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Missouri Minute: St. Louis XFL team unveiled; WeWork to open in St. Louis



Good morning, MBA readers,

WeWork, the coworking space operator that already has a foothold in the Kansas City market, will now operate in the state’s two largest cities. Plus, Kansas City’s ex-mayor is going into business with his former chief of staff. And, St. Louis sports fans, are you ready for some BattleHawks football? Scroll down for these stories and other top business news from around the state.


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Ameren Accelerator names energy-tech startups of newest cohort
Six energy-technology startups have been selected to receive $100,000 in seed capital along with 12 weeks of mentorship and resources as part of the 2019 Ameren Accelerator. (MBA)

Haahr: Income scrutiny led to Medicaid enrollment drop
Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr said that the state automatically dropped more than 100,000 people, including children, from the state Medicaid program because many of the enrollees’ incomes were too high to qualify for state insurance. (St. Louis Public Radio)

WeWork to open first St. Louis office
Coworking space operator WeWork will lease a 60,000-square-foot office, occupying the entire 22nd and 23rd floors of One Metropolitan Square. (St. Louis Business Journal)

KC startup partners with Chinese tech company
Kansas City startup Pepper is integrating its “Internet of Things” technology into Dahua Technology’s products, which will be sold in North America. Dahua, which recorded about $3.5 billion in North American revenue last year, makes video surveillance equipment, network cameras and security hardware components. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Madison County official says Bi-State CEO hiring was illegitimate
Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler alleges that Bi-State Development CEO Taulby Roach was hired because a “no” vote at a closed board meeting last November was incorrectly recorded as “yes.” Prenzler has called on the board to release the minutes from last year’s meeting. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC Rise announces second fund, new investments
KC Rise Fund has announced the launch of KC Rise Fund II along with investments in three local tech startups: communications software Backstitch, truck-hailing service Bungii and emergency-dispatch software Daupler. (Startland News)

St. Louis startup rebrands, raises over $13 million in funding
Artificial intelligence startup Jane.ai has raised $13.2 million in a Series B funding round and will change its name to Capacity. The company uses AI with features such as chatbots for customer service to improve efficiency in organizations. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Digital Ally agrees to joint hemp venture
Lenexa, Kansas-based Digital Ally has agreed to a five-year exploratory venture with Kansas City’s KMC Brands to develop technology for tracking industrial hemp from seed to sale. (Kansas City Business Journal)


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— XFL (@xfl2020) August 21, 2019
With that cryptic collection of catchphrases, the XFL on Wednesday unveiled the name and logo of its new St. Louis team: the BattleHawks. The fledgling franchise is one of eight set to debut when the professional football league, owned by wrestling executive Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment, kicks off early next year.


Say that again

“When I first envisioned Rightfully Sewn, I saw a well-appointed space and state-of-the-art equipment that could be activated 24/7 in order to benefit as many people in our community as possible. We achieved so much in one space because of effective communication and scheduling. I like to say that effective communication and scheduling are tools used to make war; we use them to make positive change.”

That’s Jennifer Lapka, founder and president of Kansas City’s Rightfully Sewn. Earlier this week, the community-based seamstress training program was among a dozen winners of the Small Business Administration’s Makerspace Training, walking away with a $25,000 grant, Startland News reports. Lapka said the grant will enhance employment opportunities for at-risk women and other traditionally underserved persons.


Go figure

3,000
That’s how many Missouri car buyers will be impacted by a recent Missouri Supreme Court decision that limits how vehicle trade-in credits may be used, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday called a special legislative session next month to address the issue. In June, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the trade-in value of one vehicle can only be used to purchase one new car. The ruling effectively blocked the state Department of Revenue practice of purchasing a new vehicle with the trade-in value from multiple vehicle sales.


Hello, my name is

Wickham James Strategies & Solutions
The new Kansas City consulting firm is a partnership between ex-mayor Sly James and his chief of staff Joni Wickham. The firm will focus on issues the two worked on at City Hall, such as early childhood education, women’s leadership and policy, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. Among the firm’s early clients are She Should Run, a nonprofit dedicated to getting women to run for public office, and the Women’s Foundation in Kansas City.


It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.

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