St. Louis

St. Louis’ startup scene is most noticeable in the AgTech and information technology sectors, but there's much more to this startup frontier!

Gateway to Innovation

Once the birthplace of some of America’s most successful companies, the St. Louis area is now home to a new crop of startups. The city’s three innovation districts each have a distinct focus — 39 North nurtures research and collaboration in the field of plant science and AgTech; Cortex is home to a thriving biomedical community; and the Washington Avenue tech corridor is remaking the heart of downtown.

The community’s commitment extends to scaling companies through initiatives like Arch Grants. Arch Grants has distributed more than $8 million in equity-free funding to 150 startups, including VFA Fellow-Founded companies Balto, Bold Xchange, and Rebundle.

VFA St. Louis By The Numbers

58 Fellows

Since VFA's arrival in 2014

30 Company Partners

Have hired Fellows

6 Fellow-Founded Companies

Based in St. Louis

How Fellows Describe St. Louis

"St. Louis could not be better for young professionals. People take the time to invest in young people and listen to their opinions."

Nick Rafferty '18

"The amazing cohort of older Fellows made me feel like St. Louis was a community I wanted to be a part of!"

Jin Zhang '18

"The startup scene is intimate and well connected. Everyone knows everyone!"

David Yocom '17

Where Fellows Work

Arch Grants

Cultivation Capital



Meet Chisom Uche '14

Meet Chisom Uche '14

Senior Associate at SixThirty Global FinTech Fund

I have been fortunate enough to meet and learn from people who are wise, caring, and passionate about a myriad of topics. Each of them willing to share their passions with one another. If I ever wanted to start an enterprise, I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to as strong of a pool as there is of potential co-founders, mentors, and partners.

The strong sense of community in St. Louis definitely played a key part in my decision to stay and begin my career in St. Louis. Everyone here is gunning for everyone else’s success and there is drive towards collaboration here that is unique to the Midwest charm, I think.

What Fellows Love About St. Louis

I describe St. Louis as a sort of patchwork quilt because each of the neighborhoods are so distinct and different. Whether the fun nightlife in the Loop, hip trendy bars in the Grove, or lots of diverse restaurants in Tower Grove - there's something for everyone."

Meg Brigman '18

"Fellows spend a ton of time in Forest Park! There is no better place to go for a run."

Nick Rafferty '18

"Hikes in the summer and sledding in Forest Park on Art Hill in the winter!"

Elianna Goldstein '18

"Many Fellows have found their niche best served by the startup community here in St. Louis."

– Victor Mendez, Entrepreneur Quarterly
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