Accelerate St. Louis brings all of the region’s entrepreneurship support organisations (investors, accelerators, incubators, community enablers, academic institutions, events, service providers, established companies) into a single virtual space which can then guide and direct startups and small businesses to the resources they need most, based on a variety of business criteria.
Accelerate St. Louis is a collaboration between the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, St. Louis Regional Chamber, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
The aim is to provide a one-stop-shop to:
- Connect entrepreneurs to resources and investors who can help them in launching and growing their businesses in the St. Louis region. Entrepreneurs can find investors and resource providers through the online navigation tool.
- Serve as a platform for showcasing the region's expanding entrepreneurial movement to a broader audience.
About ecosystem mapping (excerpt from Nesta's ‘Idea Bank’ for Local Policymakers):
Maps serve multiple purposes. When it comes to digital startups, it can be helpful to understand where such firms are physically located – especially if their business activities otherwise leave little obvious sign. Maps can help identify clusters, their structures and their unique assets, allowing policymakers to proceed from a better-informed position. Importantly, however, it should be realised that ‘digital’ startups often do not reveal themselves through conventional business data – many standard industry classification schemes, for instance, have failed to keep pace with digital innovation and often obscure more than they reveal about the nature of local businesses. The most informative maps may therefore need to use novel data-gathering techniques and alternative metrics. Maps also serve a wider purpose, showcasing an ecosystem and helping different elements locate each other. Presenting city-level ecosystem data in map format is a visually appealing, easy to navigate and relatively cost-effective method of information sharing. Through a combination of visualizations, charts and table data, platforms can showcase the contributions being made in each sectoral cluster. Well-designed platforms allow the data to be dynamically linked, making real time updates possible. As well, filtering mechanisms which allow the user to only extract the data they need, making the map embeddable, and any analysis tools available, are an added bonus.