Who We Are

Creating a pathway for international entrepreneurs to accelerate their businesses in St. Louis.


Gateway Accelerate a collaborative program with in UMSL|Accelerate, a program that serves as a catalyst for developing our students, faculty and community to inspire entrepreneurship and innovation by providing a vibrant ecosystem for thought leaders to educate, innovate, and collaborate.

As the collaborative arm of UMSL Accelerate, Gateway Accelerate facilities entrepreneurial growth in the St. Louis region by attracting entrepreneurs from around the world to St. Louis to contribute their expertise to the mission of UMSL through our International Accelerator. The program focuses on fostering collaboration between existing organizations in the St. Louis Region with the united goal of attracting technologies and founding companies to the market through collaboration, capital formation and mentorship. The program is unique to the region because it provides international entrepreneurs the opportunity to immerse themselves into the business world through:

  • Both classroom and experiential learning
  • Robust networking opportunities within the region’s innovation ecosystem
  • Hands-on experience working through a commercialization strategy.

New program participants will be selected twice a year through an application process, and the qualifying entrepreneurs will receive assistance with the cap-exempt H-1B visa application process.

Goals and Benefits of the Program

The Gateway Accelerate program’s main goals that will benefit the St. Louis region:

  • Pioneering the first cohort
  • Fostering cooperation among area universities by establishing regional presence
  • Engaging UMSL students with meaningful internships on campus
  • Contributing to the Economic Development through the creation of pathways for international entrepreneurs to accelerate businesses in St. Louis and create job growth and wealth creation for the region as part of university mission
  • Attracting best and brightest entrepreneurs from around the world to St. Louis
  • For UMSL to act as lead university, proof of concept for St. Louis region, and community resource for regional administration among future participating universities

St. Louis: An Entrepreneurial Hotspot

While many areas of the United States of seen decreases in the number of new businesses created each year, St. Louis has grown and thrived with business creation growing 18% from 2012 to 2013 alone! In St. Louis, entrepreneurship is celebrated and supported at every turn. In 2015, St. Louis was named the No. 1 best startup cities in America by Popular Mechanics and then in 2016, Mattermark named St. Louis the US city with the fastest-growing startup scene! St. Louis offers entrepreneurs the perfect environment to grow their companies. With premiere educational institutions, talented mentors, and access to some of the top plant and life science, financial services, information technology, aviation and renewable energy companies in their respective industries, entrepreneurs will have the support and resources they need to thrive.

Watch the video below to see more of what St. Louis has to offer.