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St. Louis startup leaders look to raise profile in Boston

Abby Cohen is a co-founder of Sparo Labs. She will be on the trip to Boston with other St. Louis startup leaders.
(Photo courtesy of Sparo Labs)

Members of the startup community in St. Louis are trying to strengthen links to Boston. A group of about 20 startup leaders will leave Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Tuesday evening for two days of meetings in Massachusetts.

They hope to increase business contacts there and raise their profiles in a big East Coast market. The St. Louis startup community includes companies in several areas - financial services, software technology and health sciences - just to name a few.

St. Louis-based Sparo Labs Co-founder Abby Cohen will be on the trip.  Her company has developed technology that allows people to monitor lung function through a smartphone-connected device. 

She describes Boston as the "mecca," especially for medical technology startups,  because of universities like Harvard, MIT and Tufts.

"You also have kind of the startup ecosystem that's very booming there. In addition to some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies, venture capital and things like that - that are all located in that kind of hub," Cohen told St. Louis Public Radio.

She says the trip will go beyond efforts to attract more investment.

"It's about meeting with key opinion leaders in your industry. It's about getting the word out in a different place where you might not just bump into someone."

St. Louis and Boston already share a key startup community link. The Cambridge Innovation Center, which provides collaborative working space, has offices in both cities.

Wayne is the morning newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.

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