The Accelerate St. Louis Challenge


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Accelerate St. Louis has selected 17 finalists for its seventh-annual Challenge.  The winners will be recognized — in conjunction with Startup Connection — on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Washington University’s Knight Hall (1 Brookings Drive, St. Louis, 63130).  The event, which is slated from 4:30 to 9 p.m., includes an open bar and appetizers.  Tickets are $25 apiece and can be purchased through the link above.

“Congratulations to these startups on being named finalists,” St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said.  “St. Louis continues to be a national leader in innovation and entrepreneurship because of companies like these.  They have passion for what they do and produce at a high level.  We are looking forward to seeing their enterprises grow in the coming months and years.”

The Accelerate St. Louis Challenge was created to recognize top startups in the region.  It highlights local entrepreneurs and helps fund their ventures with non-dilutive cash prizes.  A total of $120,000 will be handed out at Wednesday’s event, with first place earning $50,000, second place winning $30,000 and third place taking home $20,000.  Four Bright Futures awards, at $5,000 apiece, will also be announced.

“Selecting 17 finalists was very difficult for our staff because we had so many deserving entrepreneurs,” St. Louis Economic Development Partnership CEO Sheila Sweeney said.  “These finalists truly represent the best of the best in our region.  They are very talented individuals who work extremely hard to grow their enterprises.”

Accelerate St. Louis, which was created by the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and St. Louis Regional Chamber, is a regional entrepreneurship coalition.  Its goal is to accelerate the growth of St. Louis’ dynamic startup community through connections and resources.

“We had lots of terrific contest applicants this year,” St. Louis Regional Chamber VP for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Jason Hall said.  “Several national media outlets have called St. Louis a top region for startups, and the quality of these businesses would certainly support that perspective.  These entrepreneurs are critical to our future growth and prosperity.”

Accelerate St. Louis Challenge finalists:
Cotton Cuts
Eureka Analytics
Ivani / Network Presence Sensing
NanoGuard Technologies
Public Funds Investment Tracking and Reporting
Pro-Arc Diagnostics
Sports Valet
Upaya Pharmaceuticals

For more information, visit, and  The organizations can also be followed on Twitter @AccelerateSTL, @STLRegChamber and @STLPartnership.