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Funding, Diversity and Region’s Image Emerge as Key Issues in This Year’s St. Louis Startup Community Survey


Startup Survey Report Cover(ST. LOUIS, May 10, 2017) Respondents to the second annual Brown Smith Wallace Startup Community Survey agree: the St. Louis startup community is successfully connecting people and showing support and mentorship. However, startup and startup support community (comprised of consultants, accelerators, incubators and investors) respondents also agree that the main area for improvement is in providing access to more local funding—especially for startups that are beyond the early stage.

Lack of necessary funding is a common theme throughout the report, which also reveals that cash flow remains the top challenge faced by startups in the St. Louis region for the second year. While finances continue to be a sore spot for many startups, over 88% of respondents have a positive outlook for the next 12-18 months.

In addition to funding, survey respondents were asked to rate the support the St. Louis startup community provides to woman-owned and minority-owned startups. While the majority of respondents said that St. Louis’ support of these groups is excellent or good, more than 35% of startups and 25% percent of the support community answered unsure or didn’t respond.

Survey respondents from across the ecosystem want to see more marketing of the St. Louis startup community (41% of startup respondents and 42% of support community respondents). Thirty-five percent of support community respondents said that more positive news and publicity about St. Louis would help to enhance to the startup community.

The survey saw a 62% increase in participation compared to the inaugural survey, with 47% of respondents identifying as a startup founder, owner or employee, and the remaining 53% coming from the diverse community that supports the St. Louis startup ecosystem.

“We are thrilled to have such a strong response to our second St. Louis community startup survey,” says Cathy Goldsticker, Partner and Startup Practice Leader. “As the ecosystem evolves and grows, so will our report. It’s gratifying to collect and share these insights with the community in an effort to make our region stronger.”

Brown Smith Wallace will reveal the results from its second annual startup community survey Thursday, May 11 at The Venture Café Gathering from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Cathy Goldsticker will moderate a panel discussion about the results featuring members of the St. Louis startup community:

  • Scott Bernstein, Principal, Lewis & Clark Ventures
  • David Dresner, Founder, Sleeve a Message
  • Ginger Imster, Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership
  • Jerry Schlichter, Founder and Managing Partner, Schlichter Bogard & Denton, LLP; Chairman and Co-Founder, Arch Grants
  • Cheryl Watkins-Moore, MBA, Director, Bioscience Inclusion Initiative, BioSTL; Co-Founder, Accelerated Rehabilitation Technologies, LLC

Register here to attend our May 11 Venture Café session, “Checking the Pulse: Funding, Diversity and Perception in the St. Louis Startup Community.”


About Brown Smith Wallace

Brown Smith Wallace is a nationally recognized top 100 full-service CPA and business advisory firm in Missouri with 300 employees. The firm is the top ranked St. Louis firm in the 2018 Vault Accounting Firm rankings. For more information, visit or call 314-983-1200.

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