MTC and NGA Announce Geospatial Accelerator in St. Louis
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- Published on November 24, 2020
- Last Updated October 3, 2021
- In Entrepreneur Quarterly
Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) today announced the formation of an NGA-sponsored accelerator based out of St. Louis. Expected to start in early 2021, this is the first of two cohorts that NGA will be sponsoring through the collaboration with MTC, and with St. Louis-based accelerator operator, Capital Innovators.
This corporate accelerator is the first project under the Partnership Intermediary Agreement signed earlier this year between MTC and NGA. Through the MTC, NGA will engage with the greater St. Louis region and beyond to develop innovations in geospatial technology through collaboration and a transfer of technology.
The corporate accelerator project strongly aligns with MTC’s vision of serving as a catalyst for technology-based innovation to achieve sustainable economic growth for the State of Missouri.
At the USGIF Geospatial Gateway Forum on October 20, 2020, NGA Director, Vice Adm. Robert Sharp stated, “St. Louis is becoming the geotechnical hub for the nation, really for the world.” Along with the opening of NGA’s Moonshot Labs in St. Louis, the accelerator cohorts will serve as a vehicle to drive connections between industry participants and NGA employees, exposing them to creative thinkers and new ideas.
Additionally, early-stage geospatial companies will have the opportunity to mature, specifically those developing dual-use technologies (products that have both commercial and military uses), which will grow the number of geospatial solutions available to NGA and its customers.
The corporate Accelerator aligns closely with NGA’s Technology Strategy and Technology Focus Areas. Through this innovative collaboration, the Accelerator will promote entrepreneurship, research, development, and commercialization of geospatial applications and its strategic priorities of raising innovation capacity for advanced applications for leading industry and community development drivers and accelerating entrepreneurship and the availability of risk capital.
MTC has selected St. Louis-based accelerator operator Capital Innovators to operate the accelerator. Capital Innovators has been a top accelerator in the U.S. for the last five years and has led the way in St. Louis-based corporate accelerator partnerships through its work with Maritz and Ameren.
Capital Innovators was the accelerator operator for the Ameren Accelerator when it launched in 2017. The first three cohorts of the Ameren Accelerator were based in St. Louis and graduated 19 companies, which have created more than 100 new jobs in the region.
“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.”
“Capital Innovators is thrilled to assist NGA in its innovation efforts by sourcing best-in-breed geospatial startups and delivering our world-class accelerator that will provide tremendous value to NGA, its employees, the program participants, and the St. Louis region,” said Judy Sindecuse, Capital Innovators CEO.
“We are grateful that MTC has shown their confidence in our track record and performance by providing the opportunity for Capital Innovators to develop the next layer of the St. Louis innovation ecosystem through cultivating cutting-edge geospatial technologies and catalyzing long-term job growth for the region.”
Capital Innovators will begin soliciting applications for the NGA Sponsored Geospatial Corporate Accelerator in late 2020 targeting an early 2021 launch of a two cohort program.
Any entrepreneurs or mentors interested in learning more about the accelerator program can sign up to request additional information here.