St. Louis startups | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis startups

Greetabl, St. Louis startups, gift ideas
(courtesy greetable)

The clock is ticking on the holiday shopping season.

If you’ve still got a few people on your list, here are some unique items from young companies right here in St. Louis.

Greetabl produces colorful gift boxes that allow you to write a message, put in a small gift and either mail it or give it in person. The company, launched just last year, is among this year’s Arch Grants recipients.

(courtesy Startup Connection)

The St. Louis entrepreneurial community will be on display at this year's Startup Connection at Saint Louis University on Wednesday.

The business competition and resource fair will highlight 70 startups through its venture showcase, including a session where the entrepreneurs will give elevator pitches to compete for funding.

Nineteen of the startups are vying for three Startup Challenge Awards worth a total of  $100,000. The other 51 ventures will be competing for smaller awards.

(Flickr/Tanya Monro)

As of the last U.S. Census, only 28 percent of the workforce in science and engineering was female.

The Women in Science & Entrepreneurship Conference is addressing that disparity. It aims to help women in the sciences find the right career path and go further. WISE, as the conference is being called, will take place Friday in St. Louis. The event is sold out.

The Arch from below
St. Louis Public Radio

The organization that focuses on promoting the St. Louis region's bio-science industries is reaching beyond the country's borders to accomplish its mission.

BioSTL launched the St. Louis-Israel Innovation Connection Friday with the aim of attracting Israeli bioscience starts to branch out into St. Louis.

Israel is second only to Silicon Valley when it comes to creating startups.

With many of those companies looking to expand into the U.S., St. Louis can be their destination, said BioSTL CEO and president Donn Rubin.

Joni Cobb, CEO and president of the Pipeline Entrepreneurial Fellowship.
(courtesy Pipeline)

The Pipeline Entrepreneurial Fellowship is now open to all St. Louis entrepreneurs.

The program works like a support group for entrepreneurs in the Midwest. It began in Kansas in 2006 and then expanded to Nebraska and Kansas City.

Until now, only those affiliated with Washington University in St. Louis could apply to take part in the year-long fellowship.

Pipeline president and CEO Joni Cobb said they’re looking for leaders who are likely to grow a company.

(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

Cambridge Innovation Center’s first site outside Massachusetts is officially open.

CIC@4240 is located in St. Louis’ innovation district, Cortex, and provides flexible working space for startups and emerging businesses.

The company has 32,000 square feet in the @4240 building on Duncan Avenue and is expected to eventually house up to 75 companies.

(courtesy Startup Voodoo)

It’s got a funny name, but a serious purpose.

Startup Voodoo, a one-day conference at Ballpark Village Thursday, is an attempt to help Midwestern entrepreneurs capture that indefinable something that’s helped so many startups become successful, said conference co-founder Aaron Perlut.

(Flickr, Stu Seeger)

Business class will take on a whole new meaning when Southwest Airlines begins its first non-stop service from St. Louis to San Francisco on Tuesday.

The CEOs of 21 St. Louis-based startups will be aboard the inaugural flight where a few of them will give their elevator pitches at 30,000 feet.

(Flickr)

New or aspiring entrepreneurs will be chosen for a 10-week boot camp at the Center for Emerging Technologies this fall.

The boot camp is called Square One and is aimed at entrepreneurs whose focus is bio science, technology or consumer products or services.

Square One program manager Mary Louise Helbig said the goal of the once-a-week class is to train entrepreneurs how to commercialize their business.

"It’s helping them get their idea or concept to reality and turning it into a business," she said.

AlphaLab Startup Accelerator

A bus tour highlighting Midwestern startup communities will roll into St. Louis this fall. 

The Rise of the Rest Road Tour is spearheaded by AOL’s former CEO Steve Case, and includes several investment firms, including Revolution, which Case founded in 2005.

The tour will feature a startup pitch competition in each city with the winners getting a $100,000 investment from Case. In St. Louis, that competition will take place at T-REX, a downtown co-working space and technology incubator, on Oct. 10.

(Dice.com)

Missouri was the fastest-growing state for tech jobs the last two years but, this year, it slipped from first to 10th.

The tech career website Dice.com released its report this week. It looked at the highest percentage of job growth and the most new positions added using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

With items on the menu like the Storm Trooper Dog, the Al Hra-BRAT-ski and the Crazy Cajun Creole dog, it's clear that Steve’s Hot Dogs on the Hill considers its fare more than hot dogs.

"I could eat the entire menu," regular Don Schroeder laughed.

He hesitated before ordering but finally chose the Bacon, Bacon Jamaican, a smoked hot dog covered with cheese, peppers and sweet chipotle sauce. 

(Courtesy Cortex)

The expansion of the Cambridge Innovation Center to St. Louis is taking on bigger dimensions than originally planned.

CIC is well known for providing space and services to startups in the Boston area. It's attracted hundreds of startups and established tech companies such as Amazon and Facebook since its founding by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999.

(Courtesy Cortex)

A new report out released Monday by the Brookings Institution on "innovation districts" prominently features St. Louis' Cortex.

The Rise of the Innovation District: A New Geography of Innovation in America looks at several of these areas in both Europe and the U.S. It defines the districts as "geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators and accelerators."

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.

Maria Altman (St. Louis Public Radio)

(This story aired Tuesday on NPR’s Morning Edition.)

FoodEssentials has the typical startup vibe.

The company gathers and organizes food label data for retailers and brands, like which products are gluten free or are heart healthy.

But co-founder Dheeraj Patri says they still need to figure out just where to put a foosball table and bar.

Courtesy of Pixel Press

There is a new way to look at video games coming out of St. Louis. The Pixel Press Floors app, which was released Wednesday for iPad, allows people to draw their own video game levels on graph paper.  The app then allows users to take a picture of their drawing and turn that picture into a “run-and-jump Mario-esque style” video game.

Maria Altman (St. Louis Public Radio)

It will be a whirlwind weekend for the finalists of the Arch Grants competition.

The 46 finalist startups arrived in St. Louis on Thursday afternoon. They are here competing for 20 grants worth $50,000 each.

In a way, St. Louis itself also is competing this weekend. The entrepreneurs who win must agree to move their businesses here.

(Credit: Flickr/Sean MacEntee)

A New York-based apprentice program aimed at giving young adults experience within innovative companies is expanding to St. Louis.

Enstitute was founded in New York City by Kane Sarhan and Shaila Ittycheria in 2012. The goal was to help connect students who weren’t ready or interested in a traditional path to college get on-the-job experience with start-up companies and entrepreneurs. A second location was opened in Washington, D.C., in January.

SixThirty places first round of investments

Oct 4, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Four out-of-town startups are getting a financial boost that will bring them to St. Louis, at least for the near future.

“After the four months, if they decide that their business is better suited elsewhere, they are free to make that call,” said Matt Menietti, a venture partner with local accelerator SixThirty, “but we’d like to think we have a very strong reason for them to stay.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 1, 2012 - For the second year in a row, the biotech community was strongly represented among the winners of the annual St. Louis Regional Business Plan Competition.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 5, 2012 - David Schenberg thinks he hit a homerun. He may have slightly stumbled a bit when he briefly considered ad libbing but overall, he feels he nailed it.

“A little humanization doesn’t hurt, right?” he laughed afterward. “At least that’s what I keep telling myself.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 15, 2012 - Robert Hedges has been involved in businesses from the ground up before. He just needs to run across someone with the right idea.

Fortunately, he knows where he might look.

"It's a chance to possibly get in on something from the beginning and in more general terms get back into the energy and mindset of startups and see what's going on in St. Louis," said the 46-year-old electrical engineer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 26, 2009 - Tying up loose ends from a busy weekend, I dropped in Friday on the inaugural Strange Loop Conference for software developers. You wouldn’t know it was a first-time event judging from the attendance. Organizer Alex Miller said that roughly 320 people (mostly locals but some from outside the region) had registered for the two-day conference at the Tivoli Theater.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 28, 2009 - When you think of places known for their information technology workforce, Silicon Valley and Seattle come to mind. Clustering prominent software and social media companies is a major draw for innovative start-ups and high tech workers.

What about St. Louis?

Pages