ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - St. Louis area leaders hope to raise $100 million over the next five years in support of entrepreneurs.
The initiative was announced Thursday. It will be a joint venture between St. Louis and St. Louis County, where start-ups are popping up more than any other place in the country.
In recent years "seed" money has become more available to start-ups in St. Louis, but as the companies grow they often need a second round of funding.
The minds behind the Regional Entrepreneurship Initiative are hoping local investors will come forward and front the money to help new industries thrive.
"This is something we must do. We don't have a choice. We must do this to be successful in the 21st century," said County Executive Charlie Dooley.
"This is an investment in making St. Louis, the next St. Louis that has these next round of emerging corporations that are going to be the next, people always think Googles. But I like to think of them as the local companies. It'll be the next Express Scripts. The next World Wide Technology," said Merle Symes, CEO of Graematter.
Growing these start-ups could lead to more local job creation and help revitalize the St. Louis area's economy.
The $100 million figure is the goal for now, but experts say they'd like to see $500 million raised long-term.