In 2014 Arch Grants and ITEN

22
1
2014 Year in Review
About this
Report
2
The St. Louis Tech Startup Report: 2014 Year in Review is an
overview and summary of the tech startup ecosystem in the Greater
St. Louis Metropolitan Area. This report reflects our best efforts to
capture information about the growth, evolution and current state
of technology startups in the St. Louis region for the calendar year
2014. The report is based entirely on original data gathered from
more than 310 active startups in the St. Louis region.
2Introduction
3
Key Trends
4
The Money
6
Jobs & Hiring
9
Inclusion Initiative
We would also like to give special thanks to these following
organizations, who have given us tremendous help and support in
the creation of this report:
11
The Companies
ITEN has got to be the best resource
12
ITEN Top Ten
for tech entrepreneurs in St. Louis. Our
14
ITEN Fast Ten
business has benefited beyond what
16
Segment Rankings
17
St. Louis: Hub of Innovation
19
Letter from Our Chairman
20
St. Louis Tech Startup Ecosystem
we could have anticipated. The one-onone mentorship with Chuck Vallurupalli
has helped me grow as person and an
entrepreneur. The hard work preparing,
giving, and redoing our presentation
for Mock Angels was worth the long
hours. Because of the mentorship, training,
and programs offered by ITEN we are not
only well-established and plugged into the
tech ecosystem in St. Louis we also have
raised over $175K only a few months after
the Mock Angel program. Great team at JIM KOETTING
About ITEN
ITEN with real wisdom! FOUNDER & CEO,
The catalyst for tech startups in St. Louis, ITEN provides unique 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.
ITEN can be found on the web at www.itenstl.org and @itenstl on Twitter.
PFITR
1
Introduction
Key Trends
Welcome to the 2014 St. Louis Tech Startup Report! ITEN is
01 Entrepreneurs are
getting smarter.
No question about it. Since we started ITEN seven years ago, the understanding of the typical
first-time entrepreneur about the challenges that lie ahead, while far from complete, has
increased significantly. It’s because there’s so much more information available to wannabe
entrepreneurs, coupled with the work that universities, ITEN, and other support organizations
have done over the years. Because of this, the quality of deals is also on the rise.
02 Entrepreneurship has gone
mainstream.
It’s become a common area of focus across the country, and in many places around the world.
Many cities and large corporations have recently established or expanded programs focused
on fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. The 1 Million Cups program has expanded
to over 50 cities with over 2500 entrepreneurs taking part each week at sites all around
the country. And check out the long list of cities from around the world that have a Startup
Digest edition: that publication is adding one or two cities a week. Regions are realizing that
economic development will increasingly come from innovation and entrepreneurship, and
what better place to find both of those than in their local startup community?
03 Inclusion is Mandatory.
Regional development requires that all ideas and viewpoints have a legitimate, respected
place at the table. Assuming this exists automatically can really hold back a region’s success.
The St. Louis region has finally seen a dramatic increase in intentional efforts focused on equal
access to knowledge, networking and opportunities within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Inclusion is key to retaining and attracting the diversity essential for long-term success.
pleased to present this year in review, highlighting the exciting growth
and activity in our region.
2
In this report we look at the year that
on expanding innovation to include all
investors. We look forward to playing an
was, point out some key trends and
populations and technology clusters.
essential role in making St. Louis a hub
statistics from the region’s tech startup
These efforts included the BioSTL-led
of innovative startup activity for years
companies, as well as highlight our Top
inclusion initiative and the development
to come.
Ten and Fast Ten companies for 2014.
of new accelerators to spur this trend
This year there are lots of changes
along. Prosper Capital was established
on both of those lists. We have a new
to help fund and support emerging
#1 in our Top Ten list as Yurbuds, last
companies with female leadership.
year’s #1, was acquired by Harman
The Yield Lab was developed as an
International Industries. ITEN’s ever
accelerator to focus on opportunities in
popular startup community map is in the
the AgTech space. These accelerators
Report as well---new and improved to
along with Captial Innovators, SixThirty,
reflect some of the expanded offerings
Arch Grants, the St. Louis Arch Angels,
to entrepreneurs in 2014.
the Billiken Angel Network, and
Cultivation Capital continue to attract and
There was certainly a lot to celebrate
keep funded companies in our region.
Enjoy the 2014 Tech Startup Report!
04 IT is the key to a progressive
future.
In this technology-driven world we live in, it is not an understatement to say that all industries
require computer and IT skills, and demand for expertise in this area is only going to increase.
Strong STEM educational priorities and enlightened immigration policy are the bookends
for a ready and robust workforce. Our region must be focused like a laser on attracting and
developing the best programmers, developers and IT management talent. Can we lead in
Cybersecurity, Healthcare IT, Ag Tech, Internet of Things, and Financial Tech? Let’s go for it!
05 Undercapitalization:
Get used to it!
The good news is that there’s more money available to tech startups in St. Louis than ever
before. And with the announcement of new funds being created, that good news is getting
even better. Still, the reality is there is not enough money to support all of the good deals,
and those that do get support often won’t get enough. For many entrepreneurs the choices
will be to die on the vine, move to where the money is, or find new ways to do more with less.
Our new ventures are often competing with inferior, but better-funded, solutions from the
coasts. How are we going to solve this conundrum?
FRANCIS CHMELIR
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, ITEN
in 2014. More companies received
funding than ever and the total dollars
2014 proved to be an historic and
invested continues to rise, with over
expansive year for ITEN as well. ITEN
$155.1M invested into our tech startups
graduated 13 companies from our Mock
in 2014. In addition to Yurbuds, another
Angel program up from our total of 8 in
homegrown company-Answers.com, was
2013. We grew our staff to 5 FTEs and
acquired by Apax Partners in a huge
6 Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs).
deal. Innovation and entrepreneurship
Our EIRs continue to give direction and
became mainstream parts of the St.
insight to our programming that has only
Louis economy and beyond. Corporate
gotten better since their involvement. We
partners in the region such as Anheuser-
moved our monthly 2nd Thursday event
Busch, Boeing, and Purina highlighted
to Venture Café, enabling us to greatly
their innovation programs, in some
expand our programming and networking
cases even locating their innovation
opportunities for the tech community.
06 Corporations are coming to
the party.
07 Collaboration is
our differentiator.
teams inside incubators like T-REX or CIC
in the Cortex district.
We approach 2015 with hopeful
optimism for more successful exits
In 2014, a strong emphasis was placed
for our region’s entrepreneurs and
JIM BRASUNAS
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ITEN
Regional corporations are recognizing the tech startup community as a source of business
solutions, talent, and new innovations. We need to unlock this potential, and there are
definite signs it could kick into high gear in 2015. B2B startups need to find their first
customers. Here’s a prediction: The day is coming when local corporations will line up to
review new solutions arising from our own tech startups.
Most cities of any size now have entrepreneurial activity, some more than others, but you’d
be hard-pressed to find a city with nothing going on. When we compare statistics with
other cities, some will show St. Louis is doing well and occasionally some won’t. At ITEN we
measure ourselves against ourselves: how we’re progressing from year to year and driving
innovation ever deeper into our regional culture. What makes St. Louis special, and what has
led more than anything else to the dramatic rise of entrepreneurship in our city is the spirit
of all for one and one for all that permeates the tech ecosystem. For-profits and not-forprofits working hand in hand; individuals seeking to “give first” and trust that the future will
be brighter for all. This is the Spirit of St. Louis at its best, and it will carry us far as we work
together, honoring the efforts of each individual and each organization.
3
The Money
Combined Monthly Revenue of ITEN Network Companies ($M)
8
7.5
7
4
Interesting Trend
The St. Louis tech scene continued to
Momentum continues on the
gain momentum in 2014. According
accelerator and seed investment front
Amount of SelfFunding in ITEN
Companies
to CB Insights, St. Louis was the fastest
as well. Two new startup accelerators,
growing area for funding in 2014 and,
Prosper and Yield Labs, announced that
to quote Tech Cocktail’s recent report,
their first cohorts will begin in 2015.
“St. Louis’s tech ecosystem has not
With the addition of those accelerators,
just grown over the past few years –
along with SixThirty, Capital Innovators
it actually blew up”. This is amazing
and Arch Grants, 60 companies will
considering where we were just a few
receive between $50,000 and $100,000
years ago.
in funding from those programs in
2014: $3.5M
2013: $3.8M
2012: $4.1M
Funding for tech companies more
than doubled between 2013 and 2014,
increasing from $66 million to over
$155 million, and experienced nearly a
2015. St. Louis has led the way in the
in number of accelerators, trailing only
California, New York and Texas.
As indicated by the 2014 numbers, St.
total number of companies being funded
Louis continues to provide tremendous
continues to grow, too. In all, at least 77
opportunity for startup tech companies.
tech startups were funded in 2014, with
It is growing at a pace that few
17 receiving $1 million or more and 26
envisioned. National press and the
receiving at least $500,000.
increased interest by outside venture
develop, it must have exits and create
additional funding sources. Both
happened in 2014. The two biggest
5.0
5
4
3.5
3
2
1.2
state with Missouri now ranking fourth
5x growth over the last two years. The
For an ecosystem to continue to
5.9
6
1
0
2010
high-growth business in the Midwest, if
2012
2013
400
not in the nation.
350
55
exits in 2014 were the Answers.com
acquisition by Apax and the Yurbuds
acquisition by Harmon Industries. From
HAL GENTRY
a capital perspective, Cultivation Capital
GENERAL PARTNER AT
announced its second fund of $40
SIXTHIRTY FINTECH,
million and I anticipate other funds to
be announced in early 2015. St. Louis
PROSPER, AND
companies once again attracted outside
CAPITAL INNOVATORS
venture capital from premier firms
292.4
300
155.1
250
200
150
66.7
such as Bessemer Venture Partners,
Interwest Partners, Mohr Davidow
Venture Partners, and LightSpeed
Venture Partners making investments.
Angel investing groups and the Missouri
Technology Corporation (MTC) continued
their funding pace, maintaining the
records set in 2013.
2014
Money Invested in St. Louis Tech Startup Companies (Current Year’s Increase in Red) ($M)
capital groups confirms that St. Louis
is one of the premiere places to start a
2011
137.3
100
30.3
50
0
28
28
2010
2011
70.6
40.3
2012
2013
2014
Number of Employees Tech
Startups Expect to Hire
Jobs & Hiring
“2014 has been a very
good year for the tech
community in St. Louis. St. Louisans have realized
exits at companies like
backed companies have
6
It’s also why our economic development
the St. Louis region! We saw so many
team has increased our commitment to
of our most promising startups take
Accelerate STL. This platform showcases
off and new ones pour into
the robust startup activity in our region.
2014: 259
the region.
It’s giving people around the world an
2015: 429
2013: 185
idea of what it means to start and grow a
Answers, Yurbuds and
ShipWorks, and venture-
1ST 6 MONTHS OF YEAR:
This was the year of momentum in
As I walked the floor of a recent startup
CLIFFORD HOLEKAMP
been very successful at SENIOR LECTURER IN
raising additional rounds ENTREPRENEURSHIP
of financing at increased DIRECTOR OF THE
valuations.” ENTREPRENEURSHIP
PLATFORM
business in St. Louis.
event next to a local venture capitalist,
he remarked, “I don’t know a single
This is just a fraction of what is ahead for
company in here and I love it.”
the tech sector in St. Louis. CNBC just
2013: 425
2014: 539
named St. Louis a top tech hub to watch.
The growth of tech entrepreneurship
We agree and look forward to much
is one of the strongest economic
success in the future.
FULL YEAR
Hiring Fields
2015: 878
2%
2%
drivers in the St. Louis region. Tech
OLIN BUSINESS
workers command high salaries and
SCHOOL
as a result many other businesses
WASHINGTON UNIVER-
thrive when new IT professionals
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
SITY IN ST. LOUIS
move to St. Louis. These workers also
ST. LOUIS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
bring an enhanced vibrancy to the
PARTNERSHIP
DENNY COLEMAN, CECD, FM, HLM
3%
3%
26%
5%
neighborhoods where they reside.
This past year we saw Boeing relocate an
entire IT division to St. Louis and some
7%
of our fastest growing tech startups
such as LockerDome, Aisle 411 and Pixel
Press hiring. We are proud of the work
7
ITEN is doing to make St. Louis a national
leader in technology jobs. Smart people
find a great quality of life in this region.
7%
That is a winning combination.
Supporting the tech community is a
top priority. This past year we helped
connect local tech CEOs to the leaders
of Southwest Airlines. They wanted
7%
a non-stop flight to San Francisco to
increase fundraising and recruiting. Not
16%
only did they get it, but through the St.
Louis Regional Chamber, Southwest
invited a group of top startups on the
inaugural St. Louis to San Francisco flight
8%
to celebrate the new route.
14%
Inclusion
Initiative
Total Full Time Employees of ITEN Network Companies
1200
1073
1000
835
800
600
827
corporations of international stature. However, St. Louis has lacked
the required infrastructure, entrepreneurial culture and ecosystem
601
400
200
8
0
2011
For a long time St. Louis has been home to universities and
2012
2013
2014
350
386
300
“The entrepreneur
ecosystem in St.
Louis is incredible. HealthyMe wouldn’t
250
As one of many activities to help
The St. Louis startup ecosystem’s
address this need, BioSTL developed
commitment to becoming more inclusive
and launched the Bioscience &
was demonstrated by the fact that more
Entrepreneurial Inclusion initiative in
than 30 vendors and Entrepreneur
2008, and began programing efforts
today without
the support and
mentorship of key
programs like ITEN,
During a seminar in August, we hosted
underrepresented minorities interested
55 attendees for a more in-depth look at
in starting or expanding a high growth
building a bioscience startup. The seminar
business in the biosciences and tech
led many of our meeting participants
industries. Through a strategic pathway
to apply for Cortex’s new Square One
and strong collaborations with partners
program; a 10-week business “boot
including ITEN, our programming
camp” designed to support first-time
provided opportunities for engagement,
entrepreneurs here in our region.
Opportunities in Bioscience: Business &
100
50
Networking Forum”, was a huge success,
109
attracting more than 200 attendees. We
57
hosted two additional events during the
summer with the intended goals of
0
BioGenerator and
Capital Innovators. 2011
2012
2013
2014
raising awareness about the
In fact, HealhyMe’s
overall bioscience industry
our CEO. Can’t
highlighting entrepreneurs
ITEN mentor is now DANA FOWLER
beat that for an
endorsement.”
FOUNDER &
PRESIDENT,
HEALTHYME
currently building high growth
businesses
MOBILE
exposing participants to our
SOLUTIONS
region’s entrepreneur resources
and organizations
mobile app designed to assist patients
In 2015, we look to continue
our inclusion efforts and bring
additional programing to women and
underrepresented minorities. We are
Support Organizations (ESO) participated already working more closely with ITEN
in these two events.
to plan a wide range of activities for the
ecosystem to high potential women and
The inaugural event: “Creating
150
handling robot for industrial and
with medicine adherence.
for participants.
be where it is
bioplastics 3D printing and material-
business community.
training and access to various resources
252
200
developing an advanced biotissue and
biomedical applications; and RXplain—a
introduce the St. Louis entrepreneurial
400
include: Square Fruit Labs—a company
to fully capitalize on its potential as a multi-dimensional, thriving
in 2014. The goal of this program is to
Total Part Time Employees of ITEN Network Companies
companies that cross both industries
We are thrilled to report that out
of the 33 participants selected for
this inaugural boot camp class, onethird participated in our Bioscience &
year. As bioscience and IT fields become
increasingly linked, we find these
collaborations extremely valuable. We
must work together to develop highly
talented professionals and support their
entrepreneurial endeavors to create
high growth ventures that ultimately
will increase the level of innovation and
opportunities in our region. If everyone
in the startup community is able to
work together to achieve that goal, St.
Louis will remain on track to be one of
America’s top innovation hubs.
Entrepreneurial Inclusion programming.
The Square One program offered three
tracks for those selected to participate:
DR. CHERYL WATKINS-MOORE
bioscience, IT, and consumer/advanced
DIRECTOR, BIOSCIENCE &
manufacturing. Square One provided
free formal instruction, hands-on
learning, expert assistance, and
networking in a supportive environment
for budding entrepreneurs.
It was clear through the diversity of
ideas and technologies represented
in the Square One program that
there is a strong connection between
the biosciences and IT. Examples of
ENTREPRENEURIAL INCLUSION
BIOSTL
9
ITEN COMPANIES
22% MINORITY-OWNED
20% WOMEN-OWNED
8% IMMIGRANT-OWNED
5% VETERAN-OWNED
LAUNCHCODE PARTICIPANTS
10
42% PREVIOUSLY UNEMPLOYED
30% MINORITY
23% WOMEN
The
Companies
“Our region will grow by
finding and encouraging
entrepreneurs from all parts
of the community. As we seek
out immigrant and other
minority entrepreneurs, we
bring them into the network
of entrepreneurial resources
to encourage their success.
Inclusion initiatives like
SQUAREONE PARTICIPANTS
of new opportunities, both
36% UNDERREPRESENTED
POPULATIONS
PROSPER WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
31 MASTERMIND GROUP
PARTICIPANTS
60 YOUTH & COLLEGIATE
#PROSPERNEXT EVENTS PARTICIPANTS
70 ENTREPRENEUR RESOURCE
EVENTS PARTICIPANTS
creating the entry funnel
for the region and for those
individuals themselves. St.
Louis Mosaic Project provides
inclusion initiatives so that our
region benefits from the many
immigrant entrepreneurs in
our community.”
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ST.
LOUIS MOSAIC PROJECT
Louis that didn’t make this list. That in
ventures that are bringing new ideas
no way means that they aren’t destined
to market, reshaping industries, and
for great success. The bar is being
ultimately creating something of lasting
raised every year by the rapid growth
value. The St. Louis region is blessed with
of our top companies, and the honor of
numerous emerging companies that are
being mentioned as one of St. Louis’ Top
not just growing, but thriving. Once again
Ten startup tech ventures means more
we honor these great ventures in our Top
this year than ever before.
2014.
For our Fast Ten list, we look only at
companies founded in 2013 or later, and
“Due to the
diligent work of
These lists recognize and celebrate the
look particularly to their growth during
tech ventures that are getting the most
2014. We believe that some of the
traction, most likely to become lasting
companies on the Fast Ten list are likely
successes, and most likely to make
to emerge and make a major impact in
significant contributions to the St. Louis
coming years.
region’s economic prosperity.
ITEN and other
supporters of the
For our Top Ten list and the industry
ecosystem, Stone
on the following key metrics: total
segment lists in this report, we focus
funds raised (from all outside sources
Carlie enjoyed
BETSY COHEN
There are great tech ventures in St.
community are the entrepreneurs and
Ten, Fast Ten, and Segment Rankings for
the one that ITEN helps
lead, are so important for
The most vital ingredients in a startup
including but not limited to friends and
a large increase
family, grants, debt and equity), current
in start-up
(including founders working full time on
monthly revenue, and total employees
the venture). These three factors are
companies that
the main criteria we use to measure
we serve during
a venture’s impact on the community.
2014 and expect
in these three primary metrics during
We give additional weight to the growth
2014. Thus we assign more importance
a similar increase
in 2015.”
in our ratings to the traction that
MARIE CARLIE, CPA
companies are getting right now.
SENIOR MEMBER,
STONE CARLIE
Note: The data above is not mutually exclusive.
Note: Due to the proprietary nature of most of the data used in our
rankings, we rely heavily on the companies to provide that information to
ITEN on a confidential basis. Therefore, limited or absent data may affect
a company’s inclusion or ranking in the list.
11
02
05
07
Splice Machine
FoodEssentials
Aisle411
Click With Me Now
www.splicemachine.com
www.foodessentials.com
www.aisle411.com
www.clickwithmenow.com
Splice Machine provides the only Hadoop RDBMS.
FoodEssentials’ LabelINSIGHT is the food
Aisle411 is the leading local and indoor location
Re-humanizing the online channel with the easiest
It is designed to scale real-time applications using
industry’s most powerful and innovative product
commodity hardware without application rewrites,
insight exchange, providing manufacturers
providing companies with a high-performance,
and retailers a live view into the grocery
massively scalable database for applications that
marketplace. LabelINSIGHT provides retailers
don’t require compromising SQL support, secondary
and suppliers with gold standard consumer-facing
merchandising insights.
connect online.
indexes, joins, and transactions.
product data, a transparent view in to the data for
Fun Facts
Fun Facts
2.3 million products are found in Aisle411’s product
Click With Me Now raised $2.45 million in 2014.
Fun Facts
Splice Machine is featured in Datamation’s top 20
Big Data Companies list.
12
the entire organization, and custom integration into
existing systems, taxonomies, and use cases.
Fun Facts
Splice Machine raised $18M in 2014.
FoodEssentials founders all grew up together in
Splice Machine has offices in both St. Louis and
Hong Kong.
San Francisco.
FoodEssentials has a presence in Australia, Hong
Kong, France, Chicago, and St. Louis.
platform powering over 13,000 retail stores with
indoor mapping, search, location and analytics
solutions that help retailers and brands drive
store visits, in-store shopper engagement, and
search engine.
30% of Aisle411 employees are female.
Aisle411 was officially founded in a Panera Bread
restaurant (locally-known as St. Louis Bread Co.) due
MulticoreWare Inc.
www.multicorewareinc.com
start-up incubator. MulticoreWare is the leading provider of programmer
01
Norse
www.norse-corp.com
Norse is the global leader in live attack intelligence.
Norse delivers continuously updated and unique
productivity tools, libraries and application
Hatchbuck
development services for homogenous and
www.hatchbuck.com
heterogeneous multicore CPU and GPU architectures.
Fun Facts
MulticoreWare launched a very successful HEVC
encoder product.
MulticoreWare is featured in 2014 Inc. 500 list,
test startups list.
crawlers, and agents deliver unique visibility into the
operate. The Norse DarkMatter™ network processes
www.lockerdome.com
hundreds of terabytes daily and computes over
LockerDome helps you personalize the web.
1,500 distinct risk factors, live, for millions of IP
Through lockerdome.com and LockerDome-
addresses and URLs every day. powered widgets, more than 75 million people per
Fun Facts
Norse has employees in 5 countries and 13 states.
Norse’s Global Infrastructure is attacked by
The Hatchbuck team grew 112% in 2014.
Hatchbuck grew their base of customers and in-
LockerDome
Internet - especially the darknets, where bad actors
into raving fans with our all-in-one sales & marketing
Fun Facts
04
tools. Norse’s globally distributed distant early
website visitors into handshakes, and customers
MulticoreWare was selected by EE Times for the hot-
warning grid of millions of dark sensors, honeypots,
they are spotted by traditional threat intelligence
ing efforts overnight. Turn emails into conversations,
platform. It’s time to grow.
detect and block attacks that other systems miss.
threats and tags nascent hazards long before
for small business that automates sales and market-
ranked at 110th.
Internet and darknet intel that helps organizations
The Norse DarkMatter™ platform detects new
Hatchbuck is simple sales and marketing software
month use the platform to discover, collect, and
engage around things they like.
Fun Facts
adversaries on average 6,000 times per second.
LockerDome has users in more than 100 countries.
Norse’s engineering team received 7 exotic sports
LockerDome employees once slept in the office for
car rentals as year-end bonuses, resulting in a pow-
81 days straight to finish a release.
erful recruiting video.
LockerDome raised $10M in 2014.
creased revenue by 300% in 2014. Hatchbuck is its own customer. The Hatchbuck team
uses Hatchbuck sales and marketing software to attract, capture, nurture and convert prospects
into customers. REALTIME, REPLAY & RECORD - all based on patentpending Collaborative Customer Interface Platform
– Click With Me Now is changing the way people
Click With Me Now has developed a second product
on its collaboration platform.
Click With Me Now has grown to 12 employees all
committed to “humanizing online communications”.
Observable Networks
www.observable.net
10,000 new products for a client.
06
& safest way to share the web! With products like:
to free Wi-Fi access and great food, a true St. Louis
Over one weekend, FoodEssentials collected over
03
09
08
TruQC
www.truqcapp.com
10
Observable Networks delivers critical threat defense
services based on dynamic endpoint modeling to
TruQC is a quality control and process
understand the behavior of all network devices
documentation app built for the iPad. Originally
and identify early stage and hidden indicators of
designed for industrial painters, TruQC is now
bringing QC and reporting tasks into the digital age
compromise.
for customers in an array of industries.
Fun Facts
Fun Facts
Observable Networks was listed as one of the “10
St. Louis hockey legend Barret Jackman is an investor in TruQC.
TruQC has been downloaded in 67 countries.
TruQC’s app is now available in Spanish. Honorable
Mentions
security startups to watch” by Network World.
These dynamic ventures just missed making
Observable performs nearly 2 billion device inspec-
the Top 10 (in alphabetical order):
13
tions per day for its current customers.
Observable Networks grew over 50% in employee
count in 2014.
Blendics
Bonfyre
BusyEvent
Gremln
Juristat
Kingdom Scene
Rovertown
02
04
www.Pushup.com
www.pfitr.com
Pushup Social
Pushup Social is a technology that allows a brand or
organization to create their own online community
on their existing website in a matter of minutes.
With Pushup, brands and organizations see a
higher return on the investments they are making
in building loyal fan bases, clients or supporters,
by engaging their community members directly on
their own website. Site owners can engage their
community, access analytics, moderate content,
14
PFITR
PFITR is a cloud-based software that helps public
treasurers across the country by improving
transparency, reducing risk, and improving cash
flow. Public treasurers are attracted to this new
technology because the streamlined iPad and
mobile application increases productivity and eliminates the need to print so many reports.
Fun Facts
Prattle Analytics was founded by Evan A. Schnidman
sized churches to efficiently and effectively manage
mobile, location aware, personalized, and
Ph.D. and William D. MacMillan Ph.D. to develop
and engage volunteer staff in real-time. iChurch is a
fun. Game changing analytics overlay engagement
and sell unique data products to the financial
mobile app that helps churches realize a reduction
tools (messaging, deals, automatic check-in, games
services industry. Prattle’s core data product utilizes
in costs and better forecasting/utilization of volun-
and rewards) in a unique way that enables local and
proprietary text analysis methods to generate
teer staff through the utilization of custom reports
national merchants to get new clients, and keep
quantitative data based on the sentiment of central
and analysis via mobile app.
them as profitable repeat customers. Consumers
bank communications. This data presents better
get valuable, personalized real-time information
than 70% correlations with fixed income, equity and
iChurch enables leadership at small to medium-
Fun Facts
Recent Washington University PMBA graduate
predict asset price movements and make informed
PFITR is the only start-up company that has gone
partners with an MIT Alum to design the UI/UX for
community members can now share photos, posts
investment decisions. Prattle Analytics central bank
through two start-up accelerator programs simulta-
the iChurch Volunteer Management App.
and much more as they interact on the website of
sentiment data is currently used by some of the
neously: Capital Innovators and SixThirty.
iChurch is 100% owned by an African-American,
the brand or organization they are passionate about.
largest hedge funds in the world. raised in the St. Louis region
The only pictures in PFITR’s offices are underwater
scenes, mostly ship wrecks.
Fun Facts:
Xooker will launch to 2.5 million opt-in mobile
subscribers and 3,500 Merchants.
Consumer choice rules with Xooker. Individual
Fun Facts
Pushup Social is undefeated in Ping Pong
consumers get targeted messages at times they
Both Prattle Analytics’ founders are recovering
tournaments, having defeated such powerhouses as
can best use them, for products, services, and
academics.
merchants they select.
As recovering academics, Evan and Bill have
With Xooker, a store or restaurant of any size can
benefited greatly from hiring their former students
have a branded game. to aid in their data development process.
Break”, hosted by small business expert Susan
Solovic. 05
Marketvolt
01
03
TopOpps
Pixel Press
www.Marketvolt.com
MarketVolt helps B-to-B, B-to-C, and nonprofit
businesses attract leads, engage prospects, convert
email marketing and other interactive technologies.
Businesses in the St. Louis region and across
the globe choose MarketVolt’s email software
creating new rewards that reinforce the user’s
MeterGenius is a customer engagement and
self-control. The main goal is to help users reduce
analytics platform that enables electricity suppliers
planning and execution of email campaigns, web site
their smartphone dependency by monitoring app
to provide residential customers tools and
development, social media, and offline marketing. usage on their smart devices, and identify potential
incentives to engage with and lower their electricity
areas for improvement. HealthyApp is targeting
usage. MeterGenius gives homeowners the ability
user groups such as parents who want to monitor
to track electricity consumption, create reminders
their kids, doctors who want to help their patients,
to help them change their behavior, set goals and
employers who need to manage their employees,
track their progress, compare themselves to similar
and self-motivated individuals who want to set up
neighbors, and earn points that can be redeemed
goals on a phone diet. It’s a secure and effective way
for smart and energy efficient appliances.
Fun Facts:
and enhance the sales process - while ensuring that
for audiences of all ages that leverage both the
everyone is following it. Sales management benefits
analytical & creative sides of the brain.
MarketVolt was first established in 2001 as
a product and service of Foundry Software
Fun Facts
Development Company before spinning out as an
mobile coaching and simplified updates. As a result
Pixel Press users have created over 100k games and
of the sales process optimization and streamlining,
published 13k games to the arcade.
MarketVolt can integrate seamlessly (without
TopOPPS moved twice in 2015 - first to Downtown
hair and rides his skateboard to work. If you see him
T-REX and then next door to the Curlee Building
downtown on his way in say hello!
MeterGenius
on MarketVolt’s marketing experts to assist with
building creative and fun mobile gaming experiences
Pixel Press’ newest developer, Mark has long blonde
www.healthyapphealthylife.com
automate marketing campaigns. They also can rely
Pixel Press is a technology company focused on
voiced by “Weird Al” Yankovic.
Technologies.
09
habit cycle, preventing overuse of target apps while
to optimize the sales process. It helps define, align,
The final boss, “The Doodle Wizard” of Pixel Press’
HealthyApp HealthyLife Studio
and affordable way to create, deliver, track and
TopOPPS uses advanced analytics and automation
new game in partnership with Cartoon Network is
07
HealthyApp is designed to break the smartphone
www.projectpixelpress.com
are more accurate. award winning company in the area TurnGroup
prospect.
because it gives them a powerful, easy-to-use
www.topopps.com
deals close faster, win rates increase, and forecasts
Keith Turner, the founder, previously founded an
One of Prattle’s data developers is a top NFL
Campaign Manager
sales, and maximize customer relationships, using
TopOPPS’ sales team’s theme song. Xooker is the next generation ad delivery platform:
www.ichurchphoneapps.com
currency markets allowing portfolio managers to
episode of AT&T’s new web series, “3:00 Inspiration
The song “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift is the
www.prattle-analytics.com
and have fun while they do.
Pushup Social will be featured in the upcoming first
founded Gainsight.
www.xooker.com
iChurch Phone Apps
about items and offers at their favorite merchants,
Nigeria and Denmark.
founders Jim Eberlin and Ted Stann. They previously
Prattle Analytics
the world.
Two of the three founders are foreign-born, from
TopOPPS is the second venture together for
xooker
PFITR has employees and contractors from all over
ups.
Fun Facts
10
and relevance of their website. Additionally,
Elasticity and LaunchCode in head-to-head match-
while sales people benefit from the intelligent
08
improve SEO, and increase the overall stickiness
Fun Facts
from the clearer visibility and real time updates
06
independent startup in 2013. to spend less time on one’s smart devices, and more
customized code) with more than 300 applications,
time on one’s life. including Salesforce, Dynamics, Zoho, other popular
Fun Facts
CRMs and many event management, e-commerce,
www.metergenius.com
Fun Facts
In their first pilot in Texas, MeterGenius increased
customer retention by 27% and reduced
accounting and social media management tools.
All founders are foreign-born from China.
consumption by 6%.
MarketVolt has delivered nearly one billion emails
HealthyApp has offices in St. Louis and Beijing
All co-founders were Northwestern University
on behalf of its clients.
All founders are successful business owners, one
graduate students.
of them is ex-CTO of Alibaba Software and Yahoo
MeterGenius won $135,000 in business plan
China.
competitions in 2014.
15
Segment Rankings
Minority-Owned
Financial Services
“The dialogue around
CIC St. Louis opened its doors to its new facility at @4240 Duncan
Avenue last October. The launch was the culmination of a journey
01 MulticoreWare Inc.
01 Gremln
startups in St. Louis is
02 FoodEssentials
02 PFITR
03 PushUp Social
03 Prattle Analytics
changing. Our larger
Women-Owned
Sales/Marketing
01 Hatchbuck
partner with startups
02 EDIS Solutions
02 TopOpps
03 HealthyMe Mobile
03 Less Annoying CRM
to more quickly drive
01 Norse
01 LockerDome
03 Parameter Security
02 Gremln
fostering conversation
and collaboration,
we are helping with
job creation and the
03 Bonfyre
Mobile App
backstory that has led us to where we are today. business value. By
Social Media
02 Observable Networks people have asked, “Why did CIC choose St. Louis?”, Here’s some of the
guidance on how to
01 SparoLabs
Solutions Security
for CIC into St. Louis that began almost three years ago. So many
clients are looking for
bolstering of our local
01 Aisle411
economy. Investing in RON DAUGHERTY
Game Design
02 TruQC
startups is investing in FOUNDER,
01 Kingdom Scene
03 TopOpps
the future of our city.” DAUGHERTY
02 Pixel Press
03 Xooker
BUSINESS
SOLUTIONS
ITEN Company Status
Outside Funding Status
54%
46%
ue
It was maybe four years ago when CIC
government and very active universities. driving in from Chesterfield! All this stuff
began seriously considering expansion
This signaled to us that there was a
really matters. outside of Massachusetts. Initially we
long term plan in place. But what left
started with the obvious places, where
us most enthusiastic were the people
Three years ago, choosing St. Louis
startups and innovation are seemingly
who were (and are) most directly behind
as our first expansion city seemed
evergreen: San Francisco, Silicon Valley,
the startup growth initiatives. St. Louis
counterintuitive to many of us. Now,
New York City. Exploring these markets
appeared to us like a bootstrapped
we’re just grateful to be here and excited
left us hungry for expansion but the
startup, run by people bullish about the
for everything to come. 2015 will no
complexities and costs that would have
city and determined to build something
doubt be an uphill slog every single day
come with opening up a space in one
big and important. From Arch Grants
of the year. But what joy it is to be a
of those cities kept us from jumping in. and T-REX to Cortex and BioGenerator,
part of this incredible city. Also, part of the fun of CIC in Cambridge
there was a lot of amazing stuff going
comes from the satisfaction knowing
on, and the energy and enthusiasm felt
that we added to the current “innovation
quite familiar to what we’d experienced
ecosystem” in real, meaningful ways. in Cambridge.
Once we started to look at new markets
The opening months of our entry into
from that perspective, things started to
St. Louis have been nothing short
get really interesting. We began to look
of amazing. They’ve exceeded our
at cities that we hadn’t ever considered. expectations in just about every way. Cities on the rise, but ones with a lot
The clients and people who work in
left to prove. We traveled to a number
our spaces are some of the most
of cities including Baltimore, Winston-
talented entrepreneurs in the city and
Salem, Philadelphia, Miami - and St.
the community energy has created
Louis. buzz that’s reverberating even back to
Cambridge and Boston. Our @4240
63%
37%
With R
e
v
en
ue
73%
g
in
Outside
With
F
u
nd
in
27%
hout Outside
Wit
Fu
nd
e
nu
ve
Re
Without Rev
en
ue
W
ith
Funded Company Status
Without Rev
en
Revenue Status
g
16
St. Louis:
Hub of Innovation
I’ll skip the number crunching parts of
space is filling with a wonderful mix of
our exploratory phase, but suffice to
clients ranging from Arch Grants alumni
say that St. Louis set itself apart from
and Washington University spinouts
other cities because the local, grass root
to investor groups and corporates. projects here were further developed
LaunchCode is now doing its important
and producing measurable results. work from within CIC. Some of our
There was also real money behind
client companies have come from far off
these projects - and a supportive city
places like Israel. We’ve even got people
DOUGAN SHERWOOD
CO-FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR,
CIC ST. LOUIS
17
Letter from Our Chairman
Founders’ college and origin
30%
STL Metro
Missouri - Non STL
13%
15%
12%
12%
Illinois - Non STL
US (Remaining)
35%
23%
4%
4%
Europe
0.4%
1%
Africa
1%
Latin America
0%
This past year has been an exciting one
ITEN will sharpen our focused mission
for the tech startup community in St.
to accelerate individual startups. Each
on several fronts. A lot of money was invested
Louis, and for ITEN. We were able to
venture is unique, and we will continue
in local startup companies, new accelerators
accomplish so much, as you can see
to improve our programs and tools to
demonstrated in this report.
help them overcome barriers and find
formed, and large corporations continued to buy
4%
1%
2%
Middle East
“St. Louis startups made great strides in 2014
focused on women and agtech companies were
2%
2%
Asia, New Zealand & Australia
18
39%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
Founders’ college
30%
%
35%
40%
Age of Founders
Founders’ origin
2015: Tech Inclusion Initiative, expansion
importantly, several tech companies saw significant
positive narrative for the future of the
of our Entrepreneur in Residence
region, and is the foundation for the
program, the new STLTechJobs website,
innovation economy that is essential for
an innovative startup/corporate
investors/entrepreneurs. Exits included Answers
a prosperous future. Now operating as
engagement program, and the possibility
Corp., yurbuds and ShipWorks. What investors in
an independent organization, ITEN has
of launching a new tech fund, ITEN is
the flexibility to be an effective leader
committed to serve the critical needs of
in creating that future and overcoming
the startups, the innovation ecosystem,
the many challenges faced by the
and the wider community.
those companies do now will be a major narrative
26-35
for 2015. Following the Answers exit, a group of
Answers executives raised nearly $40 million for a
36-45
new fund. It would be a tremendous positive if a
46-55
IP Issue
1%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
35%
with a great deal of passion and
enthusiasm as we continue to build on
Louis companies. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least
ITEN has received tremendous support
the considerable momentum among the
if a few high-profile startup companies also made
along the way as an operating entity of
ecosystem that ITEN has helped
Innovate St. Louis. During the past 7
to create.
big exits in 2015.”
BRIAN FELDT
Sales
6%
We look forward to the next 12 months
of the St. Louis IT startup ecosystem,
56+
0%
entrepreneurial community.
Founded in 2008 to be the catalyst
good chunk of that money was reinvested into St.
Finding a
Cofounder
Forming Strategic
Time
3%
Partnerships
Management
5%
5%
23%
can play an essential role in crafting a
Under 25
Startup Biggest Challenge
Funding
With new initiatives in the pipeline for
in to the startup storyline. But perhaps even more
exits, thus putting money into the hands of local
45
their individual pathway to success.
The rapid growth in tech entrepreneurship
TECHNOLOGY REPORTER,
ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL
years, we have been at the forefront of
the development of the St. Louis tech
Our motto: “Entrepreneurs Helping
startup ecosystem. We are grateful for
Entrepreneurs” sums up our core value.
Innovate’s support and are very proud
We’re excited to see where it’s going to
that we are now ready to take on new
lead us this year!
challenges on our own. We are very
Develop Prototype
7%
encouraged by the growing community
JEAN ROBERSON
support. Without all of you we would
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, ITEN
not be where we are today. Your support
inspires us!
Prior Entrepreneurial Experience of Founders
Finding Mentors
9%
Talent
15%
“To see innovation and entrepreneurship drive change is remarkably exciting. The St. Louis region has the
perfect mix for a growing startup hub: premier universities like Washington University and Saint Louis University,
internationally recognized innovation hubs, support organizations, mentorship programs, capital efficiency, an
educated workforce, competitive cost of living, and affordable real estate, among others. As we shared recently
with a group of investors in New York, these strengths, combined with our region’s leading role in fields such as
33%
No
67%
Yes
Marketing/Advertising
14%
Customer Aquisition
12%
plant and life science; financial services; information technology; aviation and renewable energy, make St. Louis
a place where big ideas grow.”
JOE REAGAN
PRESIDENT & CEO, ST. LOUIS REGIONAL CHAMBER
19
St. Louis
Tech Startup Ecosystem
LEWIS AND CLARK FUND
iSELECT FUND
FTL CAPITAL
MTC IDEA FUND
“This is an extremely exciting
THINKBIG
ARCH GRANTS
time to be involved in innovation
“In 2014 Arch Grants and ITEN
20
“The start-up environment in St.
Louis is exciting and very energized
with professionals and innovative
ideas. I have found ITEN to be a
good resource for information,
support, and talent. Particularly,
ITEN’s Entrepreneurs-in-Residence
are invaluable advisors with a
great willingness to share their
experiences.
”
A.KEITH TURNER
FOUNDER & PRESIDENT, iCHURCH PHONE
APPS
and technology in St. Louis. The
region is on a meteoric rise as a
deepened their collaboration
hub for entrepreneurism and St.
by making ITEN the venture
Louis’s culture of partnership and
development partner for tech
collaboration is strong and unique
focused Arch Grant recipients.
draw. Being an integral part of the
This partnership ensures Arch
regional entrepreneurial community
Grants funded companies take full
not only strengthens our own
advantage of ITEN’s outstanding
research at Washington University,
offerings including its Mock Angel,
but creates a dynamic, high-energy,
Business Model Validation, and
creative spirit that is so important
Development programs. This type
for encouraging start-up activity.
of collaboration is of tremendous
St. Louis is realizing its full potential
benefit to the participating
of being world-class leader in
entrepreneurs, and to the broader
innovation. From large undertakings
community as both organizations
like Cortex to smaller in-the-lab
leverage their respective strengths
experiences, Washington University
to ensure entrepreneurs can access
is proud to be part of the effort.
the resources they need to make
their businesses successful.
”
GINGER IMSTER
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARCH GRANTS
BILLIKEN ANGELS
REGIONAL GROWTH CAPTAL
ARCH ANGELS
LAB 1500
INDUSTRIOUS
CHANCELLOR FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
RITA LEVI-MONTALCINI DISTINGUISHED
UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST LOUIS
SIXTHIRTY
T-REX
STL
VENTURE
WORKS
NEBULA
THE YIELD LAB
HARRIS-STOWE
ENTREPRENEURSHIP
PROGRAM
BUSINESS MODEL
VALIDATION
GVMS
[email protected]
ITE
WEBSTER
ENTREPRENEURSHIP
PROGRAM
MOCK
ANGELS
ARCHREACTOR
TECHARTISTA
UMSL
ENTREPRENEURSHIP
PROGRAM
BIOGENERATOR
OPO
HIVE44
WASHINGTON
UNIVERSITY’S
SKANDALAIRIS CENTER
CULTIVATION
CAPITAL
CLAIM
SLU CENTER FOR
ENTREPRENEURSHIP
CORPORATE
ENGAGEMENT
PIPELINE
SIUE
ENTREPRENEURSHIP
PROGRAM
CIC
TECH SHOP
TALENT FINDER
SIGS
”
PROVOST AND EXECUTIVE VICE
CAPITAL INNOVATORS
PROSPER WOMEN
ENTREPRENEURS
HELIX FUND
ST. LOUIS MAKES
HOLDEN THORP
LINDBERGH TECHNOLOGY FUND
STLTECHJOBS
ENSTITUTE
MVF
REGIONAL
CHAMBER
VENTURE FOR AMERICA
LAUNCH CODE
TALENT FUNDER
SLEDP
VENTURE CAFÉ
ST.LOUIS MOSAIC PROJECT
IMMIGRANT ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM
THE MISSION CENTER L3C
CODE WORLD ORDER
21