Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mound City Money

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mound City Money

Article excerpt

From David Nicklaus' blog about St. Louis business. STLtoday.com/moundcitymoney

Israeli startup joins second St. Louis accelerator * Stadia Ventures, which said previously that it would have four companies in its sports-business accelerator this spring, has added a fifth.

Stadia co-founder Tim Hayden announced Wednesday that Pico.buzz, based in Haifa, Israel, would join the accelerator's spring class.

Pico.buzz helps sports teams and music venues communicate with fans via social media and gather data on those interactions. The firm moved its U.S. office to St. Louis this year when it was selected for the Capital Innovators accelerator, which like Stadia is in the Cambridge Innovation Center at 4240 Duncan Avenue.

Matt Fineberg, head of the U.S. market for Pico.buzz, said the company has worked with the Blues hockey team, St. Louis Mardi Gras and some music festivals since moving to St. Louis. For Mardi Gras, it assembled an album of photos posted on Instagram and helped organizers communicate with the people who posted content.

For the Blues, Pico.buzz has created a fan-generated Facebook album and a poll in which fans try to predict which player will score a game's first goal. Fans post 500 percent more content when they know the team is paying attention, Fineberg said.

Teams can use the same technology to reward fans for their content with a coupon for the concession stands, Fineberg said.

Stadia's accelerator program consists of 12 weeks of mentoring and business development, and Stadia invests in each company it selects.

Pico.buzz is one of at least seven Israeli startups with a presence in St. Louis. The others include four agriculture-related firms, a technology company that's partnering with Ameren and a mobile money-transfer firm that's participating in the SixThirty accelerator. (04.06)

St. Louis unemployment hits 16-year low of 4.1 percent * The metro St. Louis unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent in February, the lowest in more than 16 years.

The rate, as seasonally adjusted by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, had been at 4.3 percent in December and January. It hasn't been this low since November 2000, when it was 4.0 percent.

The national jobless rate was 4.7 percent in February. St. Louis' rate has been below the U.S. one for five straight months.

St. Louis area unemployment peaked at 10.4 percent in late 2009 and has dropped steadily since then. In recent decades, the rate's low point was 3.2 percent in January 2000.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics counted 67,078 metro area residents as unemployed in February, a drop of 210 since February 2016. The metro area's labor force grew by 8,626 people, or 0.5 percent, over the same 12 months.

The unemployment and labor-force numbers come from a survey of households. …

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