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New NGA-sponsored startup accelerator to launch in St. Louis

"The accelerator will provide early-stage geospatial companies an opportunity to mature their technology for both commercial and defense applications."
Credit: SLBJ
A rendering of the NGA's new western headquarters.

ST. LOUIS — A new startup accelerator is coming to St. Louis.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and Missouri Technology Corp. (MTC), part of state government, said Monday they are launching an accelerator that will operate out of St. Louis, and focus on boosting geospatial companies.

“The goal of the accelerator is to grow the number of geospatial solutions available to NGA and its customers,” said Christine Woodard, NGA's St. Louis geospatial ecosystem engagement lead. “The accelerator will provide early-stage geospatial companies an opportunity to mature their technology for both commercial and defense applications."

The program is the first initiative rolled out through a partnership agreement that MTC and NGA announced in March. That agreement is aimed at allowing for stronger connections between the federal agency and Missouri's startup community.

Officials said Monday they expect to begin the new geospatial-focused accelerator in early 2021, saying it will be the first of two cohorts sponsored by NGA. Selected startups will receive $100,000 in non-dilutive grant funding as well as access to office space and mentorship as part of a 13-week program. Up to eight startups are expected to be chosen for each of the two cohorts.

St. Louis-based Capital Innovators has been tapped to operate the new accelerator. Capital Innovators, which operates its own accelerators, has experience managing corporate incubator programs. It previously was operator of the Ameren Accelerator.

“With a proven track record of recruiting promising entrepreneurs and scaling startups into successful job creators in Missouri, the nationally regarded Capital Innovators is a perfect fit to launch this first-of-a-kind geospatial accelerator,” said Jason Hall, chair of the MTC board of directors. “The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has demonstrated great confidence in our state as it invests nearly $2 billion in one of the largest Missouri headquarters developments in history, and, with strong community support, is making the Show-Me State the global leader in the fast-growing location-based technologies industry.”

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