSalesTech Company Quotes St. Louis’ tech startup scene is exploding. The talent, financial resources, and overall support have all come together at just the right time, allowing LockerDome to build a world-class company right here in St. Louis. GABE LOZANO, CEO / CO-FOUNDER LOCKERDOME Building Norse from St. Louis was not easy as we started in early 2010 before many of the programs now available were present, outside of ITEN and the Capital Innovators accelerator, of which we were in its inaugural class. That said, I am very excited to see the rising start-up scene with programs to support entrepreneurs as they grow their companies. The T-Rex offices downtown are buzzing, and a great indicator of these programs result- ing in success. SAM GLINES, CEO NORSECORP The St Louis start-up community has all of the pieces of a larger, more sophisticated market, but maintains the straight-talking Midwest flavor. This community is full of very smart, genuinely nice people who really want you to succeed even if they don’t have a financial interest. They also don’t mind telling you when they think you are on the wrong track – which is just as valuable. PAUL RAUNER SirenGPS When I see the Gateway Arch monument, I can relate to the pioneers that came to St. Louis as part of the westward expansion of the United States. In a similar way, I came to St. Louis to conquer digital lands, to elucidate business applications of similarity search and pattern recognition. DR. ARNOLDO MULLER-MOLINA, FOUNDER, DATA SCIENTIST simMACHINES 850 601 455 32% 20% 19% 9% 8% 6% 4% 2% < 1%
  • 15. 29St. Louis Tech Startup Report APPENDIX For a complete list of resources, both in state and out of state, please go to www.itenstl.org/useful-links Education & Development Accelerate St. Louis AccelerateStLouis.org is a one-stop website that connects entrepreneurs to resources and investors who can help them in launching and growing their businesses in the St. Louis region. www.acceleratestlouis.org Center for Emerging Technologies The Center for Emerging Technologies (CET) provides the specialized facilities, knowledgeable support services, entrepreneur training programs, and access to capital needed to establish and develop next generation medical and other advanced technology companies. CET has been a key member of a St. Louis public-private-three university partnership focused on creating all of the elements needed to commercialize innovations through new companies, grow a competitive life science industry cluster, and be a leading center of tech-based economic development. www.emergingtech.org Center for Entrepreneurship, St. Louis University The goal of Saint Louis University’s Entrepreneurship Cen- ter is to help entrepreneurs combine their business passion with the planning skills taught in a world-class institution, to produce high-performing organizations. business.slu.edu/centers-of-distinction/ center-for-entrepreneurship ITEN A catalyst for tech startups in the St. Louis region, and a provider of education and training programs at every stage of the startup lifecycle. www.itenstl.org Innovate Venture Mentoring Services (IVMS) IVMS provides mentoring teams for innovative start-up ventures in all disciplines. www.innovatevms.org University of Missouri St. Louis The Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Education (CEEE) at UMSL addresses the vital need for economic literacy by contributing to the understanding of economics, personal finance, and entrepreneurship through education and outreach to children and adults. umsl.edu/~pcs/academic-units/ econ-ed.html#.UZKusCs4UyA Washington University Skandalaris Center The Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies serves Washington University in St. Louis and the broader St. Lou- is community, working to build an innovation environment where ideas and people can connect and cause action that changes lives. sc.wustl.edu/Pages/default.aspx MOSourceLink MOSourceLink connects small business owners with a network of nonprofit resource organizations that provide business-building services. We facilitate the linking of these resource organizations to one another and to established, emerging and start-up small businesses throughout the region. www.mosourcelink.com
  • 16. 30 St. Louis Tech Startup Report 31St. Louis Tech Startup Report APPENDIXAPPENDIX Funding Arch Grants Arch Grants seeks to create a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in St. Louis. To increase employment growth and establish St. Louis as a place where entrepre- neurs want to start and grow their businesses, Arch Grants offers startups funding in the form of grants and supports the startups as they remain or transition to downtown St. Louis. The Arch Grants Business Plan Competition helps to shape the image of St. Louis among aspiring entrepreneurs and others looking to have a formative role in building a new entrepreneurial climate in St. Louis. www.archgrants.org Billiken Angels The goal of the Billiken Angels Network is to provide infu- sions of expertise and capital to firms that show promise to make a difference for the St. Louis economy and region. BAN is willing to look at firms in all industries and evaluates firms at all stages, not just start-ups. www.billikenangels.com Capital Innovators Capital Innovators provides tech startups with the funding, resources, and connections they need to reach the next level. The Capital Innovators Accelerator Program provides seed funding, project-based mentorship from a seasoned pool of knowledgeable entrepreneurs, stellar perks, net- working, and follow-on funding opportunities over the course of 12 weeks. www.capitalinnovators.com Cultivation Capital Cultivation Capital is a venture capital firm managed by a team of serial entrepreneurs. The firm invests in young technology companies whose ideas have the potential to disrupt the way we live and work. The goal of Cultivation Capital is to take revenue-generating businesses to the next level with expertise, guidance and funding. www.cultivationcapital.com Missouri Technology Corporation / IDEA Funds The Missouri Technology Corporation funds several pro- grams across the state of Missouri that support the growth of innovative businesses. www.missouritechnology.com/commercialization-programs St. Louis Arch Angels The mission of the St. Louis Arch Angels is to provide opportunities for members to obtain outstanding financial returns by investing in early-stage companies with high growth potential in the St. Louis Region and accelerat- ing them to market leadership. The Arch Angels are a part of the St. Louis region’s seed to later stage equity capital continuum and are targeting an investment range that is generally underserved by institutional venture capital firms. www.stlouisarchangels.com Offices & General Resources T-Rex T-REx is a coworking space and technology incubator locat- ed in the heart of downtown St. Louis. Facilities are located in the historic Railway Exchange Building, which has been converted into a hub for the St. Louis startup scene. T-REx is home to a growing community of entrepreneurs, develop- ers, designers, mentors, educators and more. www.downtowntrex.com Lab 1500 Lab1500 is an entrepreneurial center founded on the principle that collaboration drives innovation. It is designed to be a cool, comfortable place where members can utilize co-working space, network with likeminded entrepreneurs, and attend classes, workshops and events. www.lab1500.com Helix Center Biotech Incubator The Helix Center Biotech Incubator offers affordable, high- quality wet and dry lab and office space to bioscience, technology, and plant and life science startups. The incuba- tor for plant and life science companies is designed to help emerging companies grow, graduate and flourish. www.slcec.com/helix-center.html
  • 17. ST. LOUIS TECH STARTUP REPORT SPONSORED BY: