entrepreneurship

Maxim Schillebeeckx and Brett Maricque, back row far left, stand with the Balsa Foundation's Entry Program Finalists: Patrice Hill, JaNay Holmes, Talah Alem, Chico Weber, Andrew Yee, Bernard Mallala, Tom Spudich and Brad Postier.
J.R. Johnson / Courtesy of the Balsa Foundation

Do you have a business idea? A student-led nonprofit wants to help, and is offering free advice for St. Louis entrepreneurs.

The Balsa Group is led by Washington University graduate student volunteers who help advise St. Louis biotech and life-science companies at a discounted rate.

LockerDome

The startup scene in St. Louis is grabbing more national attention as the calendar year begins.

Revolution LLC

A high-profile entrepreneur is calling on the community to do more to support St. Louis-area startups.

"We just need to tell that story. That’s not to say that Silicon Valley won’t continue to be great and New York City isn’t great and Boston isn’t great, but St. Louis is great too," said A-O-L Co-Founder Steve Case during a stop on Friday at Washington University.

"There should be some degree of skepticism when people are talking about new ideas, but give entrepreneurs the benefit of the doubt."

Courtesy of Washington University in St. Louis

Paul Sorenson was working his way toward a master’s degree from Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work when he kept bumping into the same questions over and over again.  

As an intern for the nonprofit health-care provider Grace Hill, Sorenson was supposed to connect poor families with resources that could help get them caught up on rent and utility bills. But what if one of these agencies  had its funding reduced, moved its offices or was no longer open?  

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

 This is how the conversation usually goes when Dejah Cox tells her friends she has a job.

“They’re like, ‘oh really, what do you do?’” they’ll ask her.

Dejah: “I’m a beekeeper.”  

“They’re like, ‘no!’” Dejah said with a chuckle.  “They’re shocked.”

On a recent Saturday morning, the teenager donned full beekeeper regalia and flipped open the top of a hive in a vacant lot in north St. Louis.  The honey she harvests will be used for an array of products, from lotions to body butter under the label Honey Masters.  

Maria Altman (St. Louis Public Radio)

All but a handful of the 20 Arch Grants winners will be making a move, some farther than others.

While six companies already are based in St. Louis, two of the startups are coming from London, England, and another from Cali, Colombia. The rest will relocate from Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago and Columbia, Mo.

The global startup competition gives each winning business $50,000 and free support services, in exchange for moving to St. Louis for at least a year. The clock will begin ticking July 1.

(Flickr/Philip Leara)

It’s Tuesday, that magical day of the week when our thoughts turn to questions of economics, business, innovation, technology … and related topics that tickle our fancy but we haven’t been able to report on ourselves. It’s the day we say, “Don’t think we haven’t been paying attention, dear reader,” and we share some the things we’ve been reading on topics of interest. 

(Historic American Building Survey at the Library of Congress)

On Friday, Arch Grants announced the finalists for its 2014 Arch Grants Business Plan Competition. The field has been whittled down to 46 entrepreneurs. Twenty of those finalists will win $50,000 each along with business support services to help them launch amazing businesses. In exchange for winning, they have to locate, or relocate, to St. Louis for at least a year.

(Flickr/Moyan Brenn)

By the time this post is published, people across St. Louis are reveling from having watched the first Cardinals’ home game of the season and are gearing up for a fabulous season.

I’m hoping that is the case because this week's rundown on economy and innovation isn’t all sunshine and flowers. Actually there could be flowers, but you’ll have to wait to read about that.

First, let’s talk entrepreneurship. 

(via Flickr/ChrisYunker)

If you are a regular listener to our radio airwaves, you may have noticed that St. Louis Public Radio has been asking for your financial support  to help keep our station up and running.

There are a million reasons to become a member and if you enjoy reading this Rundown, then that is one of the reasons. If you haven’t yet contributed, I encourage you to do so.

That’s the end of my pitch to try to get you to contribute… so read on!

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