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$100 Million Startup Fund Seeks to Boost St. Louis Entrepreneurs

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – There’s optimism in the venture capital community Thursday morning, as St. Louis City and County and local business leaders prepare to roll out the Regional Entrepreneurial Initiative (REI).

The goal is to raise $100-million over the next five years, to help startup companies stay and grow in the region.

“This initiative has been supported by our academic organizations, our non-profit, our for-profit organizations; over forty different groups have been involved,” Cultivation Capitol Venture Fund General Partner Brian Mathews tells KMOX.

He says REI will plug the gaps that company’s leak out to places like Silicon Valley.

“We’re going to be able to increase the number of mentors that help these companies get started.” Adding the initiative will bring money from outside the area into St. Louis.

I-TEN Executive DIrector Jim Brasunas agrees, “it’s very refreshing to be working with organizations across the spectrum. We have to keep doing that, do more of it, and maintain the spirit of collaboration.”

But will it work? Capital Innovators CEO Judy Sindecuse says it appears to be a great plan.

“It will be up to all of us to execute on it if we do,” says Sindecuse. “Yes, I absolutely thing you will see this work.”

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