JEFFERSON CITY – The analytical website FiveThirtyEight.com has ranked three of Missouri’s major metro areas – St. Louis, Springfield and St. Joseph – in the top five nationwide for having the fastest rate of startup growth. Gov. Jay Nixon said the rankings, which also place the Kansas City metro as 12th, are a clear message that science, tech and innovation start in the Show-Me State.
“The talent is here, the quality education system is here, the capital is here, and the collaborative and supportive environment is here,” Gov. Nixon said. “Our high quality of life and low cost of living continue to position Missouri as the place where firms start, thrive, and create high-tech jobs.”
The report said more than 4,800 new businesses were formed in St. Louis in 2014, a three percent increase from 2009, ranking the city second overall for fastest growing rate of new startups. Springfield, coming in fourth nationwide, saw a two percent change in new business formations over the five year span with more than 800 new firms opening up shop. With a growth rate of 1.8 percent, St. Joseph’s small-business community gained more than 170 new companies, ranking it fifth. In addition, Kansas City had more than 3,000 new businesses forming in the metro area.
This news comes on the heels of a report released by the Kauffman Foundation last month, ranking Missouri 9th best for Startup Activity, up 24 spots from when Gov. Nixon took office. Missouri’s entrepreneurial efforts also garnered attention from Forbes, ranking the state in the top ten for startup funding, and PitchBook, which named several of Missouri’s venture capital organizations the most active in terms of number of investments in the Midwest. According to the most recent Census data, Missouri also leads the nation in new business creation.
The state’s Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth, launched by Gov. Nixon in 2011, included a plan for the state to invest in technology and innovation. Under the Governor’s leadership, funding for targeted resources, like the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC), has increased. To date, MTC has invested in more than 90 companies who have in turn been able to attract more than $300 million in follow-on funding to grow their businesses.