St. Louis Tops List of Cities With Most Female-Founded Startups

It’s no big secret that St. Louis is experiencing an entrepreneurial surge. We’ve been dubbed the “best startup city in America” by Popular Mechanics and recognized by Forbes as “the right way to build a tech city.”

And now, we’ve earned yet another notch on our belt as a startup city: St. Louis has more female entrepreneurs than any other city in America.

You read that correctly.

After analyzing data from the most recent U.S. Census Bureau Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, Seek Business Capital ranked the top 20 cities with the most female founders, with St. Louis leading the way.

Out of all St. Louis startups, 2,726 of them are female-owned (that’s nearly half of all startups in the region.) These female entrepreneurs generated an estimated revenue between $150 and $500 million last year, with the most popular industries being health care and social assistance.

“As if being one of the fastest-growing startup cities wasn’t inspiring enough, we’re now the most inclusive” said Missy Kelley, CEO of Downtown STL, Inc. “You couldn’t ask for a better time to be an entrepreneur in St. Louis.”

St. Louis’ closest rival, Austin, Texas ranked in a distant second with 1,433 startups having female founders.

The recent ranking complements last year’s venture capital boom for women-owned businesses. In 2018, fifteen deals brought $57 million worth of venture capital into female-founded startups, far exceeding the amounts in years prior.

Is St. Louis the Silicon Valley of the Midwest? It might be too soon to tell. But if the numbers are any indication, you can get used to seeing more startups heading for the Gateway City.

About the author

Dominic Vaiana

Dominic Vaiana is a writer in St. Louis.


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