Missouri Minute: Blues ticket sales spike; UAW calls for GM factory strikes

Good morning, MBA readers,

General Motors factories in Missouri and elsewhere are likely to be quiet today after the company and the United Auto Workers couldn’t agree on a new contract by midnight on Saturday. In Kansas City, a new Google spinout is setting up shop with the backing of an $11 million funding round. Across the state, St. Louis Blues ticket and merchandise sales have skyrocketed thanks to the team’s Stanley Cup win. Scroll down for more on these stories and other top business news from around the state.

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LaunchKC welcomes 13 startups to new accelerator programs
Thirteen early-stage technology companies have been chosen for LaunchKC accelerators and will look to grow their businesses in Kansas City this fall. This is the first year of a new approach for LaunchKC, a nonprofit organization that runs tech accelerator programs. (MBA)

UAW calls for strike at GM factories
The United Auto Workers union has called on 46,000 General Motors factory workers, including those in Missouri, to stay home or walk off the job on Monday after contract negotiations with General Motors hit an impasse. It would be the union’s largest strike in more than a decade. (The Wall Street Journal)

Blues ticket sales up 350% since Stanley Cup victory
Ticket demand for the St. Louis Blues is “at an all-time high” with ticket sales up 350% from last year, according to Blues President and CEO Chris Zimmerman. The team, experiencing newfound hype after its Stanley Cup win in June, also saw over 70,000 merchandise transactions in the offseason. (St. Louis Business Journal)

St. Louis aldermen reject vote on residency requirement
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has voted against asking voters to lift a requirement that non-elected city employees live in the city. The bill’s supporters said the change could have eased the city’s hiring crunch by allowing most employees to live where they would like. (St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis HVAC firm plans new training facility
Hoffman Brothers, an HVAC, electrical and plumbing company, plans to build a 15,000-square-foot training facility for more than 150 workers, citing a growing need for an in-house training facility. The company expects construction to start sometime in the next 18-24 months. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Bass Pro helps raise $2 million for Bahamas hurricane relief
A campaign led by Springfield-based Bass Pro Shops has raised nearly $2 million to help hurricane recovery efforts in the Bahamas. The company said last week it is contributing at least a $1 million, including $500,000 in donated goods and $500,000 in cash to Convoy of Hope, an international humanitarian relief organization based in Springfield. (Springfield News-Leader)

Say that again

“We’ve already completed a feasibility study, and now we’re on to the next steps with this. It’s happening quicker than even I would have guessed.”

That’s KC Tech Council President Ryan Weber, who expects Missouri could adopt the Virgin Hyperloop in about seven years, the Associated Press reports. With the feasibility study for the project completed, more testing is needed to get the tube-based transportation system past the experimental stage. Weber, who’s part of a group of officials across the state working on the project, said Missouri will also have to consider the projected $10 billion price tag of implementing Hyperloop. He added that a panel of Missouri officials and business leaders is expected to give an update on the specifics of funding and construction later this month or early in October.

Go figure

$512.68 million
That’s the total amount in Garmin shares that the adult children of Garmin Executive Chairman Min Kao have sold off from June to Aug. 28, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. In June, Kao’s children adopted a trading plan that allows them to gradually sell their Garmin shares at predetermined times to avoid accusations of insider trading. They still own about 14 million shares, about 7.4% of the company, and plan to retain most of their holdings.

Hello, my name is

The two-year-old urban planning tool by Google-owned Sidewalk Labs has been spun out into its own company headquartered in Kansas City, Startland News reports. Replica will continue to work with Sidewalk Labs and has hiring plans in both Kansas City and San Francisco. It will also partner with Kansas City’s Firebrand Ventures as part of a recent $11 million Series A funding round.

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


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