Not many are familiar with St. Louis’s tech ecosystem, which also includes several Americans. While most IT companies in St. Louis are in their infancy stages, they do exist for sure.
Considering the massive money generated by Silicon Valley tech startups, it probably is not surprising to see another city visioning itself on the lines of the Valley. That is why, along with the Silicon Alley in Boston’s CyberDistrict and New York, there also exists a Silicon Prairie, Silicon Beach, and Silicon Roundabout. And, there are a dozen more other areas who’s Silicon-inspired names haven’t caught general attention yet.
But just having innovative ideas isn’t enough for founders to get rolling with their consulting firms in st louis. And if they do manage to start their business, they’d certainly require support from investors, potential clients, mentors, and a talent pool to hire from and sustain the dream. The objective is wonderful, but the remaining part gets tough.
The tech ecosystem of St. Louis is novice and young. But it has savvy advocates in the form of entrepreneurs. Most of them are on a mission to transform St. Louis into a tech hub post a long dormant phase. St. Louis’ business and/or tech scene has been silent in the last century. The World Fair held in 1904 was perhaps the closest the city got to technology. Many people became extremely wealthy during that phase and their later generations decided to bask in the already accumulated wealth and glory, and didn’t do much to work up the ranks.
The last five years, however, have been a stark contradiction. Several tech programs are seeing daylight and the buzz in the industry has never been more encouraging. There’s also increased emphasis on tech education and work experience so that young graduates get the right technical jobs. The eagerness of many corporations and educational institutes are fueling this trend.
These are the beginning stages and it’ll still take a few years to see visible signs of tech culture and activity in St. Louis. While most angel visitors paying a brief visit to the city are not signing out checks yet, but they’re certainly eager to see the great IT prospect the city transforms itself into in the coming years. In fact, some agreed to mentor companies and entrepreneurs to help them achieve a level that’s more financially feasible for investors to stake their money on. Most are recommending coastal startup firms to set up their engineering branches in St. Louis as there is plentiful and inexpensive talent. Beyond helping startups, this may also help catalyze St. Louis’ business ecosystem.
New York took some time to reach its current business and financial status. St. Louis needs to take note and be patient with its long-due revival.
It takes several generations of triumphant exits and deals before ecosystems can flourish, and the city of St. Louis has not crossed the first phase yet. However, the positive sign is that the last five years have brought about a notable difference. There’s energy in the air unlike before. In the past, most people talked about St. Louis only within the context of inexpensive living costs. Nowadays, there are several conversations revolving around St. Louis’ potential or strengths in terms of startups, life sciences, etc.
Compared to a decade before, the last 10 years have witnessed an encouraging influx of young people shifting bases to St. Louis. The migration numbers reveal that there are more 20 and 30-year olds heading to the city now when compared to the 1970s. Quite clearly, millennials are saving the day for St. Louis, and whose future in the city is hugely dependent on the flourishing tech ecosystem.