Over the past several years, St. Louis has emerged as one of the best cities in the country for starting a business, thanks to its great sense of community, creative energy, and affordable business environment.
Recently, the Gateway City was ranked by finance website WalletHub as one of the “Best Large Cities to Start a Business.” According to the website, one of the city’s biggest advantages are its business costs, which takes into account the cost of living, office space affordability, labor costs, and corporate taxes.
St. Louis also ranked high in terms of access to resources, which was calculated using factors such as financing accessibility, job opportunities, unemployment rate, and percentage of college-educated residents.
Here are a few more reasons why St. Louis is a prime location for anyone planning to start a business:
Ideal for startups
Over the past decade, St. Louis has focused on developing a vibrant startup ecosystem, attracting fledgling businesses by making a move to the city worth their while. This was the result of collaborative efforts between city officials, private individuals, and universities, all aiming to invest in the city’s future.
Last year, the city was included in Livability.com’s list of “5 Up-and-Coming Tech Hotspots” for its bustling downtown area filled with tech incubators, co-working spaces, VC firms, and large number of startups.
St. Louis organizes a series of innovation and entrepreneurship competitions, giving startups many opportunities to acquire major funding and helping them realize their vision.
Entrepreneurs in St. Louis can look forward to the annual Arch Grants Global Startup Competition which offers huge grants along with pro bono support. Meanwhile, college-age entrepreneurs can take their ideas to the next level by participating in the Skandalaris Center Cup, a mentorship competition organized by the Washington University in St. Louis.
A highly collaborative environment
A Midwestern city at its core, St. Louis offers the perfect environment if you’re looking to collaborate with creative and like-minded entrepreneurs. The city has over 20 entrepreneur support organizations and a variety of great co-working hubs and maker spaces, making it very easy to find collaborators for your next big project!
Fantastic learning opportunities
A large portion of St. Louis’ youthful energy comes from the campuses of Washington University and the University of Missouri. Washington University
in particular, is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship in the city. In addition to the holding competitions as previously mentioned, the school also features a Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab which helps students develop their startup ideas that can lead to positive social change.
Square, Inc, a highly successful mobile credit and debit card payment app company recently announced plans to expand to downtown St. Louis. The San
Francisco-based company was co-founded by two St. Louis natives, Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey.
Square will be setting up shop at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s downtown headquarters, after signing a 15-year lease on the location. The move will be adding more employment opportunities, as it is set to double Square’s current workforce in the city to over 1,400 employees.
Tons of creative inspiration
In case you need to refuel your creative energy, St. Louis dynamic cultural scene is sure to provide a much needed boost.
Check out the quirky City Museum for some truly out-of-this-world creations, or visit the St. Louis Art Museum if you’re seeking artistic inspiration. You can also catch world-class performances from some of the city’s terrific performance venues, such as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, or drop by one of the numerous bookstores around the city – there’s no shortage of destinations to visit if you’re looking for inspiration!