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InnovationsoftheWorld.com VOLUME 1

ST. LOUIS Published by


“Minds are like parachutes; they only function when open.” —Thomas Dewar


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A NEW LEGACY FOR ST LOUIS: THE GATEWAY TO INNOVATION. SCOTT LEVINE, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER After twenty years of working in St. Louis to support entrepreneurs, founders, venture funds, and investors, I felt I had my finger on the pulse of St. Louis. That is, until I embarked on this unique project.

the many innovation stories of our region—and has approached this project with his characteristic passion and vigor. Thanks, Gill. Second, I realized that there was something incongruent in entering book publishing at this stage of my career. In other cities, this work is done as a business venture. My motivations were different. I am deeply committed to promoting positive change and development in the St. Louis ecosystem and beyond. To that end, my portion of the proceeds of this book are

In curating the stories for this book, I realized two things. First, this project was too big for me to handle without local help. So, I reached out to my longtime friend and colleague, Gill Wagner, to test his interest in jumping on board to help. Without hesitation, he saw the opportunity to share some of

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This publication isn’t intended just to celebrate St. Louis innovators. Our hope is that the stories of success in these pages will resonate with all business leaders and decision-makers across the city—and even across the globe—who desire to effect positive change in their industries. At the same time, we’d be remiss not to beam with pride at the innovators featured in these pages because we believe they stand for a new legacy for St Louis: The Gateway to Innovation.

being donated to four nonprofit organizations committed to innovation: St Louis Arch Grants, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and Concordance Academy. Each contributes to St. Louis in unique and important ways. Look for their stories in the pages that follow. From the days of the beginning of Lewis and Clark’s historic expedition, St. Louis has been known as the Gateway to the West. In recent years, our fair city has lived up to its legacy by spearheading exploration of a different kind: the power of innovation. The book you hold in your hands, INNOVATE® St. Louis, showcases more than 100 local organizations who are leading their respective industries in creativity and innovation. Taken together, they represent only a small percentage of innovators within the St. Louis entrepreneurial ecosystem. For every business that made these pages, there are hundreds of others for which space simply did not allow. (We’ve already started curating stories for next year’s edition.)

+1-314-454-9100 slevine@aegislaw.com goaegis aegislaw.com

In keeping with our theme, INNOVATE® St. Louis is far more than a coffeetable book: it is a multimedia experience as well, including an online web platform, AR videos, and social media networking. The full e-book is also available online via www.InnovationsoftheWorld.com, giving the entire world the chance to see the many ways St. Louis is leading the way in innovation—and hopefully inspiring many others in the process.

Scott Levine is an entrepreneur, attorney, and investor. He is a co-founder of iSelect Fund, which helps investors to capitalize on investment opportunities, and he founded AEGIS Law, a firm dedicated to disruption and innovation within the legal space. Since its inception, AEGIS has supported early-stage companies, their founders, and investors.

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The “INNOVATE® St. Louis” Team would like to give a special thanks to all the participants and the following companies for their support and assistance in making this project a reality.

SBM

ST. LOUIS

EQSTL.COM

Small Business Monthly

The Source for Business Owners

R

SIMPLOY Simplified employment.

I SPE R

I N T E R N E T

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INNOVATE® ST. LOUIS: A MULTIMEDIA EXPERIENCE AND MORE.

INNOVATE® St. Louis showcases the best of St. Louis’ innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Embedded in its pages, you will find augmented reality videos that accompany nearly every feature, and when you use the free GLOBAL VILLAGE AR app, the world of the future will open up before your very eyes.

SVEN BOERMEESTER, FOUNDER & CEO, INTERNATIONAL GROUP PUBLISHER

But “INNOVATE® St. Louis” is far more than a tech-enabled publication; it is a multimedia experience centered around the deluxe hardcover coffee-table book you are now holding, which includes AR videos and also an online web platform and multilevel social media networking. Online, the full e-book will be viewed in the millions through the www.InnovationsoftheWorld.com online library. This publication aims to celebrate those involved in the St. Louis ecosystem, but it is also meant for all business leaders and decision-makers who can effect change in their industries—throughout the US and throughout the world. We publish INNOVATE® St. Louis for the open-minded folk who want to know more about the exciting changes that have recently transpired in the St. Louis ecosystem, and who play or want to play an active role in its growth and development. This inaugural edition of INNOVATE® St. Louis is just part of a global series. We are currently launching volumes in cities throughout the www.GlobalVillage.world publishing partnership network. By experiencing INNOVATE® St. Louis, you are part of our Global Village network, and we are happy to have you. I trust you will join us as we continue the journey of the INNOVATE® series. Sven Boermeester Founder & CEO International Group Publisher

Callie Van Graan Global Village COO

Belinda van Graan Global Village CMO

Gill Wagner Associate Publisher

Meghan Tear Percy Managing Editor

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Sarah Nieman Production Manager

Ravi Handve Art Direction and Design

JR Griggs Web Development Partner


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25 CHAPTER ONE

contents

THOUGHT LEADERS

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41 CHAPTER TWO

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59 CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER FOUR

FUTURE CITIES & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

FUNDERS, ACCELERATORS & MENTORS

AGRICULTURE, BIOLOGY & HUMAN HEALTH

CONSTRUCTION

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

SOCIAL INNOVATION

CHAPTER TWELVE

PRODUCT INNOVATION

International Group Publisher Sven Boermeester

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

SPORTS & HUMAN PERFORMANCE

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

HOSPITALITY & CULINARY

Email: info@globalvillage.world www.GlobalVillage.world www.InnovationsOfTheWorld.com

Global Village COO Callie Van Graan

Copyright © Global Village Partnerships ISBN: 978-1-949677-08-9

Managing Editors Meghan Tear Percy

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the information in The ‘Innovate Austin’. Neither ‘Innovate Austin’, nor Global Village World assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or submissions by participants. All rights reserved: No part of this publication shall be reproduced, copied, transmitted, adapted or modified in any form or by any means. This publication shall not be stored in whole or in part in any form in any retrieval system.

Production and Project Managers Belinda van Graan Sarah Nieman Art Direction and Design Ravi Handve Global Village CMO Belinda Van Graan Web Development Partner JR Griggs

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CHAPTER SEVEN

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CHAPTER EIGHT

147 CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER NINE

TECHNOLOGY & DATA

FINANCIAL INNOVATION

CORPORATE INNOVATION

EDUCATION & TRAINING

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

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CHAPTER FIFTEEN

MARKETING

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

MEDIA & EVENTS

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

INCUBATORS & ENTREPRENEURIAL SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

INNOVATION ENABLERS

IT’S A KIND OF MAGIC... DOWNLOAD THE GLOBALVILLAGE AR APP TO VIEW 100 AUGMENTED REALITY VIDEOS IN THIS BOOK!

To experience the future of print, download the Global Village AR App from the IOS or Android App stores. Open the App and hold it about 30cm above any page that contains an image with the “play” Icon.

Make sure your back camera is pointing at the page. Click the Play button that appears onscreen and immerse yourself in the latest updated content with reference to that page.

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CHAPTER NINETEEN

INNOVATIONS OF THE WORLD


“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” —George Bernard Shaw


THOUGHT LEADERS

Credit: St. Louis Union Station


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CIVIC PRIDE IS AN UNDERVALUED INGREDIENT IN A REGION’S SUCCESS. TRAVIS LIEBIG, CEO, SAINT LOUIS BANK

The threads of what first made St. Louis great—its location, and the openmindedness and work ethic of its people—are the same threads that will tie the city to greatness far into the future. Growing up in a small town on the Mississippi River a couple of hours north, I always looked to St. Louis as a beacon of inspiration, and though I have been here twenty years now, that feeling hasn’t gone away.

to share in one another’s narratives— both of personal success and the region’s—is something St. Louis is doing a great job at, and I think we’ll continue to improve upon it. It is time to celebrate our potential. We must stay focused and work toward what we can become; continuing to look toward the past is not necessarily the way to get us where we want to go. When we focus our attention on the positive narratives, then we become innovators, too, moving forward with the belief that we can create a better version of who we are.

What I am describing is civic pride, an ingredient we possess but that I think is undervalued in this region’s success. It’s something we talk a lot about at Saint Louis Bank, in terms of reinvesting in the community and demonstrating that we understand our local businesses, because we are a local business, too. Feeling like we are part of the overall business landscape in our region is one of the most rewarding parts of this job, and it is something only possible in banking. Today, St. Louis is brimming with innovators who see the world differently and are intently focused on creating a better future. The narrative throughout our region has begun to shift, too, as our attention moves from the past—what we were—to progress and possibility—what we can become. Innovators are successful because when they encounter a challenge, they do so with the positive belief that they can create a solution.

Travis Liebig is the CEO of Saint Louis Bank. Travis has served as a community banker for nearly two decades, learning banking from the bottom up. He has held executive-level roles in retail and private banking, and small business and commercial lending. In the summer of 2018, Travis led a group of investors in the purchase of Saint Louis Bank, a community bank that specializes in lending to small- to mid-sized businesses. His focus today is on positioning the young bank headquartered in the leafy St. Louis suburbs for long-term growth and success.

As humans, we are almost genetically wired to give priority to the negatives over the positives as a means of survival. Yet, when it comes to building an ecosystem of innovation, our state of mind and regional narrative must lead with an optimistic belief in what we can become. Our civic pride can be the lens through which we and others imagine our future.

Saint Louis Bank 14323 South Outer 40 Road St. Louis, MO 63017 +1-314-851-6200 stlouisbank.com

When we believe in what is possible, stay focused, and connect more people around us to our positive narratives, then the momentum we can build is extraordinary. From a leadership perspective, connecting like-minded individuals

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SOMETIMES ACADEMICS CAN MISTAKENLY THINK A SOLUTION COMES FROM A UNIVERSITY EXCLUSIVELY. IN FACT, REAL SOLUTIONS COME OUT OF GENUINE AND EQUITABLE COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS.

DR. MARY MCKAY, NEIDORFF FAMILY AND CENTENE CORPORATION DEAN, BROWN SCHOOL AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS I am relatively new to St. Louis, just starting my fourth year as dean of the Brown School. I moved here because I was drawn to the professional opportunity of being the dean of an extraordinary school, and even more so, drawn to the St. Louis region. I saw that there were the right ingredients to be a part of making significant and transformative social change. The first and most important ingredient is the people. There are incredibly talented people in every sector here who are deeply committed to the region and unlocking its full potential. It is very exciting to be a part of this interconnected effort. That is so important because to make real progress, we need to be connected to each other as human beings and to an aligned vision of the future. This is a community that has been defined by structures—not all of them positive. And those structures that are oppressive are visible, not hidden, which means that it is easier to see that they exist, and it is clear that they are unfair and harmful. It is painfully obvious that if you removed or eliminated existing oppressive structures, things would go better for people of color and everyone in St. Louis. Structures based on racism ensure the status quo and keep people in place. They deny people opportunities and threaten lives. Someone asked me once if anything positive could come out of the tragedy that was Michael Brown’s death. Daily there is loss of life and that is tragic— particularly for communities of African descent; it is discernible and disproportionate. In St. Louis, Michael Brown’s death reenergized some of the most progressive social and community movements in the country. We are grappling with significant questions: What does racial equity mean? How do you dismantle an oppressive structure? How do you advance a society where outcomes are no longer predicted by race?

University in St. Louis, to remember that collaboration is found in listening, in being a good partner, and in aligning your resources with the significant energy and resources of others. Unfortunately, this is a real challenge and we often fall short of that goal. It is hard for institutions and communities to truly collaborate and align. However, it is critical if we are going to see the changes that we want and need to see.

The thought leaders, activists, and policymakers in the region are generating incredible energy toward positive social change. That energy holds a promise; we have been honest with ourselves and we are clear on what needs to be done. The Brown School’s students, staff, and faculty are proud and humbled to be engaged in that movement. We need to recognize and own up to the fact that we have not always used our privilege to maximize positive impact for all. We now realize that to address structural racism and oppression in all its forms, we need to do the hard internal and external work in order to make a true difference in our St. Louis community.

Through the Brown School’s programs in social work, public health, and social policy, we are educating the next generation of change-makers, the majority of whom remain in the region after graduation. Our students and faculty are on the ground, helping in our community. This is our collective commitment: to bring about positive social change through authentic collaboration. I remain confident that I made the right decision to come to St. Louis and deeply grateful to be part of movement toward a more just and equitable society.

Sometimes academics can mistakenly think a solution comes from a university exclusively. In fact, real solutions come out of genuine and equitable community collaborations. It is important for anchor institutions, like Washington

Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis Brownschool.wustl.edu

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A HERITAGE OF NEW METHODS, IDEAS, AND PRODUCTS HAS ALWAYS BEEN PART OF THE ST. LOUIS MINDSET. JAY KING, CEO, SIMPLOY

SIMPLOY Simplified employment.

The catalogue of St. Louis innovations is solid. Most everyone around here knows the stories about fried ravioli and the ice cream cone and gooey butter cake. But, in addition to those novelties, we have more than our share of other significant “firsts” as well. Here are just a few of them: the skyscraper, kindergarten, the X-ray machine, the steel truss bridge, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the gas station (and the first auto accident!), the use of fingerprints, the U.S. Olympics, the first school to use braille, the junior miss concept (during our soon-to-bereturning fashion district boom), and so many more. Oh, and let’s not forget the hot dog! Again, that’s just a few. So what’s coming next? Take a look through these pages (especially the Simploy spread) and imagine the future, like a contemporary Pierre Laclede. There are no boundaries to our ingenuity. We’re reminded of that every few years, when the river refuses to stay in its banks. Of course most of the time, the water is calm, even sleepy, as it slips past the Arch. So the real action starts at Laclede’s landing, and stretches through downtown, to the Cortex Community, to any of the 80 different neighborhoods in St. Louis; then north and south and west through the county. Innovation is in our blood, it’s in our hearts and souls. It’s everywhere! Just take a look and keep reading. If you live here, you’ll be honored. If you don’t, it’s time to pack your bags.

Jay King was born in rural Tennessee and landed in St. Louis purely by chance after college. He enjoyed a career in design and construction, first as a registered architect, then eventually as a construction program manager with major corporations. A series of opportunities allowed him to pursue his dream of being an entrepreneur–but in an entirely new industry. Now he supports innovative employers in St. Louis and around the country.

St. Louis was born of innovation, and the city has always been shaped by the pioneer mentality. Since its founding in 1764 by Pierre Laclede as an outpost on the Mississippi River, St. Louis has been a place where entrepreneurs and thinkers gather. Innovation in the city began with Laclede’s vision, and it has only increased since then. When Lewis and Clark left here on their expedition in 1803, St. Louis became known as the “Gateway to the West.” All during the 1800s we saw explorers, mountain men, and gold seekers who considered our town to be the epicenter for provisions, preparation, and entertainment before leaving for the West. They knew that the latest and greatest could always be found here. And that heritage of new methods, ideas, and products has always been part of our mindset.

SIMPLOY, Inc. 13023 Tesson Ferry Road, Suite 105 St. Louis, MO 63129 +1-314-544-1700 SIMPLOY.com 11


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COMPANIES THAT BEGIN THEIR JOURNEY TODAY ARE MUCH MORE EQUIPPED TO CONTINUE EVOLVING TOMORROW. MARIE CARLIE, TAX PARTNER, BDO USA, LLP In the world of business, the words “disrupt, innovate, and transform” have become the new normal. For companies looking to make their mark, digital transformation is now the pathway to create revenue and new value, increase profitability, and improve employee and customer retention. It can also help remove IT complexities, risks, and barriers to innovation, allowing organizations to meet evolving business demands. Yet, most companies fail to just meet, let alone exceed, their digital transformation goals of direct business impact and operational adoption. Why Digital Transformation, and Why Now? For some organizations, digital transformation is in their DNA. The adaption to—and adoption of—emerging technologies to further business goals comes instinctively to them. For the majority of middle-market companies, however, digital transformation requires a lot more foresight, consideration, and planning. Organizations are forced to shed old habits, update cultural norms, upskill their employees, and adjust their way of thinking to become a digital business. They must learn to connect the dots between digital initiatives, strategy, and business enablement, and master the art of balancing quick wins with longer-term, strategic investments.

Middle-market companies, especially, have a unique challenge: They must learn to navigate the journey without the more robust resources of their larger peers, nor the same level of flexibility and agility as their younger ones. They must start the journey today—and those that do are already behind. While the benefits of digital transformation are clear—including boosted profitability, customer experience, and operational efficiency—the consequences of not undergoing transformation are dire. Mid-market companies that don’t constantly transform and evolve risk being outranked by their competition, losing industry relevancy, and being replaced by their more technologically savvy, nimble competitors. They risk going out of business—and quite possibly, not being missed.

2. Digital transformation goes beyond IT.

Digital transformation is no longer a job for just the IT department: Nearly half (46%) of all middle-market companies state their non-tech C-suite executives (e.g. CEO, CFO, CMO, COO) are responsible for leading digital transformation in their organization.

3. Improving customer experience and operational efficiency top mid-market organizations’ short-and long-term goals.

Digital transformation is a lifelong journey, not simply a stop along the way. It is as much of a mindset shift as it is a process or series of steps. Companies that begin their journey today are much more equipped to continue evolving tomorrow. The challenges will be great—but the rewards, greater.

4. Digital transformation delivers. 5. Top digital challenges include cyberattacks and privacy breaches (33% —#1 digital threat), establishing the right metrics (27%—#1 barrier to moving forward with a new digital initiative), and lack of skills or insufficient training (54%—#1 barrier to implementing a digital initiative).

Top Five Digital Transformation from BDO’s 2019 Middle Market Digital Transformation Survey Findings 1. Developing a digital transformation strategy is middle-market executives’ #1 digital priority.

Once strategy is identified, 51% plan to approach digital transformation by taking intentional steps towards a clearly defined plan.

BDO’s 2019 Middle Market Digital Transformation Survey: https://www.bdo.com/thought-leadership/digital-transformation-survey BDO – St. Louis Office 101 South Hanley Road, Suite 800 St. Louis, MO 63105 +1-314-889-1100 bdo.com

34% of executives cite developing a digital transformation strategy as their #1 digital priority. This is especially prominent among lower middle-market companies (48%).

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WE NEED A SENSE OF CONSTRUCTIVE IMPATIENCE

DR. BENJAMIN AKANDE, ASSISTANT VICE CHANCELLOR, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS-AFRICA; ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, GLOBAL HEALTH CENTER, WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS Innovation is best achieved when you align it with your competitive advantage—what you do that nobody else could do better. When you focus on your competitive advantage and open yourself to think creatively about trying to best yourself. If copying others is best practice, then besting yourself is next practice—creating what does not yet exist. To someone hoping to do that in St. Louis, I would say: Seek to understand the tangible dynamics of this community. I spent my first year in the city simply talking to leaders, talking to entrepreneurs, and taking the time to really understand their businesses—and what kept them up at night. What was it that they wanted to do next? Those conversations gave me a strong foundation and enabled me to synthesize ideas and feedback into a strategy. For someone in academia, it was important for me to put together curricula based on the current and future challenges that business leaders faced. I discovered my own competitive advantages through the lens of this community. To anyone seeking to do the same, I would also suggest scheduling an appointment with Cortex. Through its partnerships, as with Washington University, and through its programs, it orients entrepreneurs to what St. Louis is all about—and what is next. They can help you to see what’s around the corner; it’s the “next practice” and not just the best practice that Cortex can help you to cultivate.

One Brookings Drive St. Louis, MO 63130 +1-800-638-0700 or +1-314-935-6000

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In The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida talks about three aspects that thriving cities in the 21st century must have: technology, talent, and tolerance. A fourth factor is a great institution—a great university. For St. Louis to own the future, for us to remain relevant into the future, we must embrace the three Ts and our institutions— institutions like Washington University, Cortex, and others who are growing the city’s innovation ecosystem. Technology is alive and well here, as is talent. St. Louis leads the nation in newly created womenowned businesses, for example. But one thing that we still need to work on is tolerance. We need to make sure we’re creating an environment that is conducive and welcoming to people from different walks of life. We’ve got to do it. When we do, I’m confident that we’ll continue to see the reemergence of this remarkable community. Everything I’m describing—the idea of “next practice,” of developing competitive advantages with your community in mind, of embracing the three Ts—necessitates a sense of constructive impatience. We cannot afford to be spectators in a world that is dramatically changing. Irrelevancy is worth than death. We need to fight that tendency toward complacency by being anxious, being creative, by pushing ourselves, and seeking collaboration with one another. If we are bold enough, if we are strong enough, and courageous enough to embrace that, then St. Louis will navigate the future and be a meaningful player in that future.


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WE ONLY HAVE TO TEACH OUR MIND TO LOOK FOR THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT BRING US CLOSER TO ACHIEVING OUR GOALS. BRANDON DEMPSEY, FOUNDER, GOBRANDGO!; HUSBAND, FATHER, ADVENTURER, ENTREPRENEUR, AUTHOR, PROFESSOR, AND GLOBAL NONPROFIT LEADER

Brandon spends his time traveling the world from the back of a BMW motorcycle and adventuring with his family. When he’s not adventuring, you will find him running a marketing agency that serves mid-market manufacturing companies, working with high school kids exploring entrepreneurship, teaching marketing strategy courses at Washington University, or running workshops and speaking on building your business in various parts of the globe.

deciding what to bring into your conscious thought because it’s something you are seeking. The power in leveraging your reticular activation system begins with writing down your goals and reviewing them regularly. With this mindful focus on what you want, your brain starts looking for opportunities to make your goals a reality...just like it looks for your dream car everywhere you go. You will begin to see opportunities you never saw before, because your brain is now selecting them for conscious thought, instead of letting them slip away.

Our brains are wired to give us what we want—we only have to teach our mind to look for the opportunities that bring us closer to achieving our goals. It’s estimated that the human brain takes in 11 million bits of information per second, but the conscious mind is only able to process 50 of them. The reticular activation system (RAS) acts as a filter in our brain, deciding which 50 bits make it into our conscious thought, and which 10-million-plus get discarded.

This simple process has helped me achieve goals I thought were years away, just because I saw, and then acted upon, the opportunities I was missing. You can do the same thing, and I can assure you, you will be amazed at what you can achieve with the power of reticular activation.

Think about something you would like to someday own—say a sports car. How often do you see that car on the road? If it’s rare, can you remember the last time you saw it? If you are like most people, you either seem to see that car everywhere or you can remember the last time you saw the rare car in person. This is your reticular activation system at work—it’s your mind

goBRANDgo! info@goBRANDgo.com | +1-314-754-8712 goBRANDgo goBRANDgo.com 14


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WE’RE BECOMING THE DISRUPTORS IN OUR SPACE AND LEADING OUR CLIENTS TO THE KIND OF WEALTH THAT GIVES THEIR MONEY PURPOSE. JOHN G. GATEWOOD, CFP®, CLU®, PRESIDENT & FOUNDER, GATEWOOD WEALTH SOLUTIONS

When his military pension wasn’t enough to support our family, my father went into life insurance. He realized no one was coordinating all of the separate aspects of families’ financial planning. The Glass–Steagall Act was still in effect, and it kept all financial companies separate; insurance was separate from banks were separate from investment firms. He had a wall in his conference room painted black, and he would bring in clients—plus their banker, their accountant, their attorney, their stockbroker— and together, they’d all work out a strategic plan, which my father would draw out in chalk on the black wall. When the meeting was over, he’d take a Polaroid of the wall for every party, so that everyone could execute their part. That was the background that I grew up in, and my goal has always been to be that central source for families who come to Gatewood. I want to identify what our clients’ goals and objectives are and have an actual plan, with trackable metrics, so they can determine if they’re on-track or off-track—similar to a business plan. But there’s more to it than that. Our wealth is determined by our choices—our behaviors. We choose what house we’ll live in, what car we’ll drive, what schools our children attend. Wealth is primarily a factor of our behaviors around money. So our firm’s greatest value is in our behavioral coaching—investor-behavior coaching—to help our clients make the decisions that really will help them to grow and protect their wealth over time.

When I started in the industry, this sort of information was hard to find. Today, the problem is that information is so abundant, how do you know what’s relevant? How do you even know what’s real? Information is not what makes people wealthy. It’s the decisions they make that make them wealthy or poor. Everyone knows what they need to do to remain physically fit. The information doesn’t make them fit; they have to put it into practice. What we’re doing is enabling them to leverage their financial information to make the best decisions they can.

Over the last 30 years, the US has gone from being the largest creditor nation to the largest debtor nation in the world. Gatewood is on a mission to share our expertise with families, helping them to become and remain self-reliant so they can give purpose to their money—because when we help people grow and maintain their wealth, we are helping society. We’re helping people create capital and to be capital contributors.

The challenge in our industry is that large firms have legacy systems, so it’s very difficult to change to one that is truly current and much more enabling and efficient, like the platform we’re developing. We’re becoming the disruptors in our space and leading our clients to the kind of wealth that gives their money purpose.

Our vision is to become a nationally recognized, comprehensive financialplanning and investment-management brand at the crossroads where our clients’ lives intersect with wealth planning, integrated technology, and financial behavioral coaching. We want to build a platform that connects all three of these in a single, integrated view: a dashboard of clearly defined goals with realtime trackable metrics, scenario analysis, and advisor access. This way people can track improvements through real-time personalized guidance, anywhere and anytime and on any device.

Gatewood Wealth Solutions +1-314-503-4369 northwesternmutual NM_News | northwestern-mutual gatewoodwealth.com 15


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ST. LOUIS IS SHOWING HOW A REGION CAN POSITION ITSELF AT THE VERTEX OF WHERE THE ECONOMICS OF THE NEW CENTURY ARE HEADED. DICK FLEMING, CEO, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT VENTURES, INC.

heading the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association, and since 2012, as CEO of Community Development Ventures, Inc., an economic and entrepreneurial development advisory firm. In Atlanta, that uniqueness was a new international airport and its nationally-distinct African-American business and educational roots. Fourteen years leading Denver’s center city and regional economic development in overcoming the Mile High City’s “boom/bust economy” and the 1980s Energy Bust—it took support of the bold vision of Mayor Federico Peña to “Imagine a Great City” by creating a vibrant mixed-use center city through a combination of historic preservation and revitalizing its formerly abandoned railyards—as well as planning, financing and building the new Denver International Airport. At the depths of that downturn in 1987, Forbes Magazine published an article on Denver’s Energy Bust entitled, “Rocky Mountain Low: You Can’t Fall Off the Floor.” Building DIA, distinctive placemaking and innovation leading to a revitalized central city, and generating over 240,000 net new jobs lead to a 1993 Time Magazine cover story, “Boom Time in The Rockies.” After being recruited to St. Louis in 1994 to lead the now 182-year old Regional Chamber & Growth Association (RCGA), the organization which had funded Charles Lindbergh’s historic “Spirit of St. Louis” Trans-Atlantic flight—the challenge was how to reignite that 1927 spirit of exploration with a new round of innovation and entrepreneurship, to combine with St. Louis’ long-established base of Fortune HQ companies. Utilizing the methodologies of Michael Porter at Harvard’s “Clusters and the New Economics of Competition”—they identified FinTech, Advanced Manufacturing, Transportation/Logistics/Distribution, and Plant and Life Sciences—as St. Louis’ distinctive industry clusters for the future. Since 2000, the latter sector has become St. Louis’ distinctive Bio Belt: Center of Plant & Life Sciences, the region’s biotech niche and now leads the nation in biotech startups.

This headline accompanied Washington Post nationally-syndicated columnist Neal Peirce’s column on St. Louis, following the completion of our BioBelt Strategy in 2000. Then in 2019, economists from the Brookings Institution noted that “To succeed in the global economy, cities must invest in what makes them unique.”

In 2019, with the recent winning of the new $1.75 billion National Geospatial-Intelligence HQ, St. Louis now sets its sights on becoming a Global Geospatial-Intelligence Hub—again, unique to St. Louis.

My now 40+ year path as a private sector “civic entrepreneur” has led me from Atlanta, the “City Too Busy to Hate”; to four years in the Carter Administration sub-cabinet at HUD; to the Mile High City of Denver as founding CEO of The Downtown Denver Partnership, Denver Civic Ventures, Inc. and the Greater Denver Corporation; then on to 18 years

Community Development Ventures CIC@4240, Suite 200 | 4240 Duncan Avenue St. Louis, MO 63112 +1-314-660-1100 | richardcdfleming@gmail.com 16


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SYNERGISTIC VALUE-ADD ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN STARTUPS AND CORPORATES WILL BE BEST STRUCTURED IN A FORMAL PROGRAM WITH AN INTERMEDIARY THAT HAS EXPERIENCE IN ENGAGING BOTH STARTUPS AND CORPORATES TOGETHER. JUDY SINDECUSE, CEO & MANAGING PARTNER, CAPITAL INNOVATORS

The future of the St. Louis entrepreneurial ecosystem will be deeper levels of corporate and startup engagement through structured programs. Corporates struggle to innovate and they must look to startups to assist them with this process. Startups have the ability to be nimble and adapt to new technological trends that can become massive disruptors, whereas corporates are not able to move nearly as quickly. Corporates are able to source new innovations through startups that will assist with investment, partnership, licensing, and acquisition opportunities that can further their growth. From the startups’ perspective, getting the opportunity to work with a corporate as a customer or partner provides much-needed insight and customer capital to fuel their growth and success. Additionally, once startups have a corporate customer, they are able to get their second and third customers more quickly, and also it is very helpful in raising additional capital to scale. From the corporate perspective, not only are they able to get access to cuttingedge technology and business models, but by engaging their employees with startups, the employees can transform the way they think inside the corporation. It allows for boosted creativity for new product concepts that can be deployed for the corporate to drive new lines of revenue. Also, corporate employees learn how resourceful startups need to be with their time, capital, and focus; it infuses this mindset into the employee, allowing them to reinvent themselves in the corporate environment to enhance work product and productivity. This kind of synergistic value-add engagement between startups and corporates will be best structured in a formal program with an intermediary that has experience in engaging both startups and corporates together. This is key in furthering the growth of the St. Louis innovation ecosystem.

Capital Innovators St. Louis, MO 63110 +1-314-669-5832 info@capitalinnovators.com capitalinnovators.com 17


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In order to survive, you must find a way to systematically win the trust of your prospects. JOSH TURNER, CEO, LINKEDSELLING

Founded by Wall Street Journal–bestselling author and CEO Josh Turner, LinkedSelling is the world’s foremost B2B marketing and lead generation company. One of the nation’s fastest-growing companies, we’ve made the Inc. 5000 list three years running and, most recently, have been listed as one of Entrepreneur’s 360 top entrepreneurial companies in America.

That explains why recent surveys reveal that 74% of decision-makers say they prefer to work with professional service providers who also know their colleagues, friends, or acquaintances. It’s no coincidence; this is the modern-day landscape that businesses are up against. In order to survive, you must find a way to systematically win the trust of your prospects.

At the root of our success—and the success of our clients—is something that’s glossed over by many gurus and business schools. And it’s simple:

People ask us our secret and it’s this: Simplify your marketing and focus on the 20% that will bring you 80% of your results.

BE HUMAN. In other words, scrap the complex marketing mixes, tactics, and funnels. Instead, position yourself as an expert and an authority, and build trusted relationships with targeted prospects. Do this and you’ll see that people are drastically more open to hearing your message and your offers.

The modern prospect is suspicious, with a low tolerance for any salesy attitude. They do their research and ask around before making purchase decisions. This means you have to lay the groundwork before you go for the sale by building a relationship with your prospects. In other words: you have to be human. When it comes to actually connecting with prospects and turning them into clients, don’t view lead generation as a ‘hunter’ going after the ‘hunted.’ Especially if you have high-end clients and you offer anything from $2K - $50K+, it’s essential you put the focus on building trust first. This is based on a proven psychological principle: Human connection is as fundamental a need as food or water.

LinkedSelling

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| joshbturner

LinkedSelling 1819 Lynch Street St. Louis, MO 63118 +1-314-499-8892 | linkedselling linkedselling.com


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THE IDEA BEHIND STARTING ARCH GRANTS WAS TO TAKE A NEW APPROACH IN BUILDING OUR ECONOMY. JERRY SCHLICHTER, CO-FOUNDER, ARCH GRANTS; FOUNDING PARTNER, SCHLICHTER BOGARD & DENTON

DOING THE WORK OF MAKING ST. LOUIS A REVITALIZED CENTER FOR INNOVATION.

There’s a link between what I do as a lawyer, representing people on a contingency basis, and what entrepreneurs in other fields do. In both cases, you invest time and money and resources, and only if you’re successful do you recoup those costs. The idea behind starting Arch Grants was to take a new approach in building our economy. We knew we would have to build our own companies from the ground up.

What’s happening here today is very different from the past. We’ve seen entrepreneurs that come here from all over the country, and outside of it— many of them from underrepresented groups—who stay in St. Louis because they feel they are supported and they’re achieving success. They also see the ability to be part of something bigger than themselves or their company—part of a community of entrepreneurs and a community that is ready to help them in whatever way they can. And if these entrepreneurs maintain their passion for what they’re doing, and if they can be ready to pivot when necessary, then we’re going to see successful exits, which will replenish the capital supply and bring about more people investing.

Because of Arch Grants’ nonprofit status, we don’t take equity in the companies we support. It makes what we offer more attractive to startups who are looking for support like ours, and it also makes the startups themselves more attractive for follow-on investment because they have retained all their equity.

There’s not a single point in time at which this shift occurred. It’s been the accumulation of many people over time who care about the community making philanthropic investments as well as strategic investments, recognizing that we are doing things differently. People are rolling up their sleeves, digging in, and doing the work of making this city a revitalized center for innovation.

The St. Louis community has been extremely supportive of these startups in every way—financially, by offering mentoring, professional services including law, accounting, and marketing, and also volunteer judging of the applicants. People in St. Louis see the success of St. Louis startups as the success of the community. And entrepreneurs here say that they don’t feel that they’re competing with other startups; they feel they are part of community life, in a richly supportive environment—what we call a dynamic nesting environment.

Schlichter Bogard & Denton +1-800-USE-LAWS sbd@uselaws.com uselaws.com 19


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MISSOURI PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES DESERVE TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE BEST MEDICAL RESEARCH, BUT IT IS ALSO IMPORANT TO OUR INNOVATION ECONOMY DENA LADD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MISSOURI CURES EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Missouri has not one, but many, outstanding research institutions— Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Missouri, Saint Louis University, and Stowers Institute for Medical Research among them. As the Executive Director of the Missouri Cures Education Foundation, I cultivate and maintain relationships with key policymakers, business leaders, researchers, and patient advocates in the medical research field, on both the state and national levels, to promote and protect all medical research in Missouri. In my role, I cross over into the innovation and entrepreneur space. Missouri Cures hosts the Women in Science, Entrepreneurship & Research events in five cities around the state. What I learned from the speakers and participants at these events is there is a tremendous effort from both organizations and individuals to promote and support the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. These individuals and organizations offer effective training and mentoring opportunities and are encouraging to those interested in starting a business. If there is a shortfall, however, it’s the need for even more job training, in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). LaunchCode, St. Louis Community College, Harris-Stowe, and others are contributing to educating people in the STEM fields. Missouri, as with most states, needs an organization or business to bring all of these groups together to move the state forward. Missouri has seen tremendous growth in startups and entrepreneurial activity over the past decade. This growth in economic activity has been nurtured and supported in a bipartisan way by our elected leaders, community leaders, and others who care about the economic development in our state. If we can bring together more thought leaders on our current state of healthcare, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship, it would make a tremendous impact. It is an exciting time for Missourians.

Missouri Cures Education Foundation PO Box 16580 St. Louis, MO 63105 dladd@missouricures.org MissouriCures | missouricures MissouriCures.org 20


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TRUE INNOVATION IS DRIVEN BY INCREASES IN CONSUMER WELFARE. CARTER WILLIAMS, CEO & MANAGING PARTNER, iSELECT FUND

INNOVATION AND THE LAW OF ACCELERATING RETURNS

But that’s not how innovation works.

Carter Williams is CEO and Managing Partner of iSelect Fund. Educated at MIT, he has spent his career working on innovation, first as a young engineer at McDonnell Douglas, and then as the founder of Boeing Ventures and later as President of Gridlogix, which sold successfully to Johnson Controls.

True innovation is driven by increases in consumer welfare. We don’t buy a gallon of gasoline simply to hold onto it for later. We buy it so we can drive our car to get groceries, take the kids to school, and so on. If a combination of services—such as Uber, electric vehicles, etc.—allows us to lower our net cost and accomplish those chores for less, then we will do more of that and buy less gasoline.

Bob Metcalfe is a name that many in our industry know and greatly respect, and for good reason. After completing his PhD in computer science at Harvard in the 1970s, Bob coinvented the technology behind Ethernet and went on to found 3Com. He even has his own law—dubbed “Metcalfe’s Law”—that states, in short, as networks grow they become increasingly useful and more valuable.

Efficiency mission accomplished. This pattern exists in all markets. The opportunity for innovators, then, is to deliver new welfare and services to consumers versus what they’re using today. What burdens do they face? What opportunities are waiting in those burdens? How can you change things in a way that, over time, can kick in the law of accelerating returns?

He is, quite literally, one of the founding fathers of the Internet as we know it today and someone that I have great respect for. But, in hindsight, what Metcalfe and his early Internet peers thought would happen with computer networking was, in fact, the exact opposite of what actually ended up happening. They expected the government to step in at some point and subsidize the Internet as a public good, to take over for the free market in order to allow innovation to blossom unencumbered by profitmaking concerns.

That’s where the true path to lasting innovation lies. iSelect Fund 1401 S. Brentwood Blvd, Suite 300 St. Louis, MO 63144 +1-800-963-5099 iSelectFund.com 21


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L O U I S MAIN “PURK” LOGO: GOUDY, BOLD ITALIC SECONDARY TEXT IN LOGO: BERNINA SANS

IN ST. LOUIS, YOUR ABILITY TO SUCCEED IS LIMITLESS. JENNAH PURK, FOUNDER & CEO, PURK ASSOCIATES

I think we’re going to see more “horizontal” innovation, which is to say that all of the technology we have now is going to get better—as opposed to “vertical” integration, or a complete overhaul of the processes we currently use. Even with horizontal innovation, we’re still limited by the human element; we can only rationalize so much data, regardless of how it is entered. The human element is not always a disadvantage, and this is especially true in St. Louis in terms of access. We have remarkable access in St. Louis. When you hire a law or accounting firm, you can talk to the partner, not a third-level intern who will take notes and maybe pass your questions up. You can get hold of the people you want to get hold of the same day. That’s lost in so many other large cities. Because of that access, any entrepreneur can be successful in St. Louis if they come in and engage with the people who inspire them, people around them who are doing what they want to do. Your ability to succeed is limitless. We have amazing support organizations in St. Louis, and if you pull up the members’ information on LinkedIn and call them, they will answer. There’s no reason not to succeed if you engage. We have so many privately held companies competing globally, and I can’t think of an industry or company in St. Louis that’s not making the world a better place. What’s ironic is that truth doesn’t often square with what people think of the city, whether they live here or elsewhere. It’s almost as if we need a PR firm, better press, to change that narrative. I say that hesitantly, though, because we also have so much to protect. Talking about innovation in accounting is sort of like talking about water and oil. They aren’t exactly synonymous, and while it’s not like we’re using an abacus, we’re not far off. It’s also not as boring as people think it is. But the two things that obstruct the industry are technology and law—literal acts of Congress. While one is easy to keep up with, the other is not. You find that you’re often trying to plan for the future with no certainty about what the regulations will be around any given industry.

I had an opportunity to spend some time with President George W. Bush, and one of the things that he talked about was moving forward regardless of the press surrounding you. Because the only reality exists in what you are doing— not in what someone else says you are doing. I think that’s so applicable here. As entrepreneurs, we need to start being more vocal about why we are in St. Louis, why we’ve chosen to build our businesses here, employ hundreds of thousands of people there, raise our families, and why we don’t leave. I don’t think the barriers to success here could be any lower, and it’s my responsibility to start saying that.

Even so, the technological innovation around accounting—beyond mobile apps—has to happen. There’s too much opportunity to do things wrong, whether on purpose to avoid and evade, or on accident because you don’t have the information you need to do it correctly. With new industries coming online, these changes will be especially important. With the marijuana industry, for example, banks aren’t sure what money they can take in without jeopardizing their FDIC insurance. And what’s going to happen with tax laws and how they will affect entrepreneurs is nothing but a giant question mark.

Purk & Associates, PC 1034 South Brentwood Blvd, Suite 2000 St. Louis, MO 63117

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Ofc: +1-314- 884-4009 Cell: +1-314- 753-9830 jpurk@purkpc.com purkpc.com


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WHAT ST. LOUIS IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE IS LARGELY BEING FORMED RIGHT NOW–BY ENTREPRENEURS AND CREATORS WHO ARE MOLDING THE FUTURE ECONOMY AND THE FUTURE CULTURE. EMILY LOHSE-BUSCH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARCH GRANTS

ST. LOUIS: A PLACE FOR SOLUTIONISTS. St. Louis is a community with deep civic pride. We’re aware of our challenges, but more importantly, we’re aware of our potential. As a person who has spent most of my career in the social sector, I am acutely aware of the role strategic philanthropy, bold investment and true collaboration can have on a community or a region, and I am thrilled to be in St. Louis right now—as the region takes significant steps to shape the city we want to build for the future. If I could describe in one word what attracted me to Arch Grants—it would be COURAGE. This organization is committed to finding the most innovative, enlightened entrepreneurs in the world whose companies are at their earliest stages, and taking a chance on them, and asking them to take a chance on us. We know that we’re taking a risk every time we give a $50,000 grant to an earlystage company—that company may fail, the founders may leave town, the idea may not work. But we hold these believers and builders in the highest regard because they have put it all on the line for their dream, and they’re looking for similarly courageous people to help them on their journey. Arch Grants is willing to take that journey with them. Entrepreneurs are people who have encountered a problem in their industries or in their lives and decided instead of complaining about it or even just accepting it, they have said, I know a better way and I’m going to take the risk to do that. There’s something very special about that kind of mindset that benefits St. Louis not only in the real direct benefits of jobs and revenue and attracting capital investment, but also in the culture that creates among the next generation of leaders. When I left in 2005, St. Louis was a different place. During a visit I made here in 2015, a mentor of mine recommended that I go check out what was happening along St. Louis’ urban core. As soon as I became aware of the energy and the potential in those areas, I was sold on coming back. I knew this was a special moment in time for my hometown, and that it was on the brink of something. I wanted to be a part of that. Right now, St. Louis is a place for believers and builders. In St. Louis, you have the potential to make an impact on a scale that you just wouldn’t in other communities. And I am confident that, for those of us who invest in building our lives and our businesses in this city, we will see a significant return on that investment as St. Louis grows in size, in development, and in dynamism. For people who want to create, who want to build something, there’s something really exciting about a St. Louis home base. With other larger cities, you know what you’re getting. But what St. Louis is going to look like is largely being formed right now—by entrepreneurs and creators who are molding the future economy and the future culture. That’s what gets me out of bed every morning with renewed energy and enthusiasm for my work. 23

Arch Grants 911 Washington Avenue, Suite 140 St. Louis, MO 63101 +1-314-272-4857 info@archgrants.org


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THERE’S RESEARCH AROUND THE NOTION THAT SUCCESS IS NOT ABOUT HAVING A SINGLE GOOD IDEA, IT’S ABOUT YOUR IDEATION RATE. ZARAK KHAN, BEHAVIORAL INNOVATION DIRECTOR, MARITZ

When I started at Maritz as the behavioral innovation director, I was asked to introduce myself on stage to the entire company. I’ll admit, I was brand new, and speaking authentically to this huge group of people was a little intimidating. I decided to talk about my grandfathers, because I inherited a set of values from them that in large part informs my approach to innovation. One of them was a farmer; he grew and harvested pine trees. I can tell you, there are no quick wins in growing pine trees. It takes years of work, endurance, patience, and care. It also requires—quite literally—field research. You need an innovative spirit, curiosity, and an ability to test your hypotheses. My other grandfather built houses in Jacksonville, Florida, where I grew up. He never wasted anything: materials, time, or the opportunity to meet someone new. In my introduction to Maritz, I talked about how inspiring it was to see his houses— his work—still everywhere around the city, 50 years later. People often associate “move fast and break things” with innovation. And while that might be relevant to some innovation projects, it is antithetical to building a lasting culture and innovation infrastructure. The concepts of patience, research, craftsmanship, and durability are crucial to innovation and what it’s supposed to achieve. Even though I was new to Maritz, I felt at home there, because at a 125-year-old company, there’s an ingrained appreciation for those same concepts and building things that last.

innovation efforts with a single team, or should we design a scalable ideation system? Well, there’s research around the notion that success is not about having a single good idea; it’s about your ideation rate. How many ideas can you generate, and how many can you vet? Your ideation rate is more correlated with growth and net revenue than with other traditional variables. This helped us decide to open our innovation process more broadly.

The other thing I knew is that Maritz’ work has been grounded in psychology and behavioral science for decades. That’s where my team—Behavioral Science and Innovation—comes in. From our position as a center of excellence, our goal is to build out the capacity of the teams with whom we work; we succeed when they succeed. Behavioral science and innovation are a natural pairing—in fact, it surprises me that so few organizations employ this.

Similarly, innovation benefits from the behavioral principle of operational transparency. Essentially, this means we should show the work that’s going on. It engenders trust and can lead to greater participation. Strategically crowdsourcing some ideas allows us to show people where the ideas they’ve given us are in the innovation process—as well as what their peers think about them and how experts in the company are reviewing them. Giving folks visibility allays that feeling of having given their very best ideas and seeing them disappear (even when they actually haven’t).

A key tenet of behavioral science is to understand the context of the environment you are trying to impact. I spent my first year at Maritz with at least 50 different teams, doing everything from setting up remote-device beacons to helping run fulfillment out of the warehouse. I strove to learn asmuch as I could about what we do so that when I started making recommendations, I could trust—and others could too—that those recommendations came from an informed place and a judicious one.

As I approached my one-year anniversary at Maritz, I revisited that speech from when I first started and was surprised and pleased to see how much of it still rang true. With the history this team and company have, maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Maritz 1375 North Highway Drive Fenton, MO 63099 +1-636-827-4000 | maritz.com

We also turn to research—our own and conducted by others—to inform the design of our innovation processes. For example, should we concentrate our 24


“The future lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.” —John Maynard Keynes


FUTURE CITIES & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT


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BUILDING AN INNOVATION COMMUNITY 4260 and 4320 Forest Park Ave.

ELEVATOR PITCH Positioning Cortex as the model for Global Innovation Hubs

Founded in 2002, the Cortex Innovation Community is a nationally and internationally recognized hub of innovation and technology commercialization located in St. Louis’ Central West End. Founded through a collaboration of Washington University in St. Louis, BJC Healthcare, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden, Cortex is the largest regional anchor of a growing ecosystem of innovative startups and established technology companies. It has been cited by the Brookings Institution as a Best Practice among global urban innovation districts. To date, Cortex has developed 2 million square feet that are home to 430 tech-commercial companies, university academic units, residential developments, and support retail. With 6,000 employees working in the District, it is a 24/7 live-work-play-learn innovation community that is served by a new light-rail commuter station opened in 2018, funded by a federal TIGER grant and matched by Cortex. There is a new $20M I-64/40 interchange, and multiple bus routes traverse the District.

During the 1990s, several civic conversations were convened to determine how best to enhance and catalyze the region’s entrepreneurial environment to position the St. Louis region as a global hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. In September 2000, these discussions culminated in a pivotal Battelle Memorial Institute Technology Partnership study that provided a roadmap for leveraging regional assets and developing tools necessary to formally establish a regional technology hub that would initially focus on bioscience research and technology. One of the placemaking strategies that resulted was the formation of Cortex, located in a blighted, industrial-legacy 200-acre district situated between two of the region’s premier universities: Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University, and adjacent to the region’s first technology incubator, the Center for Emerging Technologies. From 200227


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Cortex Commons and @4240 Duncan Avenue in the background.

Grand opening of the Cortex MetroLink Train Station, Summer 2018.

2009, Cortex leadership was provided directly by the Board of Directors. Under their direction, significant progress was made. After incorporating as a nonprofit, the founding members capitalized the initiative with a $29M investment. A formal redevelopment district was established with approval from the City of St. Louis. The agreement designated Cortex as the Master Developer with powers that include master planning, conferring of incentives on third-party developers, and eminent domain to assist in parcel consolidation. With these resources, the Board acquired key land parcels and secured State of Missouri development tax credits and federal grants. By the end of 2009, an abandoned 28


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factory had been rehabbed into residential condominiums and apartments; two new technology buildings were constructed (a multi-tenant office/lab building known as Cortex I, and a singletenant, build-to-suit R&D soybean research facility for Solae); and Cortex was home to 35 companies. Having tested the vision and demonstrated success, the Board decided to hire professional staff to advance the organization’s mission more quickly. In 2010, the first President and CEO was hired, with the staff growing to 13 employees to date. Since 2010, many new collaborations, development partnerships, and projects have resulted, including a 3-acre park known as the Cortex Commons, and 15 additional buildings that have been or are being constructed.

Our Mission & Goals

Facebook Founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with local entrepreneurs at Cortex, Fall 2017 .

The mission of Cortex is to develop a nationally and internationally recognized innovation hub that position’s St. Louis to be economically competitive in the global, knowledgebased economy.” Our Goals are to (1) increase the City’s tax base to support essential services, (2) attract and create high-tech jobs, and (3) become the most inclusive urban innovation district in America.

How We Implement Our Goals

Innovators engaged in serendipitous collisions during Venture Cafe Thursday Gathering at @4240 Duncan.

Gathering of innovators at 4220 Duncan.

To achieve our Goals, Cortex engages in “innovation engineering.” We have evolved our business plan over time to focus on building an innovation community, and not just an urban business park. We developed and are implementing a new mixed-use masterplan to create a live-work-play-learn, car-optional community of innovators. We changed our name to the Cortex Innovation Community. We expanded Cortex to include all technologies— not just bioscience. We now have a dual focus on growing our own startup companies as well as recruiting established technology companies. We actively engage and invest in physical placemaking public realm improvements. And we facilitate and curate a broad range of entrepreneurial programming that supports our innovation companies and inclusion objectives.

Dennis Lower, President and CEO of Cortex, welcomes a group of Square employees during their campus orientation.

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BioGenerator Labs at Cortex.

4220 Duncan.

District Innovation Activators The 200-acre District hosts 11 activator/accelerator centers that support the startup community with flexible space, technical assistance programming, and funding. They include the Cambridge Innovation Center, Venture Café St. Louis, Innovation Hall, EdHub STL, BioGenerator Accelerator Labs, Center for Emerging Technologies, Sling Health Labs, MEDLaunch, Capital Innovators Accelerator, Ameren Energy Accelerator, and COLLAB. Two more innovation centers are now in planning: the the name was changed to: “Global Center for Cybersecurity @ Cortex” as well as the : Geospatial Collaborative @ Cortex. Each of these centers have their own programming that supports startups and established technology-related companies.

Corporate District Presence

4260 Forest Park Avenue, Boyle Avenue entrance.

In addition to entrepreneurial startups, a strong cohort of established corporates also reside in Cortex. They include the Midwest regional headquarters of Microsoft, the US corporate and R&D headquarters of AB Mauri North America (a food ingredient company), DuPont—Nutrition & Health Protein Solutions Division (soybean R&D and GMP facility), Square, Boeing, Accenture, Express Scripts, Centene, Ascension Technologies, Alcami, Aon, Booz Allen Hamilton, ESRI, Emerson, Mastercard, and General Dynamics Information Technology. A number of these corporates provide contract services to the St. Louis National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA West).

What’s Next for Cortex Innovation Community

Award-winning chef and co-owner of Vicia, Michael Gallina.

At full buildout, Cortex will contain over 4 million square feet of new and rehabilitated facilities, $2.5 billion of facility investment, up to 15,000 permanent jobs, and over 600 companies. Currently, three new buildings and parking structures totaling 2 million square feet. are in design: a 325,000-square-foot tech commercial building, a 500,000-square-foot neurosciences research building, and a 244-unit residential project.

Cortex Innovation Community 320 Forest Park Avenue, Suite 201 St. Louis, Missouri 63108 CortexSTL Cortext Innovation Community Cortexstl.com 30


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ELEVATOR PITCH Randy got his start in the software business pretty much right out of school. An electrical engineer, Randy made the hop from engineering to software in the ’80s and then started his first software-consulting firm, Quilogy, in the early ’90s, re-settling his family in Saint Charles, where he and his wife had grown up. After eighteen years growing that business to 540 employees with eighteen offices across the country that serviced the likes of Entergy and Microsoft, Randy sold the company and started BoardPaq, a leading provider of software to run paperless board meetings. BoardPaq was new, but its offices were the product of something Randy and his wife had been doing for some time: buying up historic buildings in Downtown Saint Charles.

County, we didn’t really have anything like that,” Randy remembers. “I thought, Well, we already have a good tech group here; what if we were to formalize that?”

OUR STORY

Soon after, the family who owned the old post office building asked if Randy might buy it. Built in 1909 and having stood vacant for the previous few years, it was in need of significant renovation, but Randy was equal to the task.

Their first such purchase was an Oddfellows building built in 1878—which, it turned out, Randy’s wife’s great-great-great-grandfather had built. The couple started buying up other buildings as office space for their Quilogy employees.

“We put those two things together: how can we help other entrepreneurs do things and how can we create more of an entrepreneurial community downtown?”

“It was a give-back to the community, but we were also looking for a way to start a tech and innovation district,” Randy says. “We wondered, How do we re-use these big old buildings that are really too big for a shop to go into—but how do we make them pay for themselves after the renovation?”

OPO Startups (named for the “old post office”) was established—a marriage of Saint Charles’ history, in the form of a rescued centenarian building, and Saint Charles’ future: technology and creative companies and the community they naturally created.

The answer was to devote the buildings’ first floors to retail and lease out the upper floors to software and tech companies—many of whom Randy had offered council to, entrepreneur-to-entrepreneur, and some of whom he offered free office space to while they got on their feet. Without at first realizing it, Randy was building a co-working space.

BoardPaq, Randy’s company, and several others, including Miano.TV, Fusion 5, Parameter Security, Transactly, and Wheelhouse Solutions, now occupy seven buildings, with the old post office building at their heart; the organization’s meeting rooms, event space, and more can be found there. And while many of the first floors of the buildings are retail spaces and

Though they were coming into popularity further afield, “in Saint Charles 31


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the upper floors are tech or creative companies, the industries are finding ways to support one another. A mom-and-pop printer creates stationery and business cards, for example, for a digital-marketing agency, who in turn curates the local shop’s online presence and storefront, allowing them to compete and to thrive. “Ten years ago, we didn’t have this, so it’s been really neat to see that the innovators leading the way in terms of revitalizing parts of our region—everything from the core, from Downtown Saint Louis—T-REX and Cortex Innovation Community—to our little area on Main Street in Saint Charles,” Randy says. “And it keeps getting better and better every day.” The symbiotic relationships that OPO Startups has fostered prove that innovation lies not just in a globalized future but also in local history, in weaving them together to create an innovation community that is as strong as it is unique.

OPO Startups 119 South Main Street Saint Charles, MO 63301 +1-314-328-4656 | info@opostartups.com 32

opostartups opo_startups OPOStartups opostartups.com


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WORK. LIFE. BALANCED.

ELEVATOR PITCH Covo is a beautiful, welcoming place to grow your business, complete with a diverse and inclusive community of incredible entrepreneurs who are propelling St. Louis forward. Our space is wrapped around Trust, a craft cocktail bar in our gorgeous, historic gem of a building. Enjoy Covo from $2/ hour for drop-in to $400/month for a fully furnished private office.

OUR STORY Covo is, at its heart, a beautiful coworking space that is leveling the playing field for ALL entrepreneurs. With a focus on supporting women and minorities (while also making sure no one feels out of place) Covo is warm, accessible, and inclusive.

Main Hall

As a female- and minority-founded company, our CEO Rebecca encounters both gender discrimination and white privilege benefits on a daily basis. She has carefully studied and written about the problems with patriarchy for all involved, and the benefits of diversity and inclusion to the bottom line. Rebecca has set out to help craft not only a fairer but also a more diverse, viable, successful world, starting with Covo. Covo actively seeks individuals and teams from all industries, ages, colors, origins, genders, lifestyles, and walks of life. Covo stands for Collective Voice, and we believe everyone’s voice deserves to be heard and equally valued. In connecting with local Hispanic, Black, and Asian regional Chambers of Commerce, the STL Mosaic Project, Brazen’s network, Arch Grants, EQ, Tech Artista and the rest of the local coworking community, the Covo team found a Downtown STL community with values that resonate with their own. “It’s a goal of ours to provide space for people who haven’t previously had access. For whatever reason. It allows people who may not have ever been exposed to coworking the opportunity to learn more and, hopefully, join and contribute to the community at some level. Inside these four walls, the playing field is flat. Everyone contributes and there isn’t a hierarchy based on privilege. It’s how the world should be. And we use it as a platform to push these values outside of our walls as well,” says Rebecca.

401 Pine Covo

the industry, touring over 500 spaces around the world, learning, sharing, and speaking at conferences, and always looking for the next thing, the next amenity, the next hot piece of modular furniture. The entire Covo team is devoted to the community, each other, and making continual improvements to push the boundaries of coworking and shared workspace.

Why St. Louis? That moment of choosing where to establish Covo’s second-ever coworking space, was not just an act of faith—betting on the innovation community in St. Louis — but also an act of restoration—a moment of taking up the mantle of history, to restore a sense of provenance and renew a sense of purpose to the historic Mississippi Valley Trust Company building.

Visit stl.hellocovo.com/covoday to book your very own free day with lots of goodies ($35 value), and experience Covo for yourself. Covo +1-314-455-6313 infostl@hellocovo.com | CovoSTL stl.hellocovo.com

Rebecca’s history in coworking since 2009, and being an early leader of the industry has allowed her to obsessively immerse in the warm embrace of 33


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From left to right, top first—Alex Anderson (Covo Director of Coworking), Danny Moriarty (Prior Events Manager), Jason Pan (Covo Founder), Rob Somescales (Trust Co-Owner), Baylee Johnson (Trust Bartender) Kevin Titus (The Chocolate Pig, Prior Trust Bartender), Daniel Brian (Covo Founder), Megan McDonnell (Tenacity Marketing & Communications Manager), Andrew Trinh (Covo Community Manager)

Just tried out Covo for the first time ever—and it was WONDERFUL! Worldwide (I’ve seen coworking spaces in NYC, Toronto, Bali + Singapore, to date) this may have been my best co-working experience, to date. Loved it. The ‘Covo Days’ are a brilliant idea and you’ve just gotten a new fan, for sure! :) Thanks for all you do. :)”

Trust Cocktail (Yes, that is real fire)

—Dayna Steele Launch Party Founders: Daniel Brian and Rebecca Brian Pan (Covo Founders at Trust’s Prohibition Launch Party)

Hourly Drop-in Lounge

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Arch Grants Event at Covo


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ELEVATOR PITCH RISE Collaborative is both a workspace for professional women to conduct business and a curated community for women focused on growing professionally and personally. With the flexibility of a coffee shop but the polish of a corner office, RISE is where women can thrive with like-minded professionals, focus on business, and make connections to support one another’s success.

OUR STORY Inside RISE Collaborative—a beautiful, light-filled workspace on the Clayton/Ladue corridor—there is a quote written on a prominent wall that reads, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. —Simon Sinek.” That message gets to the heart of RISE Collaborative. Focused on empowering women in business and building social capital, RISE Collaborative works to create meaningful connections between individuals, companies, and organizations to foster a stronger and healthier business community for women in St. Louis—to “up the average” for every member of its community. Like many entrepreneurs, Founder/CEO Stacy Taubman originally created RISE Collaborative to solve her own problem. After more than a decade working as a math teacher, Stacy created her first company, Girls Dreaming Big, and juggled it with her full-time job responsibilities. When the company really took off, Stacy decided to transition out of education and focus her full attention on her entrepreneurial endeavor.

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And only two years after opening its flagship location in St. Louis, RISE’s national expansion has already begun. RISE Denver opened in April 2019 in the Cherry Creek neighborhood with an already-flourishing community of founding members. Stacy and her team hope to bring RISE Collaborative into 15 other domestic cities, and possibly even abroad! With the right community beside you, anything is possible.

Instead of increased productivity and success, Stacy found herself lonely and struggling. Despite her excitement at being out on her own and pursuing her dream, she felt the incredibly common loneliness of entrepreneurship. What she lacked was a community. And from that loneliness, she found herself paralyzed by fear and considered giving up her business dreams. Much to her surprise, she started seeing her own struggles reflected in other women she met during this time. They too craved collaboration and connection with other women striving for success and needed an inspiring, productive place to work and meet. It was then that Stacy began to realize what she’d been missing.

Stacy Taubman, Founder/CEO: +1-314-591-7012 stacy@RISEworkspace.com Kate Wiegmann, Partner/COO: +1-314-603-4477 kate@RISEworkspace.com Sara Needham, Partner/General Manager, Denver: +1-720-541-8558, sara@RISEworkspace.com

RISE came out of the specific desire to create a supportive, intentional community for women in St. Louis. While it started to meet the needs of what Stacy felt as an entrepreneur, it has grown into so much more. RISE members range from one-woman startups to $500 million-corporate CEOs. Countless members have reported business growth of 200% or more as a result of joining RISE, and the community is helping women build social capital and strategies that successfully include their ideas, needs, goals, and strengths.

8820 Ladue Road, Suite 203 St. Louis, MO 63124 +1-314-325-6799 info@riseworkspace.com RISE Collaborative Workspace RISEcollabwkspc risecollaborativeworkspace riseworkspace.com

Beyond a thriving membership, RISE has grown successful nonprofit and publishing arms. RISE Society, Inc. empowers women and girls to pursue their goals with confidence, regardless of financial means, by providing mentoring opportunities, educational events, and scholarships to RISE. The nonprofit hosts conferences for high school girls and provides mentorship programs to connect young girls with the successful women of RISE Collaborative. RISE also has a publishing arm, On the RISE Press, which has published three volumes of an inspiring anthology series and will also produce single-author publications. RISE is creating stronger and more successful female professionals to strengthen the financial health of the community and foster a mindset of empowerment, acceptance, success, gratitude, and collaboration in today’s workforce. The name RISE Collaborative has become synonymous not only with community and growth but with high-quality events, too. RISE has partnered with national brands, such as Warby Parker and Nicole Miller, and successful local businesses to bring dynamic programming to members and the larger St. Louis community. It also hosts an annual boutique conference focused on learning, sharing, empowering, and supporting women on the RISE.

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ELEVATOR PITCH St. Louis Mosaic Project is a regional initiative managed by St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, World Trade Center St. Louis, and a 32-member steering committee. Its goals are to transform St. Louis into the fastest-growing major metropolitan area for immigration by 2025, to add 25,000 more foreign-born to the region from 2016-2025, and to promote regional prosperity through immigration and innovation.

others in terms of population growth and economic prosperity, which could be helped by attracting and retaining foreign-born of all ethnicities and skill levels. This is why the St. Louis Mosaic Project started in 2013, with a steering committee of 30 community leaders from agencies, businesses, universities, and government representation. The St. Louis Mosaic Project has two regional goals: for the St. Louis region to be the fastest-growing major metro for foreign-born by 2025 and for the region to add 25,000 foreign-born people to our regional MSA population from the base number in 2016.

OUR STORY

Mosaic’s innovative approach to attracting and retaining foreign-born people to the St. Louis region is demonstrated through its programs, acting as an exemplar for peer cities. One such program, the International Mentoring Program, was started by local volunteer Annie Schlafly with a mission to help international women acclimate to their new lives in St. Louis by pairing them with local mentors. The pilot program started with a cohort of five St. Louis local women and five international women in January 2018, and since has added 12 more cohorts as it continues growing. Schlafly’s effort is matched with Susan Gobbo’s, a Brazilian trailing spouse, who started the International Spouse Meetup Group for many other women in similar

The St. Louis Mosaic Project is an initiative of the World Trade Center St. Louis and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. Research in 2012–2013 by the William T. Kemper Foundation showed that the bi-state region has under 5% foreign-born population versus a national average of almost 14%. This research summarized how St. Louis was missing the social, cultural, and economic value that the foreign-born bring to neighborhood vitality, entrepreneurship, STEM jobs, and local schools. It also highlighted the benefit of having a growing tax base and adding a range of skills to fill jobs unfilled by the local population. The St. Louis region was falling behind 37


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Bomi Park, Assistant Project Manager

circumstances to hers. The Meetup Group currently provides a support system for 370+ international spouses in St. Louis. Mosaic also sponsors the St. Louis Expat Men’s Group. These programs have been crucial for the retention of international families that move to the St. Louis region.

Betsy Cohen, Executive Director

St. Louis Mosaic Project 120 S. Central Avenue, Suite 1200 St. Louis, MO 63105 ecohen@worldtradecenter-stl.com STLMosaic STLMosaicProject stlmosaicproject.org

Other key programs run by the Mosaic Project include the Professional Connectors Program which connects 100 work-authorized immigrants each year who have degrees abroad with local networks for career opportunities; the International Student Program which educates, prepares, and connects the 9,000 international students (majority STEM) at 14 universities with employers who need talent; the Corporate Hiring Program brings education and legal advice to companies who need help filling open positions and are seeking international talent for startups or ongoing businesses; the Immigrant Entrepreneur Program offers assistance and referrals especially in the food and high-tech fields; and finally Ambassador Programs for 850 individuals who help welcoming foreign-born people, 45 schools or school districts and 30 companies and organizations who help welcome foreign-born people.

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Ribbon Cutting at Grove Collaborative in St. Peters

ELEVATOR PITCH Founded in 2007, Missouri Partnership is a public-private economic development organization focused on attracting new jobs and investment to the state and promoting Missouri’s business strengths, working in partnership with the Hawthorn Foundation, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the State of Missouri, and economic development agencies across the state.

Since 2007, the Missouri Partnership team has helped attract more than 22,000 new jobs, more than $1.1 billion in new annual payroll, and more than $2.7 billion in new capital investment. One key member of the team is Deborah Price, the organization’s vice president of business recruitment and general counsel. She is a longtime public servant who has spent her legal career serving the people of Missouri. Deborah works with company executives and consultants who are looking at possible expansions to Missouri across several industry sectors, including agtech and health innovation. Each of these projects is usually a multi-million dollar business investment that creates new jobs for Missouri residents.

OUR STORY Led by an independent Board of Directors and working in collaboration with partners from across the state, Missouri Partnership’s expert team provides direct support to companies interested in investing in Missouri and works statewide to connect companies with the best locations and solutions for their business goals.

Before joining Missouri Partnership, Deborah served as the Director of Boards & Commissions in the Office of the Missouri Governor. In this role, Deborah developed and managed a process to recruit, vet, and appoint thousands of individuals, ensured compliance with hundreds of statutes, and handled the Senate confirmation process. She also interviewed and recommended individuals to the Governor for county elected-office vacancies. Prior to that, Deborah served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri where she was lead attorney on both civil and criminal consumer fraud litigation alleging violations of Missouri’s Unfair Merchandising Practices Law. Deborah’s efforts resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution for victims as well as court orders enjoining fraudulent and unfair business practices.

Missouri Partnership offers companies, at no cost to them, a broad suite of site-selection consultant services to put their business in the best possible position to pursue a successful expansion. These include vetting available sites, locating new or existing buildings, providing data and information on communities and workforces, providing insights on available incentives, coordinating customized labor solutions, identifying utility availability, and liaising between the company and state, regional and local governments, utilities, property owners, and more.

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Before working in the Consumer Protection Division, Deborah was assigned to the Child Support Unit where she represented the Missouri Department of Social Services on hundreds of court cases. Deborah also had the privilege of serving as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University School of Law where she taught Civil Practice for three semesters. In 2015, Deborah was appointed as a Regent on the Harris-Stowe State University Board of Regents and currently serves in that capacity. Deborah is also a member of the Jewish Community Relations Council and was recently honored by the organization as “Emerging Leader.” In 2015 Deborah was nominated and named as a Fellow as part of the Frank Family Institute’s Young Leadership Program. Deborah is a 2011 recipient of the Missouri Lawyers Media’s Women’s Justice Award in the category of Public Service Practitioner.

Missouri Partnership 120 S. Central Avenue, Suite 1535 St. Louis, MO 63105 +1-314-725-0949

MOPartnership MissouriPartnership missouri-partnership mopartnership missouripartnership.com

Deborah Price, Vice President Of Business Recruitment And General Counsel

The Missouri team at SelectUSA in Washington, DC 40


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead


FUNDERS, ACCELERATORS & MENTORS


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ELEVATOR PITCH iSelect is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in companies that are addressing critical global issues, in large markets, and with financially attractive business models, with a focus on agriculture, healthcare, B2B software, and resource efficiency.

To this end, iSelect is supporting disruptive emerging technologies that can substantially change markets, tapping the enormous potential of agtech, food revolution, and healthcare innovation and offering access to pre-IPO/ pre-exit companies. We do this through a carefully designed process that incorporates three main pillars: Diversification: Smart investors know if they invest in just one venture they will lose—but investing in a diversified portfolio of 20, 30, or more ventures achieves annual compounded returns greater than 20%. Research and fund performance represented by the Kauffman Foundation, Cambridge Associates, and 500 Startups all reach the same conclusion. Modern portfolio theory teaches us that, by investing in more than one stock, an investor can reap the benefits of diversification—chief among them, a reduction in the riskiness of the portfolio. iSelect sources and researches investment opportunities so its investors don’t have to.

OUR STORY The American entrepreneur is the single most effective wealth producer the world has ever known. American entrepreneurs solve the world’s big problems and generate tremendous profits doing so. Want affordable healthcare? Support an entrepreneur who’s working on that problem. Want to improve education? An entrepreneur is out there making that happen. Want to create jobs? Look to entrepreneurs and the companies they create. In fact, over the last 50 years, nearly all new net job growth in this country has come from companies that are less than five years old.

Diligence: Kauffman Foundation data clearly shows that success also requires extensive diligence and industry expertise. Further, the assets underpinning the venture must still be fundamentally valuable and the company’s progress monitored diligently. iSelect performs more than 120 hours of diligence on each deal it invests in, leveraging expert Selection Committees in our investment review and actively monitoring company progress post-investment.

The resilience of our global economy comes from customers eager for better answers, entrepreneurs bold enough to think differently, and investors willing to fund new ventures.

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National Scope: Silicon Valley cultivates software, IT, media, and entertainment ventures. But what about everything else? How can investors tap into the rest of America’s unique innovation engine? After all, not every successful company is built in Silicon Valley. iSelect brings accredited and institutional investment to early-stage ventures in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and many more because that’s where we’re finding the best opportunities. We invest outside Silicon Valley because these locations offer cheaper operating costs, proximity to customers, excellent talent, rational valuations, and strong exit opportunities.

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iSelect Fund 1401 S. Brentwood Blvd, Suite 300 St. Louis, MO 63144 +1-800-963-5099 iSelect Fund iselectfund iSelectFund.com


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OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISCOVERY “BETWEEN THE COASTS”

ELEVATOR PITCH Lewis & Clark Ventures partners with early-stage companies throughout America’s heartland to build the infrastructure and talent needed to scale those businesses into market leaders. We are a St. Louis–based venture capital firm with the strong conviction that innovation and entrepreneurial talent are plentiful “Between the Coasts.”

is an entrepreneur and technology leader, responsible for overseeing every aspect of Lewis & Clark Ventures, from fund management to deal sourcing to investments. As our fund matures, we’ve validated our hypothesis that venture capital “Between the Coasts” is a robust opportunity. Our boots-on-the-ground approach throughout the middle of the country enables us to engage with intelligent entrepreneurs and truly make a difference.

OUR STORY Named for those dauntless explorers who set out from St. Louis more than 200 years ago, Lewis & Clark Ventures invests in the highest potential expansion-stage companies, backing entrepreneurs in the fields of enterprise software, digital healthcare, consumer products, and agriculture technology along their journeys towards scale and significance.

By autumn 2019, our firm had committed more than $80 million to 18 portfolio companies in 11 cities. Five are based in St. Louis, namely: Aker Technologies: An innovative agtech startup that provides growers, suppliers, and agricultural retailers with under-the-canopy disease and pest crop diagnostics.

In 2015, based on indications that the Midwest and other non-coastal states appeared to be undercapitalized, former operators founded Lewis & Clark Ventures in St. Louis, Missouri.

Summersalt: An e-commerce company using a proprietary database of over 1.5 million measurements to provide women with designer swimwear that fits perfectly.

Our General Partner, Thomas J. Hillman, has been involved with private business enterprises throughout his career, including ownership of more than 65 companies spanning a spectrum of industries. He serves on several prominent boards of trustees in the metropolitan area, underscoring that commitment to collaborative leadership. Managing Partner Brian Hopcraft

Benson Hill Biosystems: Empowers innovators with a revolutionary crop design platform to develop healthier and more sustainable food and ingredients. 45


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OneSpace: An online platform that enables CPG brands to optimize their “digital shelf” with unrivaled speed and scale. Adarza: This medical-device platform leverages light reflection technology to detect the presence of proteins in a single drop of blood. Our experienced team uses sound investment criteria to evaluate companies we believe are poised to expand in bold and exciting ways, with a transformative technology, brand, or product in development. A collaborative founder-investor relationship is a crucial part of our overall strategy. At Lewis & Clark Ventures, our aim is to become a trusted partner to every entrepreneur we back and assist—a vision our team works tirelessly to put into action every day. We perform due diligence for our investments, serve as board members and board observers, produce original research relevant to our investors and entrepreneurs, and bring together our portfolio leadership through summits and special events. Each member of our team makes Lewis & Clark Ventures better through their unique contributions. We also continue to evaluate the heartland ecosystem as a whole, aware that serious scrutiny is necessary for sustainable innovation. Our annual “Tech Between the Coasts” report takes a tough look at the region’s strengths and weaknesses regarding investment potential. In our most recent report, we note that in 2018, the region received more attention in conversations about venture funding than at any point in recent memory. We welcome the increased focus on the heartland’s strong fundamentals, including world-class research institutions, an abundance of STEM graduates, and the bulk of Fortune 500 companies—to say nothing of good old-fashioned grit.

David Russell, PhD; Austin Woods; Larry Page, PhD; Brian Hopcraft; Helen Ciesielski; Ron Watson, PhD; Thomas J. Hillman; David Poldoian; Courtney Moffat

Lewis & Clark Ventures Lewis & Clark Ventures LACVentures info@lacventures.com lewisandclarkventures.com

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ELEVATOR PITCH Capital Innovators provides innovation consulting and entrepreneurialbased programs in addition to acting as a liaison between corporations and startups and providing investment into attractive early-stage businesses. Capital Innovators’ Accelerator has been ranked as a Top Accelerator in the country for five years in a row and has invested in and guided over 111 companies to date.

OUR STORY Capital Innovators was founded in 2010 after extensive research on entrepreneurship in St. Louis. Its founder Judy Sindecuse recognized that the region’s early-stage tech startups required better access to funding and mentorship to flourish. By bringing resources together, the region’s first seed Accelerator program was born. Capital Innovators became the catalyst that fueled St. Louis’s entrepreneurial growth by creating the opportunity for later-stage investment firms, real-estate companies, and entrepreneurial support organizations to flourish. Capital Innovators has a history of operating 12-week accelerator programs with the objective of de-risking early-stage investments. It also provides later-stage seed funding outside of the Accelerator for Series A investments into promising high-growth businesses. Capital Innovators has experienced tremendous success in its investment portfolio. 85% of its businesses are still operating and they have gone on to raise over $300 million in followfunding and create over 1,000 jobs. In addition to targeting high-growth investment opportunities, Capital Innovators provides a suite of corporate innovation offerings. It leverages its global network to source innovative technologies for corporations so they can remain competitive in their given markets. Capital Innovators manages corporate venture capital arms for companies so organizations can have their investments managed by a firm with a track record of success. They also provide internal innovation opportunities so organizations can reinvent their existing workforce and rapidly commercialize new concepts to market. Not only does Capital Innovators help corporations find new innovations, but they also help transform corporate culture through its programs. It has created mechanisms for employees to engage with startups that results in increases in creativity and efficiency within the corporate environment. This is due to how corporate employees learn from the startups and infuse that innovative mindset back into their organization. Capital Innovators consistently ranks as amongst one of the best Accelerators and innovation companies in the United States and is continuously evolving its model to provide value to the market.

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ELEVATOR PITCH The Yield Lab is an agriculture technology venture capital firm and business accelerator. We invest in early-stage AgTech companies that will sustainably increase the world food supply. Selected companies receive a capital investment from the Yield Lab and participation in our business accelerator program.

OUR STORY The Yield Lab was founded in St. Louis in 2014 in large part due to Thad Simons, CEO of Novus International at the time. While at a conference, Thad noticed significant resources in Canada going to AgTech startups, but a very limited amount of resources going to AgTech startups in the United States. Seeing this as an opportunity, the Yield Lab formed. Within a few short months, the Yield Lab was off making investments and developing AgTech startups. The Yield Lab invests in six areas: 1.) Crop Protection/Production 2.) Animal Health/Nutrition 3.) Supply Chain/Logistics 4.) Food Ingredients 5.) Agriculture Sustainability 6.) Precision Agriculture Companies participating in the Yield Lab accelerator program receive world-class mentorship from agribusiness executives as well as access to the deep, international Yield Lab network. The Yield Lab team taps these resources to provide as much exposure as possible to opportunities of capital, customers, or collaborators. 49


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Matt Plummer

The Yield Lab has built upon its reputation to receive two awards: The Global Ambassador Award from the World Trade Center in St. Louis, as well as the Most Valuable AgTech Accelerator 2018 from AgFunder. After the initial success and momentum of AgTech investing, the Yield Lab expanded, opening offices in Ireland, Argentina, and Singapore. These locations provide access to even more innovative technologies but also allow any portfolio company to utilize Yield Lab team members in these locations to access new networks and navigate business cultures. The Yield Lab is located in an excellent region to be involved with agriculture. Seventy percent of the world’s corn and soybeans grow within 500 miles of St. Louis with high figures for livestock as well. In addition, the Yield Lab’s proximity to commercial and logistical infrastructure right along the Mississippi River to move grains, fruits, produce, meats, and more helps greatly in coupling technology with agricultural infrastructure.

The Yield Lab Matt Plummer, Principal +1-314-753-8671 | matt@theyieldlab.com theyieldlab TheYieldLab TheYieldLab theyieldlab.com

The Yield Lab is proud to be founded and headquartered in St. Louis in the 39 North District and to be helping grow the region into a global AgTech capital.

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ELEVATOR PITCH BioSTL is St. Louis’ bioscience industry leader, driving a new innovation economy by building upon the region’s world-class medical and plant science, training entrepreneurs, investing in startups, building companies, establishing avenues to capital, providing free access to state-of-the-art labs, connecting globally, developing an inclusive workforce, and shaping sound public policy.

OUR STORY Startups + Capital + People + Place + Policy + Global Connectedness

Since 2001, BioSTL has galvanized St. Louis’ innovation economy with a comprehensive set of nationally acclaimed initiatives that advance St. Louis’ leadership in solving important world challenges in agriculture, medicine, healthcare, and other technology areas. We have organized the BioSTL Coalition, comprised of top academic, civic, philanthropic and scientific leaders to advance St. Louis bioscience.

Startups

BioGenerator, the investment arm of BioSTL, creates and builds new companies and infuses capital into local startups. It de-risks commercially viable innovations; recruits and advises leadership teams; makes staged investments grounded in rigorous due diligence; and provides free access to wet-lab space and research equipment at its BioGenerator Labs. To date, BioGenerator has invested $23 million into 79 portfolio companies, which have raised a total of $880 million.

Place

Global Connectedness

Our GlobalSTL Initiative brings the world to St. Louis by recruiting high-growth, global companies, innovations, and talent to our region. GlobalSTL serves as a navigator to St. Louis’ world-class corporate and innovation ecosystem and introduces oversees innovators to major customers and strategic partners to create competitive advantage for St. Louis companies and drive business growth in North America. To date, 17 international companies recruited by GlobalSTL have established a new presence in the St. Louis region.

Capital

We promote a leading-edge physical environment, including incubators, labs, and innovation districts. From our founding in 2001, BioSTL has recognized that facilities, physical infrastructure, and innovation place-making to accommodate and encourage startups are essential elements of a robust ecosystem. The St. Louis ecosystem today boasts a wide array of co-working and innovation spaces in urban and suburban settings, promoting collaboration and connectivity. The BioGenerator Labs are home to more than 225 researchers and 50+ St. Louis startup companies.

People

BioSTL has grown seed and venture capital accessible to startups in the St. Louis region by catalyzing the creation of new local funds and attracting new investor groups both nationally and internationally. BioSTL also connects startups to potential investors and coaches entrepreneurs to be effective fundraisers. To date, BioSTL has helped drive more than $900 million in investments and grants to St. Louis startups.

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An innovation ecosystem cannot thrive and achieve its potential without an inclusive, diverse, and equitable community of talented scientists, innovators, and seasoned entrepreneurs engaged in all aspects of discover and commercialization. Through a variety of initiatives, BioSTL engages in developing and attracting diverse talent to help drive St. Louis’ 21st century economy. They include: STEM


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Entrepreneur Initiative to provide a systematic pathway for talented women and minority bioscience entrepreneurs to create viable high-growth ventures; Science Coach to train students to perform project-based STEM research experiments; and STEMSTL, to ensure equitable access to high-quality STEM learning for all students from birth through college and career.

Public Policy

From BioSTL’s beginning, it has championed science- and innovationfriendly public policy at all levels of government. BioSTL co-founded the Innovation Advocacy Council, a national effort to educate Congress and federal agencies on innovation issues; co-founded Missouri Cures to protect research freedoms and pass the Missouri Stem Cell Research Amendment in 2006; and has consistently organized a unified voice representing St. Louis innovation stakeholders.

Entrepreneur Development

Driving St. Louis’ Innovation Economy

Our Fundamentals team trains, coaches and drives resources to bioscience entrepreneurs. The program provides a one-on-one, customized business learning experience, including entrepreneurial coaching and resources for company founders from academic and industry communities, at no cost. To date, Fundamentals has trained more than 600 entrepreneurs and evaluated nearly 300 company ideas.

Together, these efforts of investing time and money into promising St. Louis companies and entrepreneurs are driving a new economy fueled by new innovations in health and plant sciences, including therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, research tools, agriculture and IT in the region.

Champion St. Louis

BioSTL also is dedicated to building global awareness of St. Louis’ strengths by obtaining positive national and international media coverage of the St. Louis bioscience industry and recruiting innovative and influential companies and talent to our region. BioSTL is proud to be STLMade.

BioSTL The BioSTL Building | 4340 Duncan Avenue St. Louis, MO 63110 +1-314-880-8877 | info@biostl.org BioSTL.org 52


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Investing, advising, and providing infrastructure for promising St. Louis companies and entrepreneurs

ELEVATOR PITCH BioGenerator, the investment arm of BioSTL, creates, grows, and invests in promising St. Louis startups and entrepreneurs. Honored by the St. Louis Business Journal as the 2019 Investor of the Year, BioGenerator has, to date, invested $23 million into 79 St. Louis startups, which have raised a combined $880 million.

OUR STORY BioGenerator de-risks commercially viable innovations and makes staged investments grounded in rigorous due diligence. It produces a customized, one-on-one business learning experience, including entrepreneurial coaching and resources for company founders from academic and industry communities, at no cost. It also provides the physical infrastructure a new bioscience company needs to execute its research and development.

Infrastructure

The BioGenerator Labs—a first of their kind in the nation—provide a collaborative, innovative lab and office space with state-of-the-art equipment for portfolio and pre-incubator companies. In the earliest phases of commercialization, the pre-equipped labs allow researchers and entrepreneurs to establish lab operations and to initiate proof-ofconcept studies without having to raise additional capital to purchase most equipment and rent lab/office space.

BioGenerator also makes non-dilutive grants on a merit basis to St. Louis startup companies and entrepreneurs to assist with intellectual property strategy, market research, small proof of concept experiments, prototype development, or other key steps in business de-risking.

Today, the 18,000-square-foot Labs are home to more than 50 companies with 225+ users. They are the focal point of The BioSTL Building, opened in 2019, at 4340 Duncan Avenue in the Cortex Innovation Community.

Along with BioSTL, BioGenerator has grown seed and venture capital in the region by catalyzing the creation of new local funds and attracting new investor groups both nationally and internationally. It also connects startups to potential investors and coaches entrepreneurs to be effective fundraisers.

Investing

Advising

Helping St. Louis startups access capital has been a hallmark of BioGenerator’s efforts since its inception. BioGenerator has, to date, invested $23 million into 79 St. Louis startups, which have raised a combined $880 million.

Coaching, as part of its Grants to Business (G2B) program, includes honing these skills through grant writing and mock panel-presentation training to help develop competitive applications for federal commercialization grants and other non-dilutive funding. 53


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BioGenerator played a critical role in leading our initial financing– putting together the due diligence and orchestrating additional investors. Their commitment to supporting Benson Hill in multiple ways beyond their share of invested capital is part of the reason we are excited to call St. Louis home.”

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BioGenerator has been instrumental in launching our company–from learning how to be successful academic founders to the details of starting and financing SentiAR, our spin-out from Washington University. They have made crucial introductions to industry leaders at appropriate times and invested in our company. We could not have embarked down this path without all the support from the BioGenerator team!

—Matthew B. Crisp, Co-founder & CEO, Benson Hill

—Jennifer N. Avari Silva, MD, Director, Pediatric Electrophysiology, Washington University, Co-founder, SentiAR

G2B was honored with the St. Louis Business Journal’s 2019 Cutting Edge Award for revolutionizing business. BioGenerator is the only St. Louis organization working in this unique space of helping its companies generate federal grants to advance their R&D to better be able to attract followon investment capital. To date, G2B has helped funnel $37.9 million to St. Louis startups, accounting for more than 40% of all SBIR/STTR money to the entire state of Missouri. As part of its suite of offerings, BioGenerator trains new talent through its Fundamentals program. BioGenerator’s Entrepreneur Support Team has, at time of publication, coached 621 individual entrepreneurs and has evaluated 290 company ideas. With Fundamentals’ coaching, its clients have gone on to raise $62 million in capital and grants. BioGenerator The BioSTL Building 4340 Duncan Avenue St. Louis, MO 63110 +1-314-615-6355 info@biogenerator.org Biogenerator.org

BioGenerator’s Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program supports the growth of entrepreneurial talent and drives the BioGenerator’s life science startup pipeline. BioGenerator identifies experienced professionals with strong backgrounds in management, operating, and scientific expertise. Through the EIR program, BioGenerator develops new company leaders and managers, board members and advisors, and Key Opinion Leaders to partner with companies and innovators. The EIR team’s three primary roles include supporting portfolio companies, assisting in the evaluation of investments, and developing new ventures. 54


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A CULTURE OF RESPECT FOR THE

ELEVATOR PITCH

RISK-TAKER

between an incumbent leading a large company and a startup,” he adds, “especially when the large company recognizes that they need to collaborate to stay relevant and competitive in a world that has been rapidly changed by data, technology, and growing customer expectations.”

SixThirty is a venture firm that invests in enterprise startups in spaces such as financial services, insurance, digital health, and information security across the globe. It serves as a platform for these startups to collaborate with leading incumbents, who serve as coaches and mentors as the startups grow and seek traction in their respective markets.

While the idea of bringing incumbents and startups together may sound simple, its execution can be anything but—which is why SixThirty has focused on it from the beginning.

OUR STORY SixThirty Ventures is named as an homage to the height and width of the St. Louis Arch, and the landmark, says Atul Kamra, SixThirty’s Managing Partner, is symbolic to the organization’s mission.

Part of that formula is the startups SixThirty attracts. Startups in banking, financial services, wealth management, insurance, information security, and digital health, are among those who SixThirty scouts across the globe.

“We are the gateway to connect really innovative ideas from across the world to the buying power of financial services in our region,” Atul says. “And we’ve had a very interesting trajectory.”

“The soft stuff is the hard stuff,” Atul says. “We’re generally looking for a founder who brings two sets of very contrasting characteristics: the first set is a conviction to disrupt and improve something important with the instinct to collaborate and help their potential clients/incumbents navigate and absorb that change.”

Established in 2013, SixThirty has built a strong, countrywide network in financial services, insurance, information technology, and more, connecting top/leading American corporate partners with startups from around the world.

The second, Atul goes on to describe, is a founder who can bring together data and design, the sensory and analytical. For a founder’s insight or solution to be absorbed and adopted, these traits are key.

“In the last 5+ years, we’ve really matured in our understanding of the kind of startup we want to invest in—specifically, the kind of founder,” Atul says. “I think we’ve also really matured around how to drive more collaboration

This is grounded in something it sees as integral to SixThirty’s DNA: revenue. 55


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“I often say, if you’re hungry for capital, go to San Francisco. If you’re hungry for revenue, come to St. Louis,” Atul says. “When you think about St. Louis or the Midwest, we’re straightforward and plain-speaking. This is the Show Me State, after all.” The sensibility around helping startups refine how they go to market and helping them to scale their business effectively, to build their revenues faster, is the heart of SixThirty’s business—and a point of differentiation between SixThirty and other firms that is evident to startups and to incumbents alike. “For incumbents, we offer a panoramic view of what’s going on across the globe, and we can connect business leaders with some of the most promising ideas and provide them a structure and safety in which to engage with the startup community,” Atul says. It’s the connectivity and collaboration between both startups and incumbents that sets SixThirty apart. Conversely, startups in the B2B space are in need of what SixThirty’s corporate partners can offer: access to decision-makers and subject matter experts who bring the knowledge of how to scale businesses, and also have the potential to work more deeply with them through vendor relationships, co-investment or partnership.

Atul Kamra, Managing Partner

“You can talk all you want about collaboration, but collaboration starts with being available,” Atul says. “We see it as something special about the Midwest, this openness and confidence to gain access, and to be able to replicate that with our partners across the country.” To date, SixThirty has invested in 70+ startups across 5 continents, with over 30% of the founders being women or minorities. “We are a magnet to attract the most innovative ideas from all over the world,” Atul says. “Our innovation exists in the platform we have created to engineer strong and effective collaboration between startups and incumbents.”

SixThirty hello@sixthirty.co +1-314-669-6803 SixThirty Ventures SixThirty_630ft sixthirty.co 56


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ELEVATOR PITCH community, and banks are only getting more conservative. There’s a growing need more than ever to help fill the funding gap that exists between the accelerator and angel investor stage to the venture capital firms of the world.

Nvsted is an innovative online funding portal that provides a way for investors to help fund area startups. The Nvsted platform is unique; it is the only Regulation Crowdfunding marketplace specific to the St. Louis region and the first in the nation organized by an economic development agency.

Enter Regulation Crowdfunding and the Nvsted platform. We listened to our business community and developed a platform to serve a segment of their fundraising needs. We believe Nvsted will be pivotal to jumpstarting local startups’ and early-stage companies’ funding in the St. Louis market. The access to funding provided through Nvsted can be integral to future success in the early stages of a company’s life cycle, as Nvsted and the crowd of investors can provide the necessary buoy to keep start-up companies afloat financially so they can continue to develop.

OUR STORY Nvsted was launched in April 2018 by the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership (SLEDP) and serves as a Regulation Crowdfunding platform for companies within the St. Louis region. Nvsted strengthens the St. Louis region’s position as a fertile area to start and grow a business by providing an innovative platform that uniquely supports the region and the business community. Companies may use the funds they raise through Nvsted in areas they need most, to include payroll, marketing, or paying down debt.

Nvsted has continued to add new investment offerings to its platform after the success of our first crowdfunding campaign, where STL-native Wellbeing Brewing Company raised nearly $200,000 from 70 investors. After WellBeing’s successful campaign, the company expanded into major retailers Whole Foods, Total Wine, Target, and UK online retailer, DryDrinker.

Our city, St. Louis, MO, has grown into a thriving hub of startup activity. Just ask any entrepreneur, startup, or business publication. St. Louis is home to several dedicated innovation communities supported by a wealth of accelerators, angel networks, co-working spaces, and a collaborative drive to reinvent our City for the future. The Nvsted team was primed to make something of its own to further support our City’s thriving business community.

Pluton Biosciences became the second successful company to reach its investment goal on Nvsted. Pluton launched its funding campaign in January 2019, raising $98,000 from 26 investors in just five months. Pluton Biosciences is a startup company focused on microbial research to help ensure a sustainable future for our planet.

As our startup community ages and market conditions mature, most traditional early-stage investors are choosing to delay their involvement further down a startup’s development spectrum with fewer investments across the board. Furthermore, traditional sources of early-stage private funding only seem to find their way to a small share of the total business

Join the momentum and help build our community, one crowdfunded business at a time. 57


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Nvsted 120 S. Central Ave, Suite 1200 St. Louis, MO 63105 +1-314-615-7663 info@nvstedwithus.com nvstedwithus

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“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” —Marie Curie


AGRICULTURE, BIOLOGY & HUMAN HEALTH


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REVOLUTIONIZING KIDNEY HEALTH, GASTROINTESTINAL HEALTH, AND BEYOND. ELEVATOR PITCH

OUR STORY

MediBeacon’s fluorescent pharmaceuticals enable physiological function monitoring at the point of care. The company’s transdermal kidney-function measurement system received FDA Breakthrough Designation and addresses a multi-billion-dollar unmet medical need. Use of MediBeacon technology in gastrointestinal health has been supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

MediBeacon, in a management buyout in 2012, acquired technology from Covidien. Since then, the company has conducted numerous clinical studies focused on the transdermal detection of proprietary fluorescent agents as a means to measure physiological function. The company’s intellectual property has expanded substantially over the past 7 years and now includes over 30 granted US patents, which cover composition of matter of the company’s pharmaceuticals, as well as algorithms and methods related to the transdermal detection of these patented fluorescent agents. In 2015, Pansend Life Sciences of HC2 Holdings, Inc. (NYSE MKT: HCHC) became the largest equity investor in MediBeacon. In 2019, MediBeacon entered into a $30 million investment and exclusive commercialization partnership in Greater China with Huadong Medicine Co., Ltd. Huadong is a leading Chinese-based pharmaceutical company listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. MediBeacon’s fluorescent agent platform for use in physiological function monitoring has important applications in kidney health, gastrointestinal health, and beyond.

Chief Scientific Officer Richard Dorshow demonstrates the fluorescent property of Lumitrace. Increasing concentrations fluoresce more brightly in the presence of blue light.

KIDNEY HEALTH

Current methods to evaluate kidney function are indirect estimates that are inaccurate and not real-time. In the acute hospital setting, these estimates lag actual declines in kidney function by 24-48 hours. In the case of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), impaired function may only be detected after up to half of a person’s kidney function is lost. In addition, unrelated factors such as age, hydration status, muscle mass, and diet may further confound the estimates. No clinically practical method exists to measure kidney function in realtime at the point of care. MediBeacon’s Transdermal GFR Measurement System (TGFR) includes a patented pharmaceutical, Lumitrace™, that is entirely eliminated by the kidneys. Lumitrace fluorescence is detected by a sensor placed on the skin, analogous to pulse oximetry for oxygen saturation SpO2. The TGFR received the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Breakthrough Designation in 2018. Under the Breakthrough Devices program, a provision of the 21st Century Cures Act, the FDA works with companies to expedite regulatory review in order to give patients more

MediBeacon pharmaceutical formulations are analyzed by using high pressure liquid chromatography. 61

1

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/ DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/UCM581664.pdf

2

Joint Press Release, June 27, 2018 “The hidden epidemic: Worldwide, over 850 million people suffer from kidney diseases”, American Society of Nephrology – ASN (https://www.asn-online. org), ERA-EDTA (http://web.era-edta.org) and ISN (https://www.theisn.org).


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MediBeacon Executive Leadership From left, Terence H. Stern - VP Business Development, Steven J. Hanley - Chief Executive Officer, Richard B. Dorshow PhD - Chief Scientific Officer

timely access to diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. According to the FDA, a “Breakthrough Device” like the TGFR is a product that has the potential to be more effective at diagnosing a life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating disease or condition compared to the current standard of care.¹

of kidney therapeutics, evaluate nephrotoxicity, and gain a fundamental understanding of kidney function in animals. Research using the MediBeacon preclinical product has been featured at scientific meetings worldwide. There are over 150 peer-reviewed publications and conference abstracts in which this transdermal mGFR technique has been used.

Kidney disease is a “hidden epidemic” affecting more than 850 million people worldwide.² The ability to measure GFR is of high clinical interest, especially in patients with or at risk of kidney disease. TGFR use has the potential to improve healthcare outcomes for ICU patients, cancer patients, transplant donors and recipients, and for individuals with or at risk of CKD.

The TGFR product is poised to begin its pivotal clinical trial in the U.S. and Europe, and as such, MediBeacon’s preclinical customers are increasingly interested in the future use of the TGFR in human health.

GASTROINTESTINAL HEALTH

Grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have supported MediBeacon transdermal GI permeability research. Clinical interest in the field has increased exponentially over the past several decades. An initial clinical study of the use of the company’s technology to measure gastrointestinal permeability in Crohn’s patients is anticipated to begin in 2019. Increased gut permeability can be viewed as a “leading indicator” of gut inflammation, and control of inflammation is the cornerstone of all modern treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. 3;4

MediBeacon tracer agents and devices are not approved for human use.

PRECLINCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR HUMAN HEALTH

MediBeacon technology is used by leading medical schools, academic centers, research institutes, contract research organizations, and pharmaceutical companies worldwide to enhance preclinical assessment

3

Levesque BG, et al, Converging Goals of Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease From Clinical Trials and Practice. Gastroenterology. 2015;148:37-51.

4

University of Michigan, “Crohn’s & Colitis Program Information Guide”, revision July 25, 2014

MediBeacon Clinical Study Transdermal GFR Measurement System MediBeacon Inc. 1100 Corporate Square Drive, Suite 175 St. Louis, MO 63132 62

+1-314-269-5808 info@medibeacon.com medibeacon.com


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a further expansion of this unique space was completed with the addition of the Fleischmann’s Technology Center, incorporating a state-of-the-art fermentation facility with yeast-strain application capabilities for various industries—including consumer alcohol, animal and human nutrition, and biofuel—now serviced by AB Mauri’s non-baking division, AB Biotek. The expanded space—an additional 10,000 square feet of valuable resource boosting the size of the region headquarters to more than 33,000 square feet in total—also features modern facilities for internal and external training, presentations, research sessions, and live-feed transmissions.

ELEVATOR PITCH AB Mauri is a baking technology company delivering superior technical service and high-quality yeast and bakery ingredient solutions to bakers in the United States and Canada. Commercial bakers—in need of a total resource for quality ingredients, process optimization, and customized solutions—rely on AB Mauri.

OUR STORY

The company has received many accolades and awards since its relocation, including being named a 2017 Business of the Year by St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and a Top Workplace through the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Workplace Dynamics, LLC, a nationally-recognized employee research firm. In 2019, AB Mauri was a Gold Award Winner for digital excellence in the 40th Annual Telly Awards for the Fleischmann’s Yeast video short, ‘150 Years In 150 Seconds,’ produced by Studio T Creative in Orlando, Florida.

AB Mauri North America (ABMNA) is a baking technology company passionate about baking and driven to help customers achieve superior quality. Industrial and artisan bakers look to us for iconic Fleischmann’s Yeast, quality ingredients, exceptional process optimization, and customized technical service and support. In 2015, AB Mauri relocated the company’s North American headquarters to the Cortex Innovation Community within the City of St. Louis. Surrounded by technology companies, this 23,000-square-foot facility initially included a pilot baking facility known as the bakingHUB™ in an open office environment. It is in this immersive and innovative space that AB Mauri’s bakers, food scientists, and customers work collaboratively to research and create a wide range of finished baked goods. This attractive setting also hosts more than 80 AB Mauri team members from 15 different countries. In 2019,

AB Mauri has Fleischmann’s Yeast production facilities in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as two in Canada; in Calgary, Alberta, and LaSalle, Quebec. Additionally, it operates bakery ingredient manufacturing sites in Greenville, Texas, and Wilsonville, Oregon, along with an artisan grain and sweet goods mix plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The U.S. and Canada markets are also served by an AB Mauri global yeast production facility in Veracruz, Mexico. 63


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4240 Duncan Avenue, Suite 150 St. Louis, MO 63110 customerservice.abmauri@abmauri.com Customer Service: +1-800-772-3971

Today, ABMNA continues its more-than-150-year legacy and tradition of giving, supporting many local community organizations in the cities and towns in which it operates across the U.S. and Canada, and maintains the enduring ethos of the Fleischmann’s family for excellence, innovative spirit, and service. For more information, please visit www.abmna.com.

Headquarters: +1-314-392-0800

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AB_Mauri AB Mauri Food Inc. AB Mauri North America abmna.com abbiotek.com


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FUELED BY SCIENCE BIOFUEL ° HUMAN NUTRITION CONSUMER ALCOHOL ° ANIMAL NUTRITION

150+ YEARS OF EXCELLENCE

We at AB Biotek are a technology-driven company specializing in fermentation science. As suppliers of the highest quality fermentation ingredients, our team

Recently, AB Mauri North America celebrated a key milestone: the 150th anniversary of its flagship product, iconic Fleischmann’s Yeast. While the Fleischmann Family embodied the true innovative spirit prevalent in North America over countless decades, it also created a legacy for business excellence and passion for baking and fermentation. The dedication to quality, consistency, and service—core principles that built the brand— still keep Fleischmann’s at the forefront of the industry today. Now, our company proudly carries on this remarkable heritage and is poised to take on the challenges of tomorrow.

of research and development experts are leading the way in delivering proven applications, backed by outstanding customer service.

AB Biotek A business division of AB Mauri 4240 Duncan Avenue, Suite 150 · St. Louis, MO 63110 1.800.772.3971

©2016 AB Biot

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ABMNA Leadership Team members in Wilsonville, Oregon (L to R: Kyle Christensen, Barry Clayton, and Jim Bohrer)

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ABMNA Leadership Team members in St. Louis (L to R: Greg Strauss, Mark Prendergast, John Evans, Ron Tremayne, Kelly Vergara, Rob Stevenson, Dave Hufford, Dan Kucera, Trey Pope, and Rick Oleshak)

AB BIOTEK: PARTNERS IN FERMENTATION AB Biotek contributes to the success of customers through the delivery of superior technical service and fermentation expertise combined with quality yeast and technology solutions for the consumer alcohol, biofuel and both animal and human nutrition industries. AB Biotek has commercial-scale yeast production capabilities in locations all around the world. Additionally, the AB Biotek North America regional headquarters in St. Louis features a research and development laboratory that provides yeast and fermentation diagnostics.

4240 Duncan Avenue, Suite 150 St. Louis, MO 63110 customerservice.abmauri@abmauri.com Customer Service: +1-800-772-3971 Headquarters: +1-314-392-0800

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AB_Mauri AB Mauri Food Inc. AB Mauri North America abmna.com abbiotek.com


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ELEVATOR PITCH Better prepared surgeons save lives and innovation in surgical training will always be a top priority in the medical field. Every day, surgeons around the world film their cases, but they don’t have the time or expertise to edit that footage. In 2016, Heartwork Videos launched to meet that need.

The potential for Heartwork Videos’ impact on patient care from every city in the United States to developing countries around the world is beyond anything we could have ever imagined. In 2017, our client, a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, asked us to edit footage of a Blalock– Taussig (BT) shunt. He stressed how important it was to show the details of the anatomy because in six weeks he would be performing an extremely complex heart transplant on that same patient. We produced both the BT shunt and heart transplant videos with clear, critical details for him. The transplant video was submitted and accepted to The Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ 54th Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He presented his case to a very impressed and congratulatory audience, proving the global impact of our service.

Surgeons submit hours of raw footage recorded in the operating room to our Heartwork producers, we edit that footage, add annotations, diagrams and voice-over narration, and then send the client a concise, comprehensive educational video they then use for training.

OUR STORY Since 2012, Heartwork’s founder, Rachel Lee, has been editing surgeries, developing instructional video libraries and finding technology-based solutions for performance improvement and clinical research studies. Today, Heartwork’s clients include prestigious academic medical centers and hospitals such as Washington University School of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

In the years ahead, we will continue to help surgeons improve upon their technique and skills with our educational videos. We want to embed our techniques into more research-based projects like our partnership with Columbia University Medical Center’s Congenital Heart Technical Skill Study. Finally, we will utilize artificial intelligence technology that will aggregate raw surgical data, 3D print technology, angiograms, MRIs and other tests to aid in providing data-driven solutions for complex diagnoses.

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Photo Credit: Carolina Hidalgo

Rachel Lee, Founder & Lead Editor, Heartwork

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Provider Pool CONNECTING HOSPITALS TO THEIR IDEAL NURSING PROFESSIONALS, ON-DEMAND ELEVATOR PITCH to Janna that healthcare organizations be able to set their own prices and escape the high markup that traditional staffing agencies charged.

Provider Pool is an online labor marketplace created specifically for the healthcare industry. The platform connects hospitals and other healthcare organizations to their ideal nursing professionals for short-term and longterm staffing needs.

During the idea stage, Janna pitched the concept of a web app that performs an algorithmic match between hospitals and healthcare professionals to Capital Innovators and received $100,000 in investment funding and a spot in their three-month business accelerator. Arch Grants has also supported Provider Pool’s mission with a $50,000 equity-free cash grant. With a completed web app, Janna and her team are currently building out a mobile app and new features to deploy early 2020.

OUR STORY After working in the healthcare industry for nearly a decade, Janna Westbrook, Provider Pool’s founder, became completely immersed in the evolution of the healthcare workforce. There seemed to be an increase in the desire for flexibility over longevity; for impact and experiences over 401K matches. Traditional recruitment methods and employment incentives for healthcare professionals were becoming less and less effective. Hospitals were struggling to recruit top talent and adequately meet staffing demands. Janna believed that there needed to be a community of healthcare professionals available for hospitals to access when needed.

“Everything about the way that we work—and find work—is changing,” Janna says. Businesses are moving to more project-based work and leaner operations. Younger professionals now dominate the labor market so it’s important that businesses utilize a staffing option that appeals to that demographic.” January 2020 marks Provider Pool’s first anniversary, but already the platform has attracted over 400 nursing professionals and 12 care facilities across Missouri and Illinois. Because the Midwest has been an underserved

“Having an adequate number of nurses isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity,” Janna says. “If there is a shift or position left unfilled, a person’s life could be at stake.” Considering the impact of adequate staffing, it was important 69


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market for technology-based companies, Provider Pool’s value is doubled. In addition to bolstering the region with the innovation itself, Provider Pool gives Hospitals and Nurses direct access to one another, and that ultimately benefits patients. “This is the future of work in all industries,” Janna says, “and we are excited to be paving the way for the healthcare industry to join in the globalization of online staffing.”

Provider Pool 911 Washington Avenue, Suite 827 St. Louis, MO 63101

info@providerpool.co providerpool providerpool.co

Janna Westbrook, Founder

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BENSON HILL ELEVATOR PITCH Benson Hill empowers innovators to tap the natural genetic diversity in plants to develop healthier, more sustainable foods. By building a community through partnering with universities, government institutions, and companies at every step of the product-development process, Benson Hill is ensuring better food choices for everyone.

OUR STORY • • •

Over 99% calories consumed are derived from less than 1% of plants’ natural diversity. We can do better. Agriculture uses 70% of the fresh water in the world. What if crops needed less water? A 10% increase in corn yields in the US would capture a year’s carbon emissions of New York City. We can make it happen.

It’s time for a fresh approach to feeding the world. So how do we transform our food system to bring delicious, nutritious food to our growing population? How do we empower farmers to grow the next generation of crops, and enable food producers to turn those into healthier, tastier ingredients? These are the questions Benson Hill is answering. Simply put, there’s no single answer to solving the challenge to nourish the world’s growing population, but Benson Hill believes the foundation lies in a healthy, sustainable food system rooted in diversity and choice—a variety of crops and product choices, optimized for different growing conditions by a community of innovators who are passionate about food and food production. But how do they do that? “Nature, it turns out, is an incredibly generous and under-utilized source of genetic diversity that can improve food production and quality,” says Matthew Crips, Benson Hill’s president and CEO. “We’ve built our company to enable innovators to collaborate and tap this diversity, wherever they may be in the food and agriculture supply chain.”

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Benson Hill knows that building a more robust food system will take a community of innovators—companies and institutions of all sizes—who are working with the most advanced data analytics and genomics tools available, and the community will find all of that in Benson Hill’s CropOS™. Alongside its partners, Benson Hill uses CropOS™ to apply design thinking to deliver differentiated products that create more choices and benefits for consumers, food producers, and farmers. Such collaboration means Benson Hill’s partners can remain focused on their core business as they bring better products to market faster, for less cost. Many of Benson Hill’s innovations begin with nature, but also with the company’s team, which includes plant biologists, physiologists, geneticists, data scientists, and software developers. “The key to our company, like many companies, has been our people—the caliber of talent we can attract and the ability to unlock that talent in a complex and fast-moving environment,” Matthew says. “We believe in the power of a healthy organization and culture, and we put a lot of effort into understanding what it requires.” To that end, Benson Hill’s core values promote clarity of expectations, alignment on direction, and commitment to self and team. Shaping the future of food and agriculture requires deliberate purpose, and Benson Hill is an example of an entity greater than the sum of its parts. “Our purpose is not just to develop great products, but to empower innovators across the value chain to also do great things. We are inspired and energized by this emerging community of innovators across the value chain,” Matthew says. “The challenges our society and our planet are facing are far greater than what any one organization can address. My great colleagues at Benson Hill get this and understand that we are all contributing to building a company of significance and of impact, built to last far beyond what we will individually bring to it.”

1100 Corporate Square Drive, Suite 150 St. Louis, MO 63132 +1-314-222-8218 | info@bensonhill.com bensonhillinc benson-hill

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“What is now proved was once only imagined.” —William Blake


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ELEVATOR PITCH What do you do when you’ve achieved your vision and then find out it’s not what you actually wanted? Gary Wood began his journey in construction in 1995, when the Wood family started a small, residential renovation business specializing in single family homes. Sixteen years later—fueled with a passion to grow and armed with the life lessons that entrepreneurship brings—Gary launched Stryker Construction and tackled the demanding world of commercial construction.

OUR STORY “We wanted to grow. We wanted to avoid referring existing customers to other builders when projects outside of our specialty areas arose. So as clients’ needs increased, we expanded. We got bigger. Clients got bigger. Projects got bigger,” Gary says. But seven years later, despite this success, something didn’t feel quite right. so big that they start to lose the personal touch and laser-focused action that can be necessary in the construction world. A big company may not even know the customers’ names. Changing something may take weeks. They just can’t deliver like a smaller, more focused enterprise. And while that may be wonderful for some people, it just wasn’t right for me. When I really thought about it, I realized that by applying a single set of values and creating several smaller companies, each with a more narrow focus, I could achieve the growth I wanted while maintaining the culture I needed.”

Then in late 2017, Gary had the opportunity to hear Ari Weinzweig speak at an Entrepreneurs’ Organization event. Ari’s message centered on using visioning in your business. Gary took to heart what Ari had to share, and immediately embarked on a bit of personal discovery. “I always thought I wanted to run this huge company one day, but when I would sit and really think about it, I just didn’t like how reality had failed to align with who I am as a person. I realized that big companies tend to get 75


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Next was the launch of FastTrac Rentals—providing rental equipment to the construction, industrial and real estate markets. “In this instance our focus is renting small- to mid-sized equipment such as scissor lifts, boom lifts, forklifts, telehandlers, skid steers, mini-excavators, and more.” “All of Stryker’s companies amassed together will one day form one large and vibrant organization. Instead of becoming a large company that has lost its way, we’ll be a family of smaller companies with shared values, all striving for greatness.”

Early the next year, Gary acted on his new vision of growing horizontally instead of vertically when he launched Total Warehouse Solutions—a niche material handling business that serves the warehousing space. Customers who store and move products rely on us for providing, installing, servicing and maintaining docks, doors, material handling equipment, safety products and storage racking solutions. “By being a one-stop shop for customers in the warehousing space we can provide a high level of service and personal touch that will be paramount in establishing our company as an industry leader.”

Stryker Construction 9419 Lackland Road St. Louis, MO 63114 +1-314-222-0474 gwood@strykerconstruction.net strykerconstruction.net totalwarehousesolutions.net Stryker Construction Gary Wood – Stryker Construction 76


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ELEVATOR PITCH In late 2012 Blanner and Finan came together for the first time to discuss his idea. A year later, on November 20, 2013, the Forum was launched as a “member-less” nonprofit civic organization. Three weeks later, the fledgling organization held its first event. Over 350 people attended the program.

“St. Louis doesn’t do change well,” Joe Blanner, president and co-founder of Construction Forum STL (CFSTL) has often said. It was precisely because of the STL Region’s need for a more inclusive, transparent, and proactive approach to change related to issues affecting the STL Region that the Forum was founded.

The mission of Construction Forum STL is, “Building the St. Louis region’s tomorrow, through inclusive engagement, unbiased communication, and focused action.” The Forum’s four pillar areas for action are workforce, inclusion/diversity, regionalism, and collaboration.

OUR STORY “I grew weary after decades of sitting in the same meetings, with the same faces, talking about the same issues, with nothing ever changing,” said Tom Finan, a publisher in the local construction industry for four decades and Forum co-founder with Blanner. In 2010 Finan, who has been CFSTL’s executive director from its beginning, published a call for an industry forum and followed up with a white paper that was an action plan.

“We believe that our role as a collaboration-builder, convener, and communication channel with organizations across disciplines and geographies can clear pathways to action that benefits all 2.8 million people in our two-state, 12-county, region,” Joe Blanner said.

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The Forum also co-founded the Gateway Welcome Project (GWP), an organization dedicated to welcoming immigrant/ refugee children to the community. GWP completed a $250,000 soccer facility in 2016 at a school for new immigrants and is currently working on a $500,000 project for a downtown center serving an at-risk population that is 50:50 immigrant/African American.

Acceptance and Impact The metrics of the Forum and related organizations it has formed validate the way in which its mission and approach have been embraced by people in the STL Region. In its first five years, the Forum sent almost 5 million of its twice-weekly email newsletters. Event registrations topped 10,000. The website ConstructForSTL.org receives over 200,000 page views per year.

A Clear Path Forward On June 12, 2019, national regionalism expert David Rusk returned to tie a bow on the Forum regionalism speaker series he began in 2017. Rusk also wrote 11 CFSTL white papers, examining what true collaboration could look like for the region.

In its brief history, the Forum has received local, regional, and national media attention, recognition, and awards for its work in its core areas of workforce, inclusion/diversity, regionalism, and collaboration. CFSTL’s 18-month programming effort to examine true regional governance— including national speakers and a whitepaper series—was well-attended and extensively covered in print and electronic media.

In his introduction of Rusk, Forum President Joe Blanner said, “There’s been a lot of talk about regionalism and about efforts to move our region forward. We at the Forum feel that it’s really important not to oversimplify these things, but to really examine them and try to figure out a clear path that will make sense and represent progress for our region.”

The Construction Forum Education Foundation (CFEF), a nonprofit founded by the CFSTL, has built collaborations with union training programs, industry associations, on-the-ground community agencies, and workforcedevelopment organizations in developing workforce strategies and programs. It has participated in many outreach programs.

Construction Forum STL 3245 Hampton Avenue, 2nd Floor St. Louis, MO 63139 ConstructForSTL.org

CFEF is developing technology to meet the Digital Native generation where they live, including the portal website YeahIBuiltThat.org (Yeah, I built that!) and a data platform that will aggregate metrics and career information. 78


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La familia, la base de LUZCO

ELEVATOR PITCH Spending a day, even a few hours, within the walls of LUZCO Technologies, LLC, the term familia can be heard echoing off the walls. It is the foundation of LUZCO, a representation of how the business operates. And it is not just spoken, it is felt by the small tight-knit team that respects and cares for each other like familia.

named LUZCO Technologies, LLC as the “Start-Up Business of the Year.” In April, Lus was awarded one of three business development scholarships from Ameren Corporation to attend the Minority Business Executive Program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. And most recently on May 9, 2019, Lus was presented with the “Rising Star Award” at the Women’s Business Development Center’s Connect & Celebrate: St. Louis event. This award is presented to “a visionary woman business owner who leads the charge on creative, solution-oriented, and cutting-edge business processes…for less than five years.” They are now one of the 50 fastestgrowing companies in St. Louis.

OUR STORY Lusnail Rondon Haberberger (or Lus to her familia) founded LUZCO in 2017 and dreamt of building a company that measured success based on diversity. Lus believes that “diversity in background, skill, and talent is critical to delivering the best outcomes for clients.” A Venezuelan-born American, Lus harnessed her skills as an electrical engineer and project manager and created a best-in-class engineering firm. Today, the company has taken on large-scale infrastructure projects for some of the region’s most notable clients, specializing in project management services, engineering and design services, and transmission and distribution engineering services.

What is most humbling and inspiring about all of this recognition? Lus will never deny the reason for her success: her familia. She founded the company, yes, but she selected local talent to take this journey alongside her—people with diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and college degrees. People who believe in giving back to the city in which they live. She built a familia at LUZCO with those she saw shared her same dreams of working in a collaborative and “all ideas welcome” setting that not only provides the very best client solutions, but encourages the team members’ very best quality of life.

Although LUZCO is still in its infancy, it is growing fast and gaining recognition for its hard work and diversity. In 2018, LUZCO was nationally certified as a Minority-Owned Business Enterprise and as a Women’s Business Enterprise, as well as earning the award of “Hispanic Business of the Year.” But it is 2019 that proved to be a year the company would not soon forget. In March, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s St. Louis office

With all the recognition LUZCO Technologies, LLC has seen thus far, it is nearly impossible to fathom what successes lay ahead for this innovative and diverse powerhouse.

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Lusnail Rondon Haberberger—Founder, LUZCO

Luzco Technologies

6651 Chippewa Street, #324 | St. Louis, MO 63109 +1-314-312-3966 luzcotechllc.com

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I’m so grateful to have had the help to get the loan and be able to purchase my truck. That took a load off my mind as far as, ‘How am I going to get to work this morning?’ or ‘Do I have to get up extra early to make it?” —Derik Mills, BUD graduate and first LYFT™ project participant

LYFTTM PILOT PROGRAM Transportation Assistance Project How do you help someone attain a career that needs reliable transportation before they have a job that helps them attain reliable transportation? It is a classic chicken or egg scenario. In the construction industry, job sites are not often accessible via public transportation, and people trying to get their first job in construction often do not own a vehicle. As a result, stakeholders in the construction industry have come together to solve this common workforce-attraction problem.

The first obstacle that had to be identified was: “How quickly would a car loan provider feel comfortable providing a loan?” St. Louis Community Credit Union stepped in to provide guidance based on their own internal processes. This depth of insight allowed for the group to understand the obstacles apprentices faced in attaining reliable transportation. Having a car-loan provider at the table also gave them a better understanding of the industry and the resources it provides, and so they had a more willing attitude toward helping us achieve a solution. From these discussions, we were able to identify the least amount of time that a car-loan provider would commit to a car loan under certain circumstances. With an initial credit check to see if there was viability with a candidate, financial coaching (provided by St. Louis Community Credit Union), and with 30 days of employment and proof of income, an apprentice could earn their car loan.

This problem was pondered initially by representatives of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGC of MO) and the United Way of Greater St. Louis (United Way), but the group quickly grew larger. Socialservice agencies and nonprofits entered the conversation until many other barriers to entry and sustainability of a career were identified. It was then decided that we could not try to solve every problem and still be able to resolve the transportation issue. This larger group then split into a Transportation Committee and a Support Services Committee. The Transportation Committee’s initiatives are the focus of this innovation created to solve the chicken or egg scenario. This committee consisted of the AGC of MO, Building Union Diversity (BUD), St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE), St. Louis Community Credit Union, Schicker Automotive Group, and the United Way.

The next question was: “How does the apprentice go to work over those initial 30 days?” In the construction industry, not every job site is near a bus line or MetroLink stop, and travel times are often prohibitive and not in alignment with construction project starting times. We talked with our local public transit agency, but we were not able to come to a solution. Therefore, having a vehicle is really the only reliable form of transportation. The initial idea we brainstormed was utilizing taxi cabs, but after conversations with some of our local providers, we realized quickly that it would not be a cost81


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effective or a logistically sound option. Further brainstorming brought in the concept of Uber™ or LYFT™. We found out that the United Way has a national relationship with LYFTTM, and it agreed to staff the logistics of getting an apprentice from their residence to the job site and back home. Now we needed to know: “Where can we get affordable reliable transportation for apprentices?” Through Father’s Support Network, one of the nonprofits in the Support Services Committee, Schicker Automotive Group came to the table, identifying reliable transportation in a price range between $8,000-$10,000 and working within our framework. We then had to determine: “How are we going to identify individuals for a pilot?” The BUD program was the perfect partner; they help to diversify the construction industry, primarily aiding women and minorities in preparing for careers in the construction industry. They truly walk with individuals as they try out various crafts, receive mentoring, OSHA, and other job-site readiness training. The BUD program director agreed to identify people within their cohort that were perfectly willing and able to be craft-workers, but did not have the reliable transportation to start their careers. Perfect! Now that we had a plan, we decided to work with a few individuals and do a pilot. “Wait…How do we fund this pilot?” The AGC of MO reached out for funding and found a willing partner in Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. They agreed to donate $5,000 to the AGC of Missouri Education Foundation. We were off!

Anthony Lancia (AGCMO), Charles Williams (SLATE), Roz Sherman-Voellinger (United Way of Greater St. Louis), and Russ Signorino (BUD)

Transportation Assistant Project Impact Each of the 2018 graduates has reported that they would have been unable to get to and from the worksite during the first month without the LYFT™ services. The project participants used LYFT™ to get to their job sites every day while working to improve their credit. Within a few weeks, they were able to get a loan and purchase a vehicle of their own. Through the transportation project, an investment of approximately $1,000 per worker provides the following benefits: Reliable transportation to and from the work site for approximately four weeks, enabling the worker to get to work on time and establish a good track record Financial literacy training and credit counseling from the St. Louis Community Credit Union, allowing the worker to improve their credit, put some money in savings, and prepare for the purchase of a vehicle Assistance in the selection of a reliable and affordable vehicle, with a loan from the St. Louis Community Credit Union for qualified graduates As further evidence of the return on investment, selected apprentices who can successfully navigate daily transportation to and from work are earning starting wages of as much as $20 per hour, with wages as high as $40 per hour within four years at the journey level. Workers also receive full benefits for themselves and their families. Associated General Contractors of Missouri +1-844-60-MOAGC (66242) | AGCofMO AGCofMO AGC of Missouri | AGC of Missouri agcmo.org

We hope that this inspires others to follow our lead in helping to discover innovative solutions to long-standing problems. With collaboration and a focus on the issue, nothing is insurmountable. If you are interested in donating to future apprentices’ transportation needs, please reach out to Anthony Lancia at alancia@agcmo.org. 82


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ELEVATOR PITCH At icon, our team lives by a well-known business philosophy: Everyone knows what we do, and most people can understand how we do it. The real connection comes when you understand WHY our company does what it does.

OUR STORY More than 25 years ago, a group of college friends started a company with the single goal of providing unmatched customer service. They knew their team could build smarter and build better… and they knew why they had to do it. The construction industry is in a state of disruption. We are continually advancing our designs to build with a conscience effort to better our environments. We are building a world full of the most energy-efficient exteriors of all time with the most efficient interiors of all time so our clients can ultimately be as productive as possible. Herein lies the challenge: We have to be able to match the architectural integrity of the building with constructability and maintainability. To be a competitive force in this industry, you have to ask yourself a few questions: What is the purpose of the structure today? What will the purpose of this structure be 30 years from now?

The key to the future success of any company in the construction industry will be its ability to collaborate and embrace technology. Through advancements in technology both in the design market as well as the hightech on-site tools available to the trades, we are able to communicate and coordinate in real-time. Having a team of like-minded companies working together early in the design stages allows everyone to plan and build with the confidence that the final product will match the conceptual designs. We know it—and we live it. The use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) allows us to begin construction of the largest components of a project long before the building shell/site is ready. This allows us to utilize our offsite fabrication facilities, providing the most technical tools and equipment in a conditioned space— our team can then deliver the best quality components, built in the safest environment possible. The workforce required to complete these projects is significantly less than if we were to try and build it using traditional means and methods.

At icon, we are innovating with our sights on the future. As a self-perform (we are responsible for the workforce) contractor, we are very much aware of the fact that there are fewer young people choosing the construction industry as a destination for their career. There are many factors that have created this situation—from the downturn of the economy over a decade ago when a large portion of the workforce left to pursue other jobs, to the loss of the CTE programs in high schools, and the social pressure/stigma that obtaining a college degree is only way to be labeled ‘successful.’ Overall, the perception has been that a career in construction is dirty, dangerous, and dead-end.

We continue to question and challenge everything we design and build—on every project. We never assume the first answer is the right answer. The next generation of builders within our company will know they have the freedom to challenge and question each project component until it is right.

By having a clear understanding of the extent of this problem, we have been able to step back and develop a strategy that will allow us to build larger, more complex facilities with fewer people, faster than ever before. Our future workforce will look much different than it does today. Our ability to attract minorities and women to the construction industry is vital. It is a core belief inside icon Mechanical that our team will foster an open and welcoming environment of cultural competency. This is not your grandfather’s construction site.

At the end of the day, our team has grown immensely in the past quarter of a century. Our ultimate goal, however, is still to continue to deliver unmatched customer service through advances in safety, innovation, technology, and quality, while reducing risk and better managing schedule and cost. With every innovation, this industry creates questions—and we have the answers.

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icon Mechanical +1-800-814-5670 iconmechanical icon Mechanical icon mechanical icon.mech iconmech.com

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ELEVATOR PITCH Cohen Architectural Woodworking is a family-owned architectural woodworking firm headquartered in St. James, Missouri.

Cohen looks for the biggest frustrations clients face in creating these spaces: Inconsistent quality and the clients needing to solve the same problems, over and over again.

We design, build, and deliver custom commercial cabinets for medical facilities, restaurants, airports, education, retail, transportation, hotels, and other businesses nationwide. We give our clients the finest craftsmanship, excellent relationships, and on-time delivery. They tell us that’s the reason they keep coming back to us with more projects, many of which have won national awards.

Take a chain restaurant with five-hundred locations or a medical firm with several large hospitals and dozens of clinics. They need the same look, feel, and efficiency in every location from Florida to Oregon. Achieving that outcome requires a consistent unified approach. And they need their project delivered on time. This is what Cohen Architectural Woodworking does.

OUR STORY

Cohen looks for ways to standardize custom woodworking and millwork by removing the barrier of repetitive problem solving that leads to inconsistent products. By standardizing the process, they solve the problem once and implement it into the workflow for every project. Then they look for the next problem, solve it, and on and on.

You know that feeling when you enter a place and immediately sense you’re someplace special? You feel it in the air.

It’s just the way they’ve taught themselves to think. You stand there and wonder what it is. Then you look around and see... Happy people Quiet beauty Excellence in everything It’s what the people at Cohen Architectural Woodworking live for.

Founder and CEO Phillip Cohen says, “We started cabinetmaking in the mid1970s with less than nothing. Gina and I have nine children. With a family that large and little or no money, we had to be efficient. We discovered that what we learned while fighting our way out of poverty also helped our clients, regardless of their size. For example, between 1985 and 2010, when our children were younger, we completed more than 850 projects for Walmart. Many of their project managers and contractors told us we were the best. That’s because we treat everyone with the same respect, and respect their money as our own.”

Cohen, whose motto is, “We’re Building Palaces for Our Customers,” supplies beautiful custom commercial cabinetry and millwork for clients nationwide. They work with architects, builders, design teams, and general contractors to create these environments.

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“Cohen Architectural Woodworking is one of the best millwork suppliers we have ever worked with. They ask the right questions, they have positive interactions with our Design Teams, they treat their people well and they deliver high-quality products. They do things right the first time and look out for us on all projects. We have established Cohen as one of our preferred contractors,” said Wayne Williams, Mercy Health Systems. “Cohen Architectural has great people, it’s that simple. I rate them highly on their responsiveness, quality, pricing and safety mentality. Their supervision and coordination capabilities are excellent,” said Jared Hites, McCarthy Building Companies. Cohen’s clients keep coming back because when they don’t, they get inconsistent results from many of Cohen’s competitors. As a family owned business that places culture above all else, Cohen understands that serving people and building trust through consistency wins in the end. Whether you purchase their products or just visit their facility, you will experience the quiet, consistent beauty, and humble, serving hearts of people who build palaces for their customers.

Ben Cohen, Chief Operating Officer; Naomi Cohen, Director of Engineering and Design; Gina Cohen, Co-founder; Phil Cohen, President/Founder; Nate Cohen, Chief Financial Officer; Noah Cohen, Vice President

Cohen Architectural Woodworking +1-573-265-7070 info@cohenwoodworking.com cohen-architectural-woodworking cohenwoodworking ExperienceCohen.com

Phil Cohen, Founder & CEO

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“If people think you are crazy for doing something, you are probably on to something innovative and should keep doing it.” —Nathan Stooke, CEO & Founder,Wisper Internet


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ELEVATOR PITCH Wisper Internet provides fast, reliable, and affordable wireless internet service to homes and businesses across the rural Midwest—often when no other providers will.

He was right. Almost since its inception, Wisper has been installing “small cells” in the rural areas it services. A small cell provides very clear service to households within a small range, acting as a “repeater” of a service tower nearby. Wisper’s smallest tower, by the way, is a five-foot pole that broadcasts down a row of trees, providing five or six households with internet service.

OUR STORY Wisper, which takes its name from the acronym for “wireless internet service provider,” began out of a garage sixteen years ago, where founder Nathan Stooke conscripted friends and family to help him build the antennas and radios he needed to bring wireless internet to households who’d been told it wasn’t available to them. Nathan wasn’t disrupting an industry so much as starting one.

Today, the small cell model is popular among larger providers—but Wisper started using it fifteen years ago. “It took them that long to catch up to us, and it’s kind of cool that they’ve verified that our network design is really good and allows us to provide really good service to our customers,” Nathan says, adding, “If it was easy to build out into these areas, the larger companies would have done it.”

“We bought the right pigtails, we bought the right power supplies—we never used a Pringles can,” Nathan jokes, “but we were making everything in the garage and going out to install them on people’s houses, and I saw that we were the first to be doing something like this.”

Wisper is as solution-driven as it is committed to customer service, which is clear from the way the company works to get everyone connected, no

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matter the obstacles. It also prides itself on keeping its equipment and service up to date and as fast as possible and on maintaining consistent pricing across all networks, no matter the ease or difficulty of access.

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based training to other WISPs and their employees. Wisper University trainees learn everything from inventory control to installation, spending three days on in-class learning and hands-on simulation. Wisper has even built “the dog house” to allow trainees to see exactly how installation works, from a house’s inside out and its outside in. That’s followed by an optional two-day ride-along, where trainees shadow a Wisper installer and so solidify their learning with real-world practice.

“If we can provide people internet where they could never get internet before, it means they get connected to the rest of the world while living where they want to,” Nathan says. “That’s an amazing ability, to bring the rest of the world to a rural location in the Midwest.”

Nathan sees it as a way to empower the whole industry. “It’s back to my core belief. We need education and we need training if we want to have the industry rise up; everyone benefits from that.”

And now, thanks to its successful bid on the Connect America Fund (CAF), Phase II, and the resultant $220 million paid out over ten years, Wisper can keep building its legacy far into the future—and into far more communities, most of them throughout Missouri. While some saw the funding as an overnight success for Wisper, Nathan says that isn’t quite the case: “I like to say that we’re an overnight success story sixteen years in the making. I think a lot of small businesses see people who are wildly successful and think that success wasn’t as hard to come by as theirs will be. But if you are a founder, there is a lot of work that goes into that. You have to be persistent in what you’re trying to create.”

Wisper Internet 9711 Fuesser Road Mascoutah, IL 62258 sales@wisperisp.com +1-800-765-7772 wisperisp.com

Wisper looks forward to reaching its full potential thanks to the CAF II funding, and it’s also looking forward to giving back. Wisper University is one such means of doing so. The program provides affordable best-practices90


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THE VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE COMPANY ELEVATOR PITCH Since startup Geniecast launched in 2016, the company has gone well beyond its promise of delivering speakers and experts via live, interactive video to becoming a leader in live virtual engagement, events, and learning. Geniecast’s commitment to engineering conversations that lead to results has pushed them to innovate and dominate the space with cost-effective solutions for organizations and individuals around the globe.

OUR STORY Geniecast was founded by serial entrepreneur Keith Alper after his “Aha!” moment while producing an event for a notable business leadership conference in 2011. Tasked with bringing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to speak to the audience while under house arrest, Alper’s team sent a satellite truck to Assange, beaming him in virtually. While meeting organizers felt this may come off as a substitution, they were beside themselves when Alper’s solution became the talk of the event. Alper realized speakers didn’t have to be in the room to engage with an audience and, by utilizing technology, access to knowledge and inspiration could be globally democratized. Flash forward to 2019, Geniecast is beaming Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak from a studio near his home in Silicon Valley live to a stage in Macau, China. Utilizing their AR product, Augmented Placement in Real-Time (APiR, pronounced like “appear”), Woz was able to engage and converse with a room of thousands of global business leaders from halfway around the world.

Over the past three years, many things have changed, but one constant remains: Geniecast always strives to produce one-stop, full-service experiences via live, interactive engagement and business solutions. Geniecast services include:

By combining clever technology with a distinct human touch, Geniecast has helped global brands such as Sam’s Club, Macy’s, L’Oreal, and Express Scripts as well as countless organizations looking to add member value and extend the impact and learning throughout their globally dispersed memberships. Popular topics include technology and innovation, culture and organizational development, finance, personal development, health trends, and beyond.

l Packaged live programs for organizational solutions l Virtual programming and platform support l Virtual event sensations technology such as APiR l Talent brokering Geniecast’s culture of taking bold risks and embracing challenges that push the needle forward allows for a unified team of goal-focused individuals. This team is centered around a vision to initiate positive change in organizations and in people’s lives by making content and conversations accessible to everyone, and with one single objective: to transform the way the world connects people with ideas and inspiration.

Geniecast also boasts an impressive roster of experts, celebrities, and thought leaders (they call them Genies), available at the click of a button for virtual engagement. The Genie community reads like a who’s who of iconic figures such as Wayne Gretzky, Peter Diamandis, Steve Wozniak, Ambassador Andrew Young, Kim Scott, Patty McCord, and Grant Cardone. 91


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Wayne Gretzky and Keith Alper, CEO & Founder of Geniecast First Row (left to right)

Third Row

Sarah Landa – Talent/Programming Manager Garrick Burney – Product & Program Specialist Ray Doyle – Experience Specialist Ryan Foltz – Director of Global Events Tim Hosler – Chief Financial Officer

Chris Reed – Copywriter & Social Media Strategist Brad Thuet – Production Supervisor Jennifer Beard – Director of Client Experience Roman Davis – Operations Manager Craig Mayfield – Account Executive Geniecast +1-314-260-4100 info@geniecast.com

Second Row Douglas Hall – Executive Vice President Kelly Weber – Vice President of Investor Relations & Special Projects Keith Alper – CEO Mike Cracchiolo – Production & Delivery Manager Nicole Pope – Head of Human Resources & Business Processes

Geniecast Geniecast Geniecast Geniecast geniecast.com

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ELEVATOR PITCH The Swip mantra is “Build, Buy, or Both.” Swip helps companies build custom mobile apps and web apps, buy and implement off-the-shelf software solutions, or a combination of both, combining custom and off-the-shelf solutions or integrations.

Swip systems exists to solve this very problem—to help companies across the United States embrace technology to provide insight into their organizations, streamline processes, reduce risk, and grow their bottom line. We’re in business to help people, make a difference, stimulate economic growth, take care of each other, enjoy what we do, and provide a good life for the people around us.

At Swip Systems, our mission is to leverage advanced technology along with innovative and creative approaches to deliver business solutions that help our clients overcome business challenges and prepare them for the future. To accomplish this, we constantly research and implement progressive techniques and provide high-quality solutions to our clients.

Founded in 1995 by Jean and Tom Swip, Swip Systems started in a 10’ x 10’ home office in the suburbs of St. Louis. The technology at that time was Windows 3.01 applications. Since then, Swip has seen the digital landscape transformation take place—from Windows applications to web apps, to mobile apps and now Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

OUR STORY

Swip utilizes a “Build, Buy, or Both” methodology for approaching software decisions. “Build” is for solutions that cannot be found off the shelf or where a market differentiator can be built into the software and thus the processes in the organization. “Buy” (off-the-shelf packages) gain speed to implementation and take advantage of industry best practices. Or, “Both”: Build and Buy to implement custom solutions in conjunction with off-theshelf packages or integration of existing systems to talk with each other.

Although most companies utilize many different software packages, they do not utilize the necessary software tools within their organization to get a really good handle on their businesses. Most systems are fragmented, patched together, or just don’t track the information the business needs to have the proper insight into company operations. Without proper insight, companies cannot track the metrics or KPIs to know if they are executing well. As a result, they cannot streamline the processes that need attention and ultimately cannot manage the inherent risks in their organizations. This prevents the bottom line from growing to where it can and should be.

Swip specializes in several key areas of building applications and technology. Creating core business systems in the form of mobile and web apps Creating go to market products, such as mobile apps for app stores or Software as a Service (SaaS) web-based platforms 93


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OUR TEAM HAS MANY THINGS IN COMMON, BUT THE MOST PROMINENT IS A LOVE FOR TECHNOLOGY AND HELPING PEOPLE UTILIZE IT TO GROW THEIR BUSINESSES.� TOM SWIP, FOUNDER & CEO

Swip has helped over 170 companies either build the core systems that run their businesses or take a mobile or web product concept to market. We always look forward to learning about and helping companies implement whatever comes next.

Swip Systems 1 Regency Plaza Drive, Suite 100 Collinsville, IL 62234 +1-877-377-SWIP swipsystems swipsystems.com

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ELEVATOR PITCH Less Annoying CRM makes a simple, focused, and affordable customerrelationship-management software designed with small businesses and small teams in mind. Less Annoying CRM gives its users all the best of a CRM platform, while ensuring that the platform is—well, less annoying.

OUR STORY When asked for an elevator pitch about Less Annoying CRM, partner Alex Haimann likes to turn the question back to the asker, the better to succinctly explain what it is that Less Annoying CRM does in terms most meaningful to that person. It’s an adaptability apparent in Less Annoying CRM’s model.

THE NEXT BIG THING IN SMALL-BUSINESS SUPPORT.

“Our system is intended to be able to be used by anyone in any industry that is focused on specialized sales or tracking or keeping in touch with customers,” Alex says. “I actually get asked for an elevator pitch with some frequency because our name’s pretty weird.” Alex’s partners Tyler and Bracken King founded Less Annoying CRM ten years ago in San Francisco, when they set out to accommodate small businesses in need of CRM software. Unlike larger companies, small businesses had some barriers to entry in terms of CRM software; they seldom have their own IT team, for example, and they can’t afford to take large financial risks—like purchasing expensive software without knowing whether it will be a good fit.

deliberate decisions they pride themselves on. “We wanted to be prospering in five years from now, ten years—twenty. One of the earliest things we knew we needed was to get out of San Francisco, and we were drawn to St. Louis because of its talent.”

“Because people wear many hats in a small business, we wanted to be able to provide as much service as possible. So we’ve focused on simplicity, and we’ve focused on price—making it affordable and easy to access from a nocontract perspective—and we focused on service.”

St. Louis has the best concentration of the types of talent Less Annoying CRM was after: engineering, customer-facing, software development—all aspects of their business that they would want to bring onto the team. In fact, much of Less Annoying’s innovation has been around how they hire, recruit, and train their employees. And they’re doing something right: since moving to St. Louis, only three employees have left the company—two for graduate school and one because of a spouse’s transfer to another state.

Less Annoying CRM has had the same price point from its inception, and it offers unlimited customer service, adding great value to small businesses that need someone to turn to for that sort of help. Ninety percent of the time, Alex says, the Less Annoying CRM team interacts directly with the owner or the primary decision-maker, which means there’s less information lost in translation as the respective teams work together.

“We’re very intentional, very focused on our team,” Alex says. “Two of our lead developers started off as customer service people—we call them CRM coaches—and they did internal projects, at their own interest, to learn how to code. Now one of them leads the developer team but had zero background in that area.”

“Small businesses have an appreciation for focus and simplicity,” Alex says. “For us, those are huge pleasures of working with them.”

Though Less Annoying CRM was perhaps among the first companies created with small businesses in mind, it has garnered much-deserved attention in recent years, earning high praise from PC Magazine, Business.com, and other well-respected ranking systems. They’ve also seen some mimics and competitor advertisements targeted against them— another good sign they’re doing something right.

Focus is something important to the Less Annoying CRM team as well. A lot of their innovation as a company has been about how they want to make decisions about being deliberate. “It might sound like a strange thing to say,” Alex says, but the company’s move to St. Louis from San Francisco five years ago was a byproduct of the 95


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“We were also named to the Inc. 5000 list and in 2017, Best Place to Work for Young Professionals by the St. Louis Business Journal, beating out companies of every size for the honor. If there was to be any thirdparty validation of our innovation and our intentionality around how we’ve built our team, it was the 2017 award,” Alex says. Going forward, Less Annoying wants to add to their software offerings to become a support suite, and they stand in good stead to do so. With 17 full-time staff members, 9,000 company accounts in 70 countries, and $2.5 million in revenue for 2018, Less Annoying is the next big thing in small-business support.

Less Annoying CRM LessAnnoyingCRM LessAnnoyingCRM less-annoying-crm LessAnnoyingCRM.com

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Advocado

ELEVATOR PITCH

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Additionally, our clients enjoy second-by-second analytics rather than an hour-by-hour aggregated report.

You know that moment when you’re watching a TV commercial and decide to pick up your phone to search and learn more? Advocado makes it possible for advertisers to connect with consumers during that precise moment (or micro-moment) when they want to know, go, do, or buy something.

Not only do we have a product unlike any other, we have two experienced co-founders. One of them, Jeff Linihan, developed an entrepreneurial spirit early in childhood. One summer, Jeff’s eyes proved bigger than his wallet and he ended up spending more money than he had. Seeing this as a ‘teaching moment,’ Jeff’s parents promptly saddled him with a handful of landscape projects to ensure he didn’t make the same mistake twice. He quickly learned he could fulfill his financial obligations quicker if he hired his friends to help complete the work. Jeff was drawn to starting businesses after this summer and his entrepreneurial drive strengthened.

OUR STORY We’re the first platform to bring the power of TV and digital advertising together to amplify each other. Before Advocado, there was no way for advertisers to surgically adjust digital campaigns in perfect sync with their TV commercials running—not to mention with the local market precision or national scale that we offer.

Jeff earned his B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. Upon completion of his B.A., Jeff returned home to St. Louis where he attended law school at Washington University in St. Louis. After earning his law degree, Jeff practiced for six years before acquiring his first company, Yellowtop.

We do this through Advocado Activate, which uses patented technology that monitors national broadcasts and 210 local US TV markets with precise spot detection within 5 seconds. We do not buy third-party data or encroach on privacy by watching your device.

Yellowtop grew 600% under Jeff’s leadership. With this success, Jeff cofounded new ventures, all of which are experiencing double-digit growth. The latest company, Advocado, was created based on an undisputed need in the advertising industry—connecting TV and digital marketing efforts for attribution and activation.

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Exhibiting at a conference: Brian Handrigan and Jeff Linihan (L to R)

Avocados are notorious for their minute-long window of ripeness. Advertisements are similar in that there are micro-moments when the audience is most “ripe.” Advocado is a technology that helps maximize these moments, much like our fruity namesake.

Advocado, Inc. 30 Maryland Plaza, Suite 300A St. Louis, MO 63108 +1-314-888-5411 info@myadvocado.com myadvocado.com

As co-founder, President, and COO of Advocado, Jeff is disrupting the status quo and delivering quantifiable results across industries through Advocado’s Activate, Analyze and Add Ons. His success in growing companies can be attributed to his two steadfast beliefs: create a culture built on core values and implement a people-first mentality. Jeff’s unwavering principles led him to join and serve in leadership roles for Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). He currently serves as the Sub-Committee Chair for New Chapter Launches under the Global Membership Committee. One of Jeff’s lifetime goals is to visit every country. He’s well on his way, having spent time in 49 countries. While he is an avid traveler, Jeff’s real passions are his wife, children, and the city of St. Louis. He’s eager to see St. Louis grow as an Ad Tech community and prosper as a startup city for many future generations, including his son, Mason, and daughter, Lilly.

Advocado exhibiting at Adobe Summit 2019 (Brian Handrigan and Jeff Linihan)

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This project had lots of moving parts and a team of 14 working on it. It truly brought to light the lack of time, insufficient tracking methods, and unqualified professionals performing QA. Generally speaking, marketing agencies don’t have trained QA professionals, so it often falls to account executives or project managers to perform QA and note the process in an Excel file that gets passed back and forth—this practice is not ideal, to say the least.

Founded in 2010, Lelander is a software development studio providing digital-experience strategy, design, and development consulting to regional small-to-medium businesses, marketing & advertising agencies, and startups nationally.

OUR STORY

At the time, our own QA processes were budding from a technology focus, and our methods came to us from the developer community, since that’s what we relied on. For a long time, we used a combination of a Behavior Driven Development (BDD) and Unit Tests, but the output from these tests is hard to read and there isn’t a convenient way to translate them into a readable report that we could share with our clients.

WeGood, a Quality Assurance platform, helps non-QA professionals manage and report on functional testing. We saw a gap in the marketplace based on our observations on how several clients were conducting QA testing, and we decided to start building software that preceded our largest software project to date. 99


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Several of Lelander’s UX, Development, DevOps, Design, and Project Management team members.

JP Revel, Principal

So with the development of WeGood, you can now build a battery of tests, recording results as a user follows them step by step using a particular browser or device, and confirm or deny if specific actions work as intended. And WeGood isn’t only for functional testing. While we worked on this, we saw the need to build a system that helped manage QA visually. So between the easy-to-read reports and Visual QA, we have made a product that we not only offer to others but also use ourselves. Now, Lelander and some clients are using WeGood regularly to manage their QA workflows, and report on progress over time, as new software is being developed.

Lelander 4501 Lindell Blvd., #1a St. Louis, MO 63108 +1-314-329-1007

The idea for WeGood started from the desire to format the output of Automated Functional Tests into a format that clients can read. Since Automated Functional Testing is brittle and expensive to write, we needed to figure out a practical solution. We therefore settled on building a system to manage manual Functional Testing and incorporated reporting on Unit Tests as well. We also wanted to remove all technical jargon in BDD and make it easily understood for a non-QA professional. 100


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ELEVATOR PITCH LockerDome is an ad platform with a brain. A venture-backed, emerging growth advertising-technology company—and one of the first tech companies in St. Louis—LockerDome helps publishers and advertisers connect with users through performance-based advertising.

tools—like widgets for sweepstakes, or links to related articles or listicles—that connected LockerDome.com users to content on the publishers’ websites. Seed and Stage A funding had carried them this far, but they needed more to do more.

OUR STORY

“Being in St. Louis, we recognized that there are capital constraints. It’s more difficult to come by venture capital here than it is, say, on the coasts,” says Mark. “But we also recognized that we had to find a way to monetize this audience of 120 million users.”

In the days before it was a startup, LockerDome was LockerDome.com, a sports-focused website. From there, the site evolved into a “Pinterest for guys,” says Mark Lewis, LockerDome’s Chief Financial Officer. “It was a site where our audience could discover and consume content that we had curated based on what their interests were beyond sports.”

To that end, the team began designing a technology platform that would enable them to serve ad units based on users’ affinities. Most online advertising populates based on a user’s recent visits and searches, but LockerDome’s approach was different.

The pivot proved two things: that LockerDome knew the importance of evolution, and that it knew the right way to do it. Between January 1, 2012, and January 1, 2016, LockerDome grew from 5,000 monthly active users to over 100 million.

“Our fundamental belief was that people are more likely to engage with an ad if it has something to do with something they’ve just read,” Mark says.

The growth reflected a symbiotic relationship LockerDome.com had established with around 1,500 online publishers. LockerDome provided

With metrics the team had developed in conjunction with LockerDome’s website, they could quantitatively test their theory, and they found that 101


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users were at least ten times more likely to click an ad presented to them based on affinity rather than location. It was time for LockerDome to build out the platform they’d envisioned, and St. Louis was the perfect city in which to do it. “The talent pool of developers is very deep in St. Louis,” Mark says. “We had a great product architect and we had an awesome team that asked the right questions, like ‘What would we want this platform to do if we were advertisers?’”

transparency is hard to imagine in the advertising world; then again, so is an organization that goes from a sports website to a world-class advertisingtechnology platform.

In addition to its talent, St. Louis held another secret weapon for LockerDome: there wasn’t an advertising-technology battlefield here. LockerDome was free to create its platform in exactly the way it thought best, rather than fighting preconceptions about what advertising technology “should” look like.

LockerDome’s commitment to high performance extends to its company culture, too. Employees are empowered with everything they need to succeed—generous salaries and unlimited paid time off, among other enviable benefits—and LockerDome prides itself on hiring for capability over experience. Most of its team leads began in non-managerial roles.

“We used to be based in New York, and when we were there, we often heard, ‘You can’t do it this way’ or ‘There’s no fit for that kind of advertising technology,’” Mark says. “But in St. Louis, the refrain wasn’t ‘No way.’ It was ‘Why not?’ It was a group of really smart people who were willing to create something new.”

From its origin to its platform to its offices; this is what true evolution looks like—and LockerDome is still evolving. “We were a service before we were a business, and we have been intentional in locating our business in St. Louis,” Mark says. “But it’s about more than the business, too. We want to grow so that we can return wealth to our employees and our shareholders. We are in the process not of building a business but of building a great company.”

Today, LockerDome helps publishers and advertisers to link up through quality content, and it helps readers to discover the products and services designed with them in mind. Thanks to Neo, the AI behind LockerDome’s platform, publishers’ stories lead to thoughtful advertising—it’s not an oxymoron—and marketers know that they’re not wasting their spend on the wrong audience. In fact, they can view each ad unit’s ROI in realtime through LockerDome’s intuitive and thorough dashboard. Such

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ELEVATOR PITCH Label Insight creates product transparency at the intersection of consumers, retailers, and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands. With industryleading CPG product attribute data covering more than 80% of top-selling brands, Label Insight is trusted by the world’s biggest brands to fuel growth and create customer loyalty.

OUR STORY Label Insight was founded with the mission of helping consumers understand what’s in the products they use and consume. The company creates personalized experiences between people and products through increased transparency. Label Insight’s patented technology captures, organizes, and transforms information on food, pet, and personal care product packaging into enriched attribute data. This unique data set enables consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands and retailers to uncover hidden growth and personalization opportunities and enables online retailers to significantly optimize their search and discovery capabilities.

Dheeraj Patri, Co-founder Enriched attributes from Label Insight are the key to unlocking transparency for insights and analytics strategies. This new class of product attribute information, specifically designed to meet evolving consumer expectations, allows brands and retailers to see categories through the shopper’s eyes. When combined with sales data, these attributes uncover hidden trends and buying behaviors that produce powerful category and marketplace insights, in addition, delivering real bottom-line impact for brands and retailers.

Label Insight is the proven leader in product data. That’s why more than 240 scientists at the FDA log into the Label Insight platform every day. It’s why Label Insight provides more than 90% of the product data included in the USDA Branded Food Products database. Moreover, it’s why leading brands and retailers like Unilever, PepsiCo, ConAgra, Albertsons, Target, Walmart, Instacart, Meijer, and Raley’s partner with Label Insight to supercharge their product intelligence, category management, shopper marketing, health and wellness, and transparency initiatives at scale. No other solution provider offers the depth, breadth, and granularity of product attribute data across more than 80% of top-selling food, pet, and personal care products in the US today.

Label Insight’s enriched attributes also help brands take advantage of the accelerating growth of online CPG sales. Rapidly evolving consumer preference to purchase brands online through traditional retailers, and relatively new entrants such as Amazon and Instacart, has forced brands to quickly adopt new approaches to ensure their products are discoverable online in an intensely competitive market. Label Insight provides brands a true e-commerce differentiator to boosts online sales by improving search rankings, on-site discoverability, and inclusion in on-site product replacement and recommendation selection.

Many solutions offer attribute-based insights, but only Label Insight attributes reveal a product’s true DNA. That’s because their high-order attributes don’t simply rely on claims, certifications, and product titles alone. They combine more than 15 dimensions including ingredient, nutrient, and allergen analysis, 250,000+ exclusive ingredient definitions, and proprietary taxonomies for cross-referential data indexing to create their patented solution. As a result, Label Insight’s platform offers the most complete, accurate, and granular picture available.

Label Insight is a venture capital-backed company based in St. Louis and Chicago. Its investors include Cultivation Capital, Mercury Fund, River Cities Capital, and Delta-v Capital. The company is growing its customer base and revenue line aggressively and is poised to dominate the “consumer product data solutions” space. The company has over 5,000 brands contributing data to their platform.

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“Innovators are successful because when they encounter a challenge, they do so with the positive belief that they can create a solution.” —Travis Liebig, CEO, Saint Louis Bank


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Saint Louis Bank team members at nSight2019. From left to right: Sarah Mathis, Travis Liebig, Steve Landry, Rita Kuster, Kimberli Palmer, and Jermal Seward.

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REDEFINING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A COMMUNITY BANK PROPELLING THE ST. LOUIS REGION FORWARD same neighborhoods as our clients and bring firsthand knowledge of the local economy and culture. We are dedicated to helping small businesses succeed, as they are the lifeblood for growth in our region.

Banking, like many other industries, has been in an incredible state of change, fueled by innovations in technology, and the pace of that change is only increasing. The entire landscape of the industry is shifting, and banks of all sizes are facing the need to adapt or risk extinction.

A bank that understands its community makes a great difference when it comes to lending decisions. It is the difference between a client being viewed only as a set of numbers, rather than as an actual human being. An opportunity that is evaluated based on abstract guidelines made hundreds of miles away by an institution and individuals who may rarely set foot in St. Louis can result in a very different outcome than when the same opportunity is evaluated by people who are intimately familiar with the region and are personally invested in its growth—and that of its small businesses.

A further challenge has also emerged, one that affects our entrepreneurs, small businesses, and St. Louis as a whole. With the ongoing consolidation of financial institutions, nearly 70% of all banks have disappeared. St. Louis, once home to numerous homegrown banks, such as Boatmen’s, Mark Twain, and Southwest, today counts with only 3 homegrown banks, out of the top 10 banks by deposits. Increasingly, banks are consolidating into large entities headquartered outside our region, quickly losing touch with the communities they serve.

Saint Louis Bank knows that a set of numbers never tells the complete story. We never forget about the people behind the numbers—the entrepreneurs, creators, innovators. It’s about the businesses who believe as strongly as we do in all of what our region has to offer.

In 2018, recognizing a gap in the banking landscape caused by the declining number of local partners for small businesses in St. Louis—Travis Liebig, current President & CEO, led a group of investors in the purchase of Saint Louis Bank, a community bank founded in 2005 and specializing in lending to small- to mid-sized businesses.

We strive to be the St. Louis bank and to redefine what it means to be a community bank. Whether an individual represents an established private company, a purpose-driven organization, or they are a rising entrepreneur, if they care about their people, about our community, about St. Louis, we want to be their banking partner. We want to create something big—together.

Nationally, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for almost half of all economic activity. We believe that local banks play an indispensable role as partners to small businesses. As a locally owned bank, we know the communities and businesses we serve. We live in the

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That belief was galvanized with our change-in-control in 2018; banks must continue to invest in innovation and find ways to work smarter, but this must not be done to the detriment of personal engagement. We refuse to believe that you must choose between innovation and wisdom. We are the bank where our clients can expect both. We can serve our community best by combining experience with technology to ensure our clients feel understood.

At the birth of Saint Louis Bank in 2005, the technology we integrated into our banking was cutting edge, especially for a bank of our size, and client service was an equally significant focus. We wanted to give our clients freedom; they could go online to check balances and make deposits, but if they had a question, they were only a phone call away from talking to a real person. It was “high tech with a high touch” from the start.

Today, technology has spread into so many more areas of business. It’s not just about digitizing client processes—which for banks may include loandocument processing and cash management services and tracking—but it’s also about enriching employee experiences through advancements in how we track client satisfaction data, deliver personal and professional development resources, and encourage internal collaboration. The

Though our founding leaders understood that technology and innovation were here to stay, they also understood that nothing could ever completely replace a true relationship. At their core, banks—especially community banks—are built on relationships.

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platforms banks have access to today allow data and analytics to provide real-time feedback on how business activities are measured, managed, and improved upon.

has the advantage of being relatively small. Our size allows us to be agile enough to integrate innovations faster and more cost-effectively than many of our competitors.

Saint Louis Bank has made investments in a cloud-based loanoperating and document management system to increase efficiency and transparency within the loan cycle, helping us reduce the time required to approve and close loans. We have also invested in a cloudbased human resource management platform to streamline recruiting, onboarding, and performance management to improve prospect and team member experiences, providing greater clarity for each team member’s professional development.

We believe that by equipping our team with the resources needed, in terms of technology, professional development, and quality of life amenities, we will achieve better client outcomes. To that end, we have also spent the past year building what we call the Saint Louis Bank Way—an idea rooted in our core values of making community possible, unleashing inspiration, keeping our heads up and eyes open, maintaining principled progress, demonstrating pride of place, and renewing trust every day. Saint Louis Bank’s drive to innovate doesn’t start and stop at our doors. For us, investing in our community goes beyond business activities. The Saint Louis Bank team volunteers its time individually and as a group in many

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causes throughout our communities, such as Arch Grants’ Global Startup Competition and World Food Day. Our bank has also made investments in organizations such as SixThirty, a global fintech fund and business development program. Both of these organizations encapsulate the spirit and drive that Saint Louis Bank aims to amplify.

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We feel fortunate to play a part in the region’s transformation, and we look forward to supporting the goals of fellow entrepreneurs and community members continuing to drive St. Louis forward. Saint Louis Bank is positioned to lead banking in our region into a new era by combining innovative technology, entrepreneurship, and talent management strategies that will breathe new life into what has been considered by some to be an antiquated and stale industry. And we will do so by putting people at the center, because when you succeed, we all succeed.

We are dedicated to making community possible by helping people turn their dreams into reality—and we are just getting started. Saint Louis Bank is continuously seeking out and partnering with nonprofit and for-profit organizations that believe in changing and enhancing the narrative of the St. Louis region. We want to create and promote connectivity between individuals, inspire our community to do more, and pave the road to achieving the dreams of our fellow citizen, making decisions with their best interest in mind and demonstrating an awareness of not only what’s directly ahead, but what may be expected further along. Everything we do, we do with the understanding that trust isn’t granted, it is earned and renewed or revoked with every action or inaction. We aim to create something for our team, clients, and our community that is more than just a place to borrow and deposit money. We are working to create an experience, a place that is greater than the sum of its parts.

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our heads up and eyes open, looking for an opportunity to make the right moves to help our clients and our region succeed. We are strategic, we think beyond the obstacles before us, and we understand that we are all strengthened when the community and region work together and make the appropriate moves. Strategy, commitment, and discipline are foundational principles of our team and our bank as we seek to better our region and build up our home.

Our logo takes inspiration from the classic knight chess piece from the strategy game with an ancient legacy and a rich history in our city. The knight represents capabilities that no other piece possesses. While pawns, rooks, bishops, and queens can move as many spaces as are clear before them, the knight can only move a finite distance and direction from its starting position. In order to fully utilize this piece, the player must have a vision for the future and an ability to think multiple steps ahead. A closer view of our logo also reveals homage to some of Saint Louis’ legacy. The face of the knight is fashioned with the same armor piece that is proudly displayed on the magnificent bronze sculpture standing atop Art Hill, the Apotheosis of St. Louis. The strong jawline of the horse, and its eyes are seen from the negative space of the raised sword that Louis IX holds firmly atop his horse—with the off-kilter guard protecting his hand devoutly replicated within. At the base of the Saint Louis Bank Knight is a replication of the base of a stone column that has historically been present at strong institutions, like banks.

14323 S. Outer 40 Road St. Louis, MO 63017 +1-314-851-6200 stlouisbank.com

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A PLACE OF STRENGTH IN GOOD TIMES AND BAD

analysis tool, it allowed portfolio managers to sit with their clients and work through clients’ finances in real time. While similar tools are available today, Acropolis was among the first to create comprehensive software to answer the three important questions about retirement: Am I saving enough for retirement? When can I afford to retire? How much can I spend in retirement?

ELEVATOR PITCH Acropolis is a fee-only wealth advisor, serving individual investors, institutional investors and 401(k) plan sponsors. In an industry where highquality, objective advice is difficult to come by, Acropolis helps investors find peace of mind relative to their long-term finances. Acropolis makes a difference by acting in a fiduciary capacity, which means putting clients’ interests above its own.

“We wanted to empower clients to make informed decisions on their retirement planning,” says Mike Lissner, a founding partner of Acropolis. “And by doing this interactively in real-time, we empowered individuals to see how their decisions would impact their goals.”

OUR STORY In times of war in ancient Greece, everyone in Athens gathered at the safest place, the Acropolis, the rocky outcropping where the Parthenon sits. In times of prosperity, the Acropolis was where scholars and philosophers gathered to discuss higher ideas. So, in both good times and bad, the Acropolis was the place to be.

Acropolis’ strength of character became even more apparent during the 2008 financial crisis by accomplishing three key things: the firm maintained over 99% client retention, it maintained those clients’ investment strategies, and it also kept all of its employees. “It was as challenging as it was important,” Mike says. “The partners made our clients and our employees the priority; we led by taking pay cuts in order to avoid laying off employees. The partners stressed that we are all in this together.”

Acropolis Investment Management models itself after this philosophy, striving to be both defensible and opportunistic, a place of strength regardless of the markets and the economy. In 2003, Acropolis developed an innovative piece of software called the Acropolis Financial Forecaster™. A highly interactive advanced statistical

Even today, such a philosophy informs much of the firm’s actions.

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“We eat our own cooking,” Mike likes to say. “We invest our money alongside our clients’, using the same investment approach, philosophy, and strategy.”

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Chris Lissner

Dannelle Ward

David Ott

Mike Lissner

we wanted to have third-party verification helping us to improve ourselves and verifying our commitment to best practices.” This ethos of transparency runs throughout the firm. In addition to printing its fees clearly on quarterly client reports (it’s actually on a page by itself so that there can be no confusion), all advisors have access to a customer relationship management software, allowing employees to serve clients even if their specific advisor is unavailable. Acropolis also uses an open floor plan for their employees, partners included. According to Mike, “We all sit in one big open room, no offices or cubicles.”

Such a practice may seem common to most people, but a recent Vanguard report indicated that over 50% of mutual fund managers did not invest any of their own money in the funds they managed. But Acropolis has the track record to prove its philosophy is sound. In 2013, Acropolis passed $1 billion in assets under management (AUM), and today, the firm stands at over $1.5 billion in AUM. There are over 10,000 registered investment advisors and Acropolis is one of just a few hundred firms with the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) certification. In any field, a fiduciary is a party that puts its clients’ interests above its own. In finance, becoming a CEFEX certified fiduciary is costly—in terms of time and money—but it is important to Acropolis to earn the distinction.

“We will continue to build an environment that is very inclusive of employees and clients and one that reflects that we are a team,” reflects Mike. “When one of us is successful, we are all successful.” Acropolis Investment Management, LLC 14567 N. Outer Forty Road, Suite 200 Chesterfield, MO 63017 +1-636-449-4900 acrinv.com

“Attorneys are fiduciaries, as are accountants and doctors—and most people think that all financial advisors are fiduciaries,” Mike explains. “But the vast majority of financial advisors are not fiduciaries. To better serve our clients, 114


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Co-founding Brothers Michael and Stephen Seaman

ELEVATOR PITCH

Seaman recognized that the payment processing industry needed to change, but it wasn’t until 2016 that he understood how. Following the model of major online services like Kayak and Hotels.com, Seaman created SwipeSum, a marketplace for credit card processors. Rather than leaving business owners at the mercy of their local bank or processing salesperson, SwipeSum would empower them to choose payment processing solutions from a wide variety of providers that fit their unique needs.

SwipeSum is the first online marketplace for credit card processing. We help businesses of all sizes find the best payment processing solution for their unique business and negotiate lower rates on their behalf, totally free of charge.

After enlisting the help of his brother Stephen, Seaman relocated SwipeSum to St. Louis and began working on the venture full-time. The Seaman brothers quickly found success in their new home, raising $1.5 million from local angel investors and bringing on 12 full-time employees in their first 18 months.

OUR STORY In 2012, Michael Seaman took a job at a major credit card processor. During his sales training, Seaman realized that the company—and the industry in general—didn’t care much about business owners. Instead, they taught him how to hide fees and lock businesses into bad contracts.

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Back Row (left to right):

Front Row (left to right):

Cannon Elkins (Business Development Manager) Holly Rosenbalm (Executive Assistant) Blake Higdon (Director of Strategic Partnerships) Stephen Seaman (Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer) Natasha Peebles (Director of Operations) Trent Epple (Director of Partnership Development)

Macey Speer (Director of Account Management) Sam Elkins (Product Manager) Erin Rose (Director of Customer Success) Taft Anderson (Chief Marketing Officer) Michael Seaman (Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer)

to the midwest, but I can’t imagine doing it any other way. There is so much untapped potential in this market—with people, with capital, and with resources—and I’m thrilled to participate in the building up of this great community.” Since joining the St. Louis startup community, SwipeSum has received numerous accolades, including an Arch Grant and multiple Future 50 awards. Its founding team has also offered assistance to budding entrepreneurs through various Arch Grants, ITEN, and EQ STL programs.

SwipeSum, Inc. 714 N. Second Street St. Louis, MO 63102 +1-314-484-3235 save@swipesum.com

Looking forward, SwipeSum plans to stay and continue growing in downtown St. Louis. “This city has given so much to us,” Seaman explains, “we want to give back as much as we possibly can. St. Louis is it, baby!” 116

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“Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them.” —ALFRED NORTH WHITEHEAD


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THIS WAS THE BEST MEETING I’VE EVER BEEN TO.”

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ABOUT PURINA Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement, and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premier global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health, and wellness.

OUR STORY The Retail Innovation Center (RIC) is where Purina demonstrates our Pet category thought leadership and builds stronger partnerships with our retailers. Since 2001, the RIC has been used as a meeting space to help our Sales team(s) communicate key brand/ product innovations within the Purina portfolio using a mock grocery store environment. However, driven by our commitment to continuous improvement, there was a need to reimagine the RIC beyond a meeting facility into a unique innovation experience.

Stephen Wurth, Senior Manager, Category Experience Design

FROM STORE TO STORIES The most significant transformation of the RIC was removing the store environment and replacing it with flexible stations that bring the pet-owner experience to life. Each station highlights a way to enable category growth backed by Purina’s proprietary insights while showcasing emerging retail technology and/or Purina-designed solutions that solve petowner pain points or transform behavior to drive business. The RIC is an immersive and experimental learning lab that constantly evolves and adapts to reflect the rapidly changing dynamics of the Pet category. Every element in the space is custom designed and unique to our lab, making it unlike any other innovation space in the world. Purina PO Box 2530 | Largo, FL 33779

FROM PLACE TO EXPERIENCE What’s truly revolutionary is the way we are engaging our guests. We’ve developed a new way of working in the facility called “RICx” that is transforming how we interact with retailers. Rooted in principles of design thinking, RICx helps build deeper empathy for pet owners through immersive learning, activates new opportunities through collaborative exercises, and builds clear action plans that enable new business. This approach positions the broader Purina organization beyond thought leadership and into a thought partnership that keeps retailers excited to come back and continue working alongside our team.

purina

| purina purina

Purina purina.com

Since the redesign, we’ve seen repeat visits, engaged new audiences from both current and emerging retailers, and used the experience to drive new business opportunities with some of our most strategic retail partners.

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Working with the brightest minds to understand the science of people. ELEVATOR PITCH Maritz uses its groundbreaking knowledge of behavioral science to increase customer loyalty, employee experience, and sales performance through a variety of services and software solutions encompassing research, incentives, rewards, incentive travel, meetings, and events.

OUR STORY For 125 years, Maritz has been growing and changing to meet diverse marketplace demands. What began in 1894 as a jewelry company that sold items out of Edward F. Maritz’ house in St. Louis has grown into a $1.3 billion enterprise that understands the true jewel in this life is people.

When the Great Depression hit in 1929, Edward’s sons Lloyd and James were faced with bleak prospects for the jewelry company. To generate income, they had the notion to sell watches and engraved personalized jewelry to companies as sales and service awards. The idea of noncash sales rewards was a new one, and it caught hold. The concept literally saved the company and launched the incentives industry. By 1930, a new division was created—Maritz Sales Builders. The first national “prize book” was created for a St. Louis hat manufacturer, Caradine Hat Company. “The Maritz family basically incubated a transformational innovation around an insight from psychology,” says Zarak Khan, behavioral innovation director at Maritz. “There’s a great investment in applied psychology and behavioral science here, and we believe that is a key component in building things that last.” Today, the business works with the brightest minds to understand the behavior and

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the science of people. Maritz uses this groundbreaking knowledge to increase customer loyalty, employee experience, and sales performance through a variety of services and software solutions encompassing research, incentives, rewards, incentive travel, meetings, and events. Maritz’ specialties are showcased in its three businesses—Maritz Motivation, MaritzCX, and Maritz Global Events—and several divisions. In terms of innovation, Maritz focuses on collaboration in academic research, creation of a foundation for employees in behavioral science and experimentation, thought leadership in the industry via PeopleScience.com, and applied innovation. Through the Maritz Field Research Collaborative, Maritz partners with behavioral science scholars at top-tier universities across the country to design custom research that yields valuable insights. It’s a triple win in the sense that Maritz’ clients gain a first-mover advantage


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through cutting-edge research that informs the development of their products or services, while the researchers benefit from the opportunity to see in the field what they have previously only theorized in a lab. And Maritz benefits by joining the two. The outcome of the Maritz Field Research Collaborative is the studies’ publication in academic journals, which ensures the purity of the research and growth in the field of behavioral science. In 2018, Maritz and Harvard researchers published a study in the Harvard Business Review that looked at consumer reactions to marketers’ use of personal data. The experiment found that when marketers are transparent and communicate how they are using customer data to target ads, they see an increase in customer engagement and purchasing. The findings from the study are especially relevant for a world in which data privacy is a large concern. In a similar vein, Maritz provides internal education around behavioral science and

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research methodology for all of its employees, from its board members down, and it has also launched a thought-leadership platform in the form of PeopleScience.com. The website features academic and industry content that has been “translated” into articles that are more informal but no less thought-provoking. Jeff Kreisler, a Princetontrained lawyer turned professional comedian, bestselling author, and then advocate for behavioral science, edits PeopleScience.com, so readers benefit from meaningful content that is cleverly presented. All of these elements come together in applied innovation, which describes the way Maritz has concretized its processes for innovating. “We are embracing the burning aspiration to transform business and its people,” says Amy Kramer, market and product innovation leader for Maritz Global Events. “We believe in the power of innovation, its impact on culture, and

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how we can use methodology and practice to radically shift our industry, impacting the lives of people and their experiences.” Maritz’ approach, then, is rooted in thoughtful design. By helping its clients to understand and define their goals and objectives—and by placing design at the foundation of the experience— Maritz creates with intention, delivering the most impactful, meaningful experiences possible. But the work doesn’t end there; Maritz uses its “incubator” to further ideate, create, experiment with, and execute new approaches—all of which continually enhance the experiences it designs. In 2014, Maritz introduced a personalized, retail-like e-commerce experience called RewardSphere that offers a reward experience focused on exactly what motivates people and what they find rewarding. By applying behavioral science principles, Maritz designed an experience that is personalized to each user’s profile, preferences, and behavior. Building


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on that success, in 2018, Maritz leveraged the power of machine learning and AI in its proprietary Points Concierge tool to send targeted recommendations to 75,000 HSBC credit card rewards members, spotlighting the rewards most likely to drive desired behavior. The AI-enabled recommendations proved three times as effective as those offered to the control group, pointing to the promise of predictive analysis in large-scale incentive programs in the years ahead. The program was recognized with the Grand Motivation Masters Award in 2019. It is no surprise that with behavioral science at the core of its processes, Maritz’ innovation is people-centric. Maritz invests in structure, methodology, and leadership,

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and it encourages employees, customers, and partners to engage in ideation and progress innovation at all levels. These investments further the mission to practice and empower innovation to scale top growth opportunities. Such an open network motivates all Maritz people, inspiring them to contribute and to take risks—both of which are at the heart of innovation. “Our leadership is also truly supportive,” Amy adds. “We promote learning, give permission to fail and support each other in collecting ideas, and in expanding and assessing those ideas, and we invest in our people to take new thinking to the market.” In addition to building community and empowering


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Zarak Khan, behavioral innovation director

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Amy Kramer, market and product innovation leader Jesse Wolfersberger, left, chief data officer at Maritz Motivation, accepts the Grand Motivation Masters award for a program that used AI-enabled recommendations to offer targeted rewards recommendations to HSBC customers.

people, Maritz’ process of innovation allows for a quicker speed to market and quicker impact on business results. The process builds a future system that enhances Maritz’ offerings to clients and the effect on their clients and guests in turn. One example of this immediate impact is a mobile app, DealerPulse Mobile. Produced by Maritz in 2013, the app allowed General Motors dealers to receive up-to-date feedback from the customers they served right on their phones and tablets without having to wait for weekly or monthly reports. A more recent example is the launch of the first Patient Experience Platform, an all-inclusive, customizable patient experience survey and reporting framework that allows health care organizations to integrate, view, and analyze patient experience data from multiple sources and surveys, including the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys, to gain a more comprehensive view of the patient journey. As a large organization, Maritz also promotes cross-functional and divisional collaboration, fostering relationships, better ideas, and stronger applications across markets. “We want to drive constant value, future thinking, and bold approaches to transforming our clients’ events, products, and services,” Amy says. “And most importantly, we want to inspire and elevate our people and their impact on our organization and the world.”

The Maritz Field Research Collaborative offered a case study in conjunction with Harvard researchers on the effects of marketing transparency on customer engagement and purchasing.

People Science

Maritz 1375 North Highway Drive Fenton, MO 63099 +1-636-827-4000 maritz.com

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“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” —Kofi Annan


EDUCATION &TRAINING


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ELEVATOR PITCH The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis is dedicated to creating positive social change through groundbreaking research and education in social work, public health, and social policy. Its community of faculty, graduate students, staff, and alumni works throughout St. Louis, across the country and worldwide—using the best evidence to advance racial, health, and economic equity.

OUR STORY At the heart of the Brown School is a dedication to driving equity—racial, health and economic—and a commitment to impacting individuals, families, communities, and systems through evidence-based research. The school houses master’s and doctoral programs in public health and social work, which are top-ranked among their peers, as well as 16 research centers focused on everything from combatting child maltreatment, to Native American welfare and policy, to the effective development and use of system dynamics to create solutions to social issues. The Brown School also recently introduced a dual-degree option in social policy to enable students to further enact change on a systemic level. As part of the social policy program, students cultivate a true understanding of how policy impacts the ability of social work and public health practitioners to serve their constituents. They then gain skills in developing and implanting innovative policy approaches. “The Brown School is a community unlike any other,” said Mary McKay, the Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean. “We are a meeting place for renowned faculty members, innovative researchers, leading practitioners, and energetic students. We represent a range of expertise areas, but we are all united by this shared mission to make the world a better place.” Associate Professor Sheretta Butler-Barnes works with the Girls, Inc. Eureka! program

She continued: “We know, however, that the problems we address are complicated and multifaceted. We have developed a unique range of programs, research centers, and institutes so we are better equipped to build sustainable solutions that exist at the intersection of social work, public health, and social policy.”

Health Equity Works, led by Associate Professor Jason Purnell, translates data into community action, with the goal of eliminating racial inequities and improving health, housing, and economic opportunity in the area. After helping to launch the new school-based health center at Normandy High School, the initiative recently launched the Show-Me School-Based Health Alliance of Missouri, an organization that provides training and assistance to existing and emerging school-based health centers throughout the state.

You may find the school’s faculty experts conducting field research in Afghanistan, or testifying on Capitol Hill. You will also see them tirelessly advocating with local community organizations. The school is an active partner in creating healthier and more prosperous communities in and around St. Louis, and its faculty have launched several communitybased initiatives.

Vetta Sanders Thompson, who is the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, combines a social science understanding of racial identity, rigorous measurement, and community-based participatory research in her work. Her goal is to empower members of the community to improve their health and well-being.

Associate Professor Sheretta Butler-Barnes works with the Girls Inc. Eureka! Program, which exposes high school girls of color to an intensive STEMbased curriculum. Her research addresses structural racism and inequalities in education and youth development. 127


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Mary McKay, Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean

Professor Sean Joe presents at the HomeGrown STL Summit.

Sean Joe, the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development and Associate Dean for Faculty and Research, founded HomeGrownSTL to bolster the city’s capacity to foster positive development of Black boys and young men. Central to HomeGrown’s mission is answering the question: “How would our region—and the lives of people who call it home—change if St. Louis were the best place for Black boys to grow up, be healthy, attend college, and find a good job?” The project brings together area researchers, service providers, funders, and advocates to develop more coordinated systems of care and services in neighborhoods of need. “We are so proud that our faculty, students, and alumni have aspirations to change the world but also want to start right here in our region,” said Dean McKay. “St. Louis is vitally important to us. There is so much good and innovative work being done here, and we want to be a part of it.” 128

Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis Brownschool.wustl.edu


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ELEVATOR PITCH The current buzzword in education at all levels is STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering , and Mathematics. According to the Diversity in Tech Summit, HBCUs produce 27% of African-American STEM graduates and are key to diversifying the tech industry.

Students in her biology class are currently studying how cannabidiol (CBD), a compound derived from cannabis plants, affects fruit flies. Most students in Dr. Leal’s class had never worked in a research lab before taking the course and are learning the process from the ground up as they investigate cuttingedge scientific questions. As part of the class, students are also leading their own research experiments to understand how CBD-infused food affects the movement and feeding behavior of fruit fly larvae.

OUR STORY At Harris-Stowe State University, we have been concentrating our efforts in STEM disciplines for many years. Recognized as a leader in STEM degree production, Harris-Stowe has one the largest numbers of AfricanAmerican students enrolled and graduating in the areas of Biological Sciences and Mathematics in the state, and it has ranked in the top 50 in the nation in conferring Mathematics degrees to African-American students. The University enrolls over a fourth (26%) of its student population in STEM-focused majors, including Sustainability and Urban Ecology, Biology, and Math.

In addition to excellent faculty, HarrisStowe has partnerships, agreements, and collaborations with various institutions in the region and beyond to advance STEM and provide extraordinary internship and research experiences for students. Our collaboration with Saint Louis University Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology is one of its kind in the nation. Through this program, HSSU STEM scholars will graduate with a degree in mathematics from HSSU and a degree in either mechanical, computer, interdisciplinary, or civil engineering from Saint Louis University within five to six years. Other partnerships and collaborations include Washington University Occupational Therapy Program, Goldfarb School of Nursing, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Graduate School, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, and St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) is dedicated to transforming the intellectual imagination of student scholars engaged in STEM. Within the last year, there have been more than 50 undergraduate research projects implemented by Harris-Stowe students. Our STEM scholars have presented their research in oral and poster presentations at local, regional, and national conferences. Twenty Harris-Stowe students presented their research at the Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference held in Washington, DC, in February 2019. The purpose of the conference is to help undergraduate students enhance their science communication skills and better prepare them for science careers in the global workforce. In 2018, senior Mayla Ayers received first-place honors for an undergraduate oral presentation in the Ecology, Environmental, and Earth Sciences category at the conference. Her presentation, “PCH1 Regulates Thermoresponsive Growth in Arabidopsis Thaliana,” summarized the findings of her summer research in the lab of Dmitri A. Nusinow, PhD, Assistant Member of the Danforth Plant Science Center.

Leveraging internal and external funding, Harris-Stowe integrates academics with professional and high-impact experiences to immerse STEM scholars in undergraduate research, advance graduation rates, and expand participation in fellowship and internship opportunities. These enrichment activities are made possible through several grant awards from the National Science Foundation. Within the last five years, the institution has secured over $10 million in National Science Foundation Grant Awards, including a $5 million STEM grant, the largest in the school’s history.

HSSU faculty members are an integral part of the University’s STEM success. 100% of our STEM faculty possess doctorate degrees in their field of study. STEM scholars at Harris-Stowe benefit from an engaged faculty committed to excellence in teaching and holistic student development delivered in a collaborative learning environment. Dr. Sandra Leal is an Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. She has a passion for both research and mentoring.

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Harris-Stowe State University 3026 Laclede Avenue St. Louis, MO 63103 +1-314-340-3366 HarrisStowe hssu.edu

JP Revel, Principal

About Harris-Stowe State University Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU), located in midtown St. Louis, offers the most affordable bachelor’s degree in the state of Missouri. The University is a fully accredited four-year institution with 50 majors, minors, and certificate programs in education, business, and arts and sciences. Harris-Stowe’s mission is to provide outstanding educational opportunities for individuals seeking a rich and engaging academic experience. HSSU’s programs are designed to nurture intellectual curiosity and build authentic skills that prepare students for leadership roles in a global society.

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LEADERS in the Making

Since 1935, Logan University has been recognized as an outstanding chiropractic school. Today, they hold true to their chiropractic roots, but have expanded the reach of quality health care education with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees that span the health sciences field.

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In the heart of Chesterfield, MO, they stand out as an award-winning university that draws talent from every state and multiple countries. Offering seven degrees, including bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate, Logan University has become an international force in health sciences, providing educational opportunities with the potential to shape the landscape of healthcare.

Doctor of Chiropractic students are transformed into doctors who graduate

Clay McDonald, DC, MBA, JD Logan University President

practice-ready in just over three years. They are exposed to more clinical opportunities earlier than any other chiropractic program. In fact, 40% of their first year will be spent in hands-on clinical skills courses. And with a variety of proven chiropractic techniques and electives, optional master’s degree programs and a diverse range of clinical partnerships, they have more options to customize their education at Logan than at any other school.

Doctor of Health Professions Education students acquire the tools to become a successful educator of the healthcare leaders of tomorrow. environment. On the 112-acre campus, two dining facilities offer healthy and hearty options for breakfast and lunch. The Wellness Center provides facilities for both indoor and outdoor workouts, with the latest in strength training and cardio equipment, as well as athletic fields, a running track, and basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts. They even have an 18-hole disc golf course. From team sports to Greek organizations to various chiropractic technique clubs, more than 30 student groups provide numerous opportunities to serve, learn, and lead.

Master of Science in Nutrition and Human Performance offers concentrations in Sports and Fitness, Nutritional Wellness, Health Education, and Dietetics.

Master of Science in Sports Science and Rehabilitation students learn to guide athletes in maximizing performance and minimizing injuries. Master of Science in Health Informatics combines courses in data management, information systems, business and finance, preparing graduates to work at the ever-evolving intersection of data and healthcare.

Bachelor of Science in Human Biology prepares students for a career in the health care workforce or to enter a professional program in medicine, osteopathy, podiatry, chiropractic or dentistry.

Bachelor of Science in Life Science provides the unique opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree while earning credits toward Logan’s Doctor of Chiropractic degree—saving students time and money. Many of these programs are taught 100% online, giving busy, working professionals the flexibility to complete their degree and maintain their current employment. They further strive to nourish the educational experience by balancing the rigorous academic and clinical programs with an active, healthy campus 132

At Logan University, they believe that leaders are made stronger and wiser, through hard work and hands-on experience—through compassion for others and a commitment to evidence-based, natural healthcare. As a supportive community of thought leaders, they nurture growth and build skill in an environment where students can be challenged, be mentored, and ultimately become confident leaders in the dynamic and rewarding field of natural healthcare.

Logan University Admissions@logan.edu 1851 Schoettler Road Chesterfield, MO 63017 +1-800-782-3344 LoganUniversity Logan.edu


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ELEVATOR PITCH The pursuit of innovation through strategic opportunities and intelligent risks sounds like the opening line from an entrepreneur’s elevator pitch. In fact, it is how I explain to staff the key ingredients necessary to deliver innovative teaching and learning to students. As a school superintendent, I approach the deployment of educational programs and services more like an entrepreneur instead of a traditional educator.

OUR STORY Education moves a bit slower than other sectors and often falls short when it comes to keeping up with the rate of change in the real world. This is why I chose to use a serendipitous collision to drive how I influence actions within the educational system. That chance encounter with a local entrepreneur outside of the educational sphere not only helped launch a groundbreaking educational program, it empowered me to immerse myself in the St. Louis innovation community.

ST. LOUIS CENTERS FOR ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL STUDIES The chance encounter at a local entrepreneur meeting was with Brandon Dempsey. It turned out to be serendipitous because he is a resident in the school district where I serve as superintendent. Brandon and I worked closely to launch the first educational program of its kind in the area, the St. Louis Centers for Advanced Professional Studies (STL CAPS). STL CAPS provides juniors and seniors in high school the ability to fast-forward beyond college to test-drive their future in high-skill, high-demand careers. Instead of learning in a traditional classroom, student associates are immersed in the real world that includes small business incubators and medical centers as well as technology and engineering companies. Students complete projects directly from business and industry partners while developing their own solutions and designs to the most pressing industry needs.

INNOVATIVE TEACHING & LEARNING The frequent interactions with Brandon, and other entrepreneurs and innovators across St. Louis, influenced the way I lead the Affton School District. I take action quicker, embrace change, and view failure as part of the learning and growth process. I share these lessons with all staff members. I have given them permission to fail in their pursuit of innovative teaching and learning. I have been inspired to make innovative teaching and learning the foundation of the district’s strategic plan. The three focus areas of academic excellence, creative problem solving, and social and emotional learning provide coherence across the school district.

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AFFTON SCHOOL DISTRICT RESULTS The confidence to move fast and quickly scale up educational programs and services has separated the Affton School District as an innovative educational leader. Each year we welcome hundreds of visitors from other school districts. We have been among the first in the state to implement selective Advanced Placement programs. In addition, the past two years Affton is the only district in the state to have all schools earn Distinguished designation from Project Lead the Way for equity and access to a nationally recognized STEM curriculum. Affton High School was recently named the 9th best high school in the state by US News and World Reports. I have made it my personal mission to take Affton beyond standardized test scores to deliver a more relevant and balanced educational experience … beginning in pre-school! The goal is to develop an internal accountability system that is relevant, responsive, and personalized while being able to withstand any external accountability measures the state or federal government throws our way.

Dr. Bracht and Pulitzer Prize–nominated author Clifton Taulbert at the CAPS Student Summit on Entrepreneurship

MILESTONES FOCUS St. Louis What’s Right with the Region Honoree for Fostering Regional Cooperation Featured Chapter in Designing Successful Systems: Stories of Change University of Missouri–St. Louis Education Entrepreneur in Residence (EdPreneur) Graduate Venture Café Panelist – Arts/Education/Innovation/ Economics Education Plus Featured Innovator – Annual Legislative Breakfast

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STL CAPS student associates take 1st, 3rd, and 4th place in the Saint Louis University Center for Entrepreneurship Teen Elevator Pitch Competition

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Dr. Bracht along with colleagues, board members, and teachers at the Designing Successful Systems book release

Dr. Bracht with Affton School District staff and STL CAPS business partners honored for Fostering Regional Cooperation at the FOCUS St. Louis What’s Right with the Region Awards ceremony.

Affton School District Dr. Travis Bracht tbracht@afftonschools.net +1-314-633-5905 AfftonSchools | AfftonSchools afftonschools.net STL CAPS tbracht@stlcaps.net stlcaps stlcaps.yourcapsnetwork.org

Dr. Bracht, Brandon Dempsey, and the STL CAPS Global Business and Entrepreneurship student associates pose for a picture at the Affton Chamber of Commerce meeting 136


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ELEVATOR PITCH Founded as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2013 by entrepreneur Jim McKelvey, LaunchCode was conceived in response to the tech talent shortage plaguing companies across the nation. Jim experienced the issue firsthand after cofounding payment processing technology, Square, and it was forced to move from St. Louis to Silicon Valley to tap into the robust pool of tech talent it needed to thrive. The move left Jim—a St. Louis native—grappling with the fact that those high-paying and upwardly-mobile jobs wouldn’t be in his hometown. He knew the region was rich with individuals driven to succeed but without an accessible and affordable pathway to do so. LaunchCode would be that pathway.

LaunchCode creates economic opportunity by adding new talent to tech ecosystems across the nation. While careers in technology have traditionally been reserved for those with a four-year computer science degree, LaunchCode’s programs are free and accessible to motivated individuals who are assessed for passion, drive, and aptitude rather than credentials.

OUR STORY LaunchCode is the most prolific producer of technology talent in the St. Louis region, but if you were to enter its Mentor Center on a typical weeknight, what you’d find looks nothing like a typical college classroom. People of all ages from varying educational backgrounds and career fields and from all corners of the St. Louis region fill the Center for the common goal of getting their foot in the door of a bustling industry. Most of these students lack former technical work experience or computer science degrees on their resume, but they’re confident that LaunchCode can help them break that barrier. And with over 2,000 careers launched and more than 500 company partners hiring LaunchCode graduates across the nation, the nonprofit has proven that barrier to be easily hurdled.

Five years later, LaunchCode’s model completely flips two traditional ideas on their heads: it changes the way people are educated and changes the way employers hire. Fundamental to LaunchCode’s method is an innovative, skills-based apprenticeship model providing regional employers with homegrown, diverse talent in a low-risk trial that encourages hirers to ditch their strict resume credentials. Apprentices are paid living wages and learn skills on-the-job and through mentorship from a senior employee. The host company gets to “try before they hire” and LaunchCode’s model seamlessly integrates with their current hiring practices. The process is a win-win and effective in filling niche skills gaps in an accelerated format—more than 90% of LaunchCode apprentices are hired into full-time roles, most after 90–120 days. Just as cutting-edge as its apprenticeship program is LaunchCode’s hybrid education model, which equips students with both the technical and jobreadiness skills needed to land their first tech job. Free and accessible to learners, LaunchCode’s curriculum revolves around what skills are in demand by local employers and adapts based on industry trends— differentiating the model from that of traditional higher-education learning. The curriculum blends part-time, in-person instruction supported by teaching assistants and mentors with online, out-of-classroom work. Another benefit of LaunchCode’s unconventional classrooms is the community-like environment it creates. Students benefit by learning alongside individuals from all walks of life, but all working towards a common goal. LaunchCode’s impact on the St. Louis ecosystem is tremendous. Its students launch into life-changing career trajectories, gain family-sustaining financial security and, most notably, get the chance to achieve their dreams by stepping past the barriers to their success. Likewise, LaunchCode’s company partners benefit from tapping into a robust pool of driven individuals they otherwise would have never found.

LaunchCode launchcode launchcode.org launchcode.org

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Josh Turner, founder & CEO

ELEVATOR PITCH LinkedSelling helps B2B companies capture hard-to-reach, high-value leads by building profitable relationships and creating sales opportunities using LinkedIn and email.

to generate new leads, but we believe that business owners hold the future and that you deserve better. At the core of our approach is the proven appointment generation system we rely on to deliver those quality leads month after month. It’s called the L.E.A.D. Blueprint, which represents the four pillars of the system:

At LinkedSelling, we understand how hard it is for business owners, marketers, and sales teams to consistently get the quality leads they need in order to grow, but we don’t just help our clients get the lead. We help them “take the lead” in their industry.

Leadership

: Create Your Foundation & Define Your High-End Prospects Elevate : Optimize Your Positioning in the Marketplace to Appeal to Those Prospects Attract : Zero in on Your Prospects and Add them to Your Database of Connections Develop Relationships : Launch Your Lead Gen Messaging Machine

OUR STORY We’re here because early in his career, Josh Turner, LinkedSelling founder and CEO, was part of two amazing and very successful companies, but both failed and had to close their doors permanently simply because they couldn’t generate enough steady business. He resolved to never live through that again and quickly realized he needed a system to grow business consistently and keep cash flow steady. He found one. It’s since become our mission to provide business owners with a proven system that will erase the struggle to generate quality leads.

It isn’t enough to “get leads.” The L.E.A.D. Blueprint helps our clients find, attract, and connect with the right leads, making revenue more predictable, relationships more profitable, and influence more widespread. Our focus is to make quality connections—again and again—and turn each one into an enduring partnership. This is how we help our clients take the lead.

Too many businesses are forced to close their doors because they struggle 139


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Ben Kniffen, co-founder & president

LinkedSelling +1-314-499-8892 1819 Lynch Street St. Louis, MO 63118 linkedselling joshbturner LinkedSelling linkedselling.com 140


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Ola Ayeni, the founder of St. Louis–based coding boot camp Claim Academy, proves that necessity is the mother of invention. Ayeni, a Nigerian immigrant and serial entrepreneur, faced numerous obstacles when trying to bring his ideas to life. An Arch Grant toward his venture Eateria brought him to St. Louis, but a lack of software developers constrained Eateria’s growth. Never one to sit idly by or be deterred, he set out to find a solution to this vexing and costly problem. Being the man of action and vision that he is, Ayeni decided to open his own coding boot camp in his adopted new hometown of St. Louis. He wanted to train the coding talent that St. Louis—and the country—both needed to grow their economy and remain competitive globally. Along the way, he also transformed the lives of hundreds of students into ones of unlimited potential and unlimited career opportunities. He discovered that approximately 1.4 million jobs in the U.S., and nearly 10,000 coding jobs in the state of Missouri, go unfilled every year. Employers are desperate to find the software talent that will help their enterprises grow and profit. Today, St. Louis employers—including AAA, InBev, Bayer, Boeing, Centene, Express Scripts, MasterCard, and many more—are actively recruiting Claim Academy students. They know that Claim Academy students have the full stack software developer skills they so desperately need.

Four years and hundreds of Claim Academy students placed with Fortune 500 Companies later, Claim Academy has seen a lot of great things happen. Claim Academy was recently approved to accept the GI Bill and has been chosen by SwitchUp, a leading authority and ranking agency for coding boot camps, as one of the Best Coding Boot Camps for both 2018 and 2019. Course Report, another highly respected coding boot camp rating site, also rated Claim Academy as one of the Best Coding Boot Camps in 2017. In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook awarded Claim Academy full scholarships to award to select Claim Academy students. Claim Academy continues to grow and strive to help deliver job opportunities for its graduates—94% have employment at the time of graduation. Future plans include a move to a new, larger location, the addition of cybersecurity and data analysis curriculums, and creating more staff positions.

Given the dynamic nature of technology and software development, Claim Academy believes that the future is very bright both for its graduates, as well as for the company. There is a huge skills gap, a massive need for trained coding talent, and the strong desire of St. Louis–based companies to grow and prosper. Together, students, employers, and Claim Academy can keep our country and our regional economy booming and competitive with the rest of the world.

As always, the emphasis remains on the Claim Academy student. Claim Academy strives to teach these excellent problem-solvers of every age, gender, background, and nationality the skills employers demand and need to grow their enterprises, maintain competitiveness, and grow their profits. Claim Academy is attracting raw talent from all over the country and from overseas. Its classes have included students from countries as diverse as Serbia, Uzbekistan, China, India, Nigeria, and beyond. The software development world is not as diverse as it should be. To help create opportunities for all capable, diligent individuals, Claim Academy is reaching out to and encouraging more women, minorities, and veterans to become full stack software developers. More high-paying, in-demand coding jobs exist than graduates to fill them. Claim Academy strives to close this gap and contribute to the St. Louis region’s competitiveness and the US’ competitiveness. In the past, too many employers had to look outside of Missouri to find coding talent. 141


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Ola Ayeni, Chief Idea Officer & Founder

Claim Academy 2113–2119 Olive Street, 2nd Floor St. Louis, MO 63103 ola@claimacademystl.com +1-314-499-5888, Ext. 5 claimacademystl Claim Academy claim-academy claimacademy claimacademystl.com 142


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ELEVATOR PITCH Live Learning Platform, Varsity Tutors has even built an online tutoring experience that is now materially better than in-person learning.

With more than four million hours of one-on-one and small group instruction delivered on its Live Learning Platform, this edtech startup is redefining how students and professionals access personalized expertise.

A St. Louis native and graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Cohn has grown his company within the innovative atmosphere of his hometown—advocating for and proving that entrepreneurship and technological advancement can exist outside of traditional hubs like Silicon Valley. The organization has a co-headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and additional offices in Tempe, Arizona, and Victoria, British Columbia, but its reach has been undeniably global.

OUR STORY When Chuck Cohn founded Varsity Tutors in 2007, he began with $1,000 and a vision to revolutionize learning. Now the company connects students and professionals of all ages with more than 40,000 experts in 2,000+ subjects. Varsity Tutors was the first to introduce an instant tutoring product, and has led the tutoring industry’s shift toward live online learning. Thanks in part to its award-winning

Through its Live Learning Platform, Varsity Tutors can connect individuals with experts exactly when and where they need them. Traditional tutoring options, on the other hand, involve in-person sessions that are held at brick143


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JP Revel, Principal

Ian Clarkson, President and COO

and-mortar locations at set times. Individuals who are in need of expert instruction are limited to expensive, one-size-fits-all services with strict schedules, or to independent tutors in their immediate geographic vicinity. Learners with unique needs, emergent issues, or in remote locations may struggle to find appropriate, personalized instruction in their communities.

Chuck Cohn, Founder and CEO

Its broadening of seamless geographical access to expertise—including an ongoing international expansion that began with its acquisition of First Tutors—means that an individual’s precise learning needs can be met by the perfect instructor, even if that instructor lives thousands of miles away. Ultimately, Varsity Tutors is aiming to become the worldwide platform for knowledge transfer. What once seemed like an incredibly ambitious goal— to help any learner, in any subject, anywhere, at any time—is now becoming a reality.

Cohn and his team set out to change this reality in 2014. They leveraged new internet technology, along with a powerful proprietary matching and logistics engine, to create today’s Live Learning Platform. The Varsity Tutors product and engineering teams developed and iterated on a suite of powerful features that included live video chat, a shared workboard, subject-specific tools like a document editor and mathboard, over 200,000 integrated practice problems, and session recording and playback features.

Varsity Tutors 101 S. Hanley Road, Suite 300 Clayton, MO 63105 +1-888-888-0446

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With a background in teaching—with Teach For America, at the collegiate level, and improv classes—Mabry was perfectly suited to help others get what she had achieved. “I know how to choose my words, and I know how to get a message across to an audience regardless of the type of talk it is. Whether it’s a panel or a keynote or a fireside chat.” Most importantly— Mabry used to coach speakers of TEDx Talks—who are professionals at the top of their field.

ELEVATOR PITCH mastHERclass is an 8-week workshop for women of color on mastering the art and business of event speaking. Six weeks of online preparation are followed by 10 days of one-on-one phone calls, culminating in a 1-day conference at which participants deliver their own keynote address.

“I use that same coaching method to coach the women of mastHERclass,” Mabry says.

OUR STORY Keisha Mabry didn’t set out to teach others how to be high-powered speakers. She wanted to be one herself. And she succeeded—within two short years, Mabry was speaking at events held by Fortune 100 and 500 companies, not to mention colleges, universities and conferences. She noticed right away though that there weren’t a lot of women speaking—she would often be the only one. And she was almost always the only woman of color.

Women of color, says Mabry, struggle to get into the speaking space for three main reasons: they haven’t had practice and therefore aren’t comfortable or confident on the stage, they don’t know where to start or have the tools they need to get started and they don’t have the networks or the “credible” stage experience to get noticed. mastHERclass provides an opportunity that solves for all three.

“I started asking myself, is it that women of color aren’t interested in speaking?” says Mabry. “Or are we not creating space for them to get into this industry?”

“I provide them with a lesson planning template to figure out their exact topic and techniques for having the most possible impact,” says Mabry. “I show them how their talk can be both bold and inspirational, but also provide the tangible takeaways their audience can implement immediately.”

Mabry became pretty vocal on LinkedIn about it, and quickly got a substantial following. “So many women and women of color started reaching out to me,” she says. They would tell her they’d been trying to get into speaking, but it was really hard, or they weren’t getting paid like she was (Mabry regularly commands $5,000-$10,000 per corporate engagement).

Speakers get a chance to deliver a 60-minute keynote followed by 15-minutes of Q&A in front of a supportive audience of 250-300 women. Topics are centered on things that can help other women build their brands and businesses, and topics for the inaugural 2019 mastHERclass ranged

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from event production and sponsorship to brand building, finding one’s voice, content creation and getting into speaking which was led by Mabry herself. Mabry notes that St. Louis leads the nation in women-led businesses (according to a 2019 article by the Riverfront Times), but there aren’t a lot of programs focusing on educating women in business, especially women of color, or getting the investment they need to start. And of the ones that do exist in our region and beyond, most, says Mabry, are merely inspirational. “You don’t get any tangible takeaways,” says Mabry, who made sure hers was different. In addition to an edited video of their keynote, speakers come away with a network they’ll have for life. Mabry regularly checks in, trades gigs, shares contacts and information with her speakers. “You can’t get this anywhere else,” says Mabry. “Bureau websites are not user friendly making it uber hard for event planners to sort and filter for women of color, distribution lists are just that—lists and agents book gigs for you without addressing the confidence piece which is necessary. mastHERclass is looking at the holistic problem and solving for it accordingly.” Mabry says she was blown away by the response to mastHERclass’s first year and is excited to see the initiative grow, develop and have an even bigger impact in the coming years. In addition to considering expanding beyond St. Louis, she’s even thinking of offering a digital version. “Most people said mastHERclass was life-changing for them,” says Mabry and she agrees because mastHERclass was life-changing for her too. But her goal is to not only change lives but to change the industry. Keynote speaking needs more diversity, says Mabry, and she and her team—Joyce Bogan, Stacey Pugh, Naretha Hopson, and Timothy Moore—are committed to changing the face of the industry one speakHER at a time. If you want to get involved, visit www.themastherclass.com or email Keisha at info@themastherclass.com. masHERclass +1-314-827-4569

info@themastherclass.com | Keisha@keishamabry.com FriendKeisha

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“Sometimes you gotta create what you want to be a part of.”

—Geri Weitzman


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT


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ELEVATOR PITCH The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis works to enrich lives and inspire curiosity, creativity, and learning through experiences with contemporary art. We showcase work being made today for today’s audiences—art that reflects the world around us, and helps connect us to the most salient issues of our time. We are a launchpad for artists—many of whom go on to critical acclaim—as well as a venue for St. Louisans to experience figures of international recognition. Inspired by the work on view, CAM engages thousands of people inside and outside the museum through a wide array of programming, and nurtures the creative minds of our city’s young people through free, in-depth art education. A site for discovery, CAM is a gathering place in which to view and enjoy contemporary visual culture. We are a welcome space, free to all.

Lisa Melandri, Executive Director

OUR STORY Innovation is in our DNA. Founded by a group of civic and cultural leaders in 1980, the organization transformed from a small gallery into a major arts institution, opening the doors to our 27,000-square-foot Brad Cloepfil–designed building in 2003. Not having a permanent collection, we are nimble, adaptive, and responsive— both to the global art world and our local community. Our building is a space for endless possibility, its openness and flexibility enabling us to showcase the most innovative art of our time in unexpected ways, whether inside or outside the museum walls. Street Views, a video series projected across the building’s facade, brings art onto the street—a striking illumination for passersby. The 60-foot-long Project Wall gives artists the opportunity to experiment on a monumental scale. CAM’s courtyard transforms into a space for art explorations, including sculpture, architecture, and environmental art. At CAM, we support the artistic community around us and encourage creative dialogue about contemporary art and issues relevant to St. Louis. We are constantly working to redefine what a museum can be to our community and to the world. Since 2004, CAM has partnered with the Gateway Foundation to present the Great Rivers Biennial, an exhibition award program that features three local artists who are selected by a national jury of prominent art professionals. This unique partnership provides a major platform for emerging and midcareer artists in the St. Louis area, offering significant exposure and financial support, with each artist receiving a $20,000 award and a solo show at the museum. Free, in-depth art education programs serve our community’s youngest artists. New Art in the Neighborhood, CAM’s nationally recognized art program, offers advanced skills in contemporary art practice for teens and also gives them direct access to the internationally renowned artists who exhibit at the museum. LEAP Middle School Initiative provides mentorship to preteens—an underserved group that rarely receives high-level visual art instruction—and teaches them introductory art skills. In Teen Museum Studies, an innovative career-based training program, participants experience the inner workings of the Museum as they organize an exhibition from start to finish. These programs stand out for their focus on contemporary art and ideas, an approach often absent from school curriculums. They also give young artists a comprehensive sequence of art instruction—a commitment to education that is a model for museums across the country. These free programs have a long-lasting impact on St. Louis, developing better students, citizens, artists, and art audiences for the future.

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2018 Shakespeare in the Streets: Blow, Winds. (Photo by David Levy)

OUR STORY

ELEVATOR PITCH

The Festival is also uniquely positioned, both socially and geographically, to do field-leading work using the arts to address one of the most pressing cultural problems in America today: the growing sense of social isolation and fragmentation, especially between our urban and rural communities. Our internationally recognized Shakespeare in the Streets program empowers residents to tell and own the unique stories of their neighborhoods. This year, the program is pushing outward and connecting high school students in north St. Louis county (near Ferguson) to ones in rural Brussels, IL, around a large-scale Shakespeare adaptation. Our annual Education Tour brings topquality performances and workshops to 10,000 students in over 50 schools annually, not just in St. Louis but throughout rural Missouri and Illinois. Our Confluence Regional Writers Project supports emerging playwrights across the Midwest. And our SHAKE 101 residencies embed teaching artists in schools for an entire school year and yield significant improvements in student literacy, confidence, and social intelligence.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis uses storytelling and live performance to bridge divides across the St. Louis region. Now entering its 20th season, Shakespeare Festival has quickly become one of the cultural gems of the bi-state region. Our summer Shakespeare productions play to thousands of residents and visitors every night, offering world-class artistry and an unmatched sense of community in one of America’s great public parks. On clear nights in Shakespeare Glen, our nightly audience can reach nearly 6,000 people—far exceeding the seating capacities of renowned outdoor Shakespeare venues in New York, Oregon, or San Diego.

Tom Ridgely Executive Producer Shakespeare Festival St. Louis 5715 Elizabeth Avenue St. Louis, MO 63110 +1-314-531-9800 shakesfestSTL shakesfeststl ShakespeareFestival STL sfstl.com 151


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2018 Education Tour production of Romeo & Juliet (Photo by David J. Levy)

Closing weekend for the 2019 Shakespeare in the Park production of Love’s Labors Lost 2018 Shakespeare in the Streets: Blow, Winds (Photo by David Levy) (Photo by Philip Hamer)

instagram.com/launchcode linkedin.com/school/launchcode twitter.com/launchcode facebook.com/launchcode.org launchcode.org 2019 Shakespeare in the Park production of Love’s Labors Lost (Photo by Philip Hamer)

SHAKE 101 at Our Lady of Guadalupe (Photo by Philip Hamer) 152


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ELEVATOR PITCH (ware)HOUSE Concerts is a unique venue in St. Louis where music lovers gather on sofas to hear great artists perform. The intimacy and comfort of a house concert, plus the space of a warehouse, equals a better experience for guests and better pay for artists who deserve it.

OUR STORY It started as a surprise party for Tom Ruwitch’s wife, Melissa. She was turning 50, and he wanted to surprise her with a big party and a live band. Tom had booked the band, but didn’t have a venue—until he attended a seminar at Medici MediaSpace in St. Louis. Tom was a member of Medici’s co-working community, attracted by its “If you can dream it, you can do it” ethic. It was also important to him to have invitees RSVP on a custom site—one specific to the party. Tom runs a marketing company and so had purchased many domain names. He also knew it could take many tries to find one that wasn’t taken. But when he typed “WarehouseConcerts” into the domain search, “WarehouseConcert” and “WarehouseConcerts” were available for .com, .org and .net. Tom bought them all.

During the seminar, Tom began to survey the space: a blackbox soundstage with lighting, noise-reduction paneling, and a stage. He turned to Josh Levey, Medici’s founder, and asked, “Do you mind if I host a party and concert here next May?” Without hesitation, Josh said, “Sure!” (If you can dream it, you can do it.)

(ware)HOUSE Concerts was born—and everything that brought it about happened in under five minutes.

“If it goes well in May, do you mind if I host concerts regularly?”

The first concert in May 2017 for his wife’s birthday featured The Grahams from Nashville. It was a huge success. Melissa was surprised. The guests loved it and so did the band.

“Sure,” Josh said again. Medici’s soundstage used to be part of its warehouse, and Tom envisioned the space as a giant living room. He thought of house concerts, where bands perform in someone’s living room or basement. He wanted his concert to be like that—sofas, comfy chairs, potluck dinner, bring your own booze—only in this converted warehouse.

Three months later came (ware)HOUSE Concert #2 with Peter Case. Another success.

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For each concert, Tom selects a charity to support; ticket-buyers have the option of adding a donation to their purchase. As of August 2019, (ware)HOUSE has hosted 15 concerts—almost one per month in 2019—and has donated more than $7,500 to nonprofits around the St. Louis area. Guests love the concerts because they get to see great touring artists in an intimate, comfortable setting for a great price. Artists love the concerts because the (ware)HOUSE is a listening room—no bar chatter and background noise. And nonprofits welcome the support. Tickets are usually $20 or $25, and artists get 100% of sales. Since the room holds 120 people, artists usually earn more than they might at some noisy club. And if they want to save money on lodging, Tom and Melissa put them up for no charge at their home. For now, (ware)HOUSE is a labor of love, though its goal for 2020 is to attract sponsors. In addition to covering the costs for sound engineers, furniture movers, and other incidentals, such sponsorship means greater pay for the artists and greater support for local charities. Out of his love of great music, Tom created a unique venue to share his passion with other music lovers and a place where artists can earn a good wage while connecting with an attentive, appreciative audience.

(ware)HOUSE Concerts tom@warehouseconcerts.org wareHOUSEconcerts.org

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“The betterment of society is not a job to be left to a few. It’s a responsibility to be shared by all.” —David Packard


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ELEVATOR PITCH In June 2016, the Academy began providing direct services to individuals in three Missouri state prisons. Today, the innovative organization offers 12 completely integrated services at no cost to participants that begin six months pre-release and continue 12 months post-release. Concordance programming covers substance use, mental health, education, job readiness, workplace simulation, employment, housing resources, health services, legal support, 12-step programming, spirituality, and family support.

In the fall of 2013, Danny Ludeman, former President and CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors, announced his retirement and decided to dedicate his life to helping others. After receiving a letter from Project COPE, a nonprofit in St. Louis that had been providing limited re-entry services to individuals leaving prison since 1985, Ludeman learned of the ripple effect reincarceration has on increased unemployment, homelessness, mental health and substance-use disorders, child support services, crime, and more.

OUR STORY

Most re-entry service providers focus on one or two of the many factors and issues that contribute to recidivism. Through careful research, ongoing measurement, and a commitment to re-thinking re-entry, Concordance provides thoughtful, effective support to heal participants holistically so that they are better equipped to re-enter society and live joyful, abundant, purposeful lives. As of June 2019, Concordance has served more than 400 participants, who represent a cross-section of the entire Missouri prison population, ensuring a statistically significant sample and protecting against bias in the selection process. Through its proven evidence-driven approach, Concordance has reduced reincarceration rates among its participants by more than 40 percent, exceeding its initial stated goal of 33 percent.

In most regions of the country, the majority of crime is committed by the formerly incarcerated. Finding a job and—more importantly—keeping a job is no easy task for this population. In fact, of the approximately 30 million felons residing in the US, most are not in the labor force due to behavioral health or substance-use issues. Taxpayer costs related to corrections are one of the fastest-growing expenses in most states, and formerly incarcerated adults also make up the largest percentage of the homeless population in the US. These individuals and their families are among the largest users of public housing, health, and food stamps.

The Academy is currently focused on scaling, so that it can expand programming to thousands more justice-involved individuals in more states and ultimately nationwide.

With these staggering statistics in hand, Ludeman joined the board of Project COPE and led a committee to more broadly research the problem of recidivism. Washington University’s Brown School, the country’s top school of social work, was hired to conduct research to inform conceptual models for the Academy. Ludeman then took over as President and CEO, and Concordance Academy of Leadership was established in 2015. 157


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Concordance Academy of Leadership 1845 Borman Court St. Louis, MO 63146 ConcordanceAcademy ConcordanceAcad Concordance Academy Concordance Academy of Leadership concordanceacademy.org

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A PILLAR OF THE ST. LOUIS ENTREPRENEURIAL ECOSYSTEM

OUR STORY

ELEVATOR PITCH

Arch Grants’ unique structure and model was made possible because of the needs in the St. Louis region and the organization’s ability to very quickly and effectively begin making an impact. In its first year, Arch Grants awarded $750,000 to 15 companies, asking in return only that they headquarter their businesses in St. Louis for at least one year as they grow and scale. Every year since then, Arch Grants has added between 15-20 companies to its growing portfolio.

Arch Grants was founded as a 501(c)3 in 2012 to build the future economy in St. Louis by attracting and retaining talented entrepreneurs. Arch Grants’ model of providing $50,000 in non-dilutive funding to early-stage businesses and then helping them to grow and scale in St. Louis is unique and continues to evolve to meet changing needs. To date, the organization has funded 154 companies.

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Of the 154 total companies Arch Grants has funded, 126 are still in business and 86% of those still in business still operate in St. Louis. As of December 31, 2018, Arch Grants’ companies have created almost 1,700 jobs, generated over $243 million in revenue, and attracted $223 million in follow-on capital.

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“It’s incredibly meaningful when entrepreneurs learn that the grants are being funded by people and corporations in this community who are giving $25,000, $50,000, $100,000 every year—because they believe in the potential of startups to bring about real change in St. Louis,” says Emily Lohse-Busch, Arch Grants’ Executive Director. “It instills a sense of community pride in the founders early on, and as their companies start to get bigger and more successful, they start to give back themselves,

The source of Arch Grants’ funding itself is also remarkable: 90% of it comes from generous individuals and corporations in the St. Louis community. 160


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reinvesting in the community that believed in them from the start. It’s a powerful cycle that’s just picking up steam.” The growth of Arch Grants companies is clear; in the last six-month period, for example, Arch Grants companies’ total revenue increased by almost 90%. “It’s the kind of exponential growth that each individual founder hopes to see—but at an aggregate level,” Emily says. One of Arch Grants’ main tenets is to ensure that the new economy it is helping to build includes diverse perspectives and people with diverse backgrounds. To that end, 74% of the companies Arch Grants has funded are led or co-led by a woman, a person of color, an immigrant, or a veteran.

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But even as Arch Grants has established itself as a pillar of St. Louis’ innovation ecosystem, the nonprofit knows it has to stay ahead of the curve in order to keep supporting companies—and the city itself—well into the future. “It’s an interesting time for us, as we transition from startup mode as an organization and develop our own plan to grow and scale,” Emily says. “We’re thinking a lot about what it means to help the hundreds of founders we have attracted to St. Louis to scale and grow their businesses and develop as entrepreneurs and leaders. We want to show entrepreneurs from across the country and across the world that St. Louis is not only accepting of new ideas and innovative solutions, but that this community will embrace enlightened entrepreneurs and will go the extra mile to help them succeed. It’s like our region’s newlyreleased outreach effort, STLMade, says; St. Louis is a place where you can start up, stand out, and stay.”

Arch Grants 911 Washington Avenue, Suite 140 St. Louis, MO 63101 +1-314-272-4857 info@archgrants.org 162


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ELEVATOR PITCH GlobalHack is a St Louis–based nonprofit that drives social impact through technology, and their approach is two-pronged: GlobalHack runs software competitions that solve civic and social issues, and they put on computerscience and coding opportunities for kids in area schools.

OUR STORY GlobalHack asks many questions, and most of those questions start with the word “How.” As simple a word as it is, it indicates an eagerness to solve a problem, not just identify it. GlobalHack asks, How do we educate our youth to be future-ready? How do we put on events that can be funded and are attractive to local participants? How do we sustain the work we’re doing in the long-term? The nonprofit’s creation in 2013 was itself an answer to a “how” question: “How can local technologists create software that solves real-world problems?” More specifically, its series of hackathons—software-creation projects that took place over the course of the weekend—was the answer. Local corporations mostly sponsored the events and local tech startups were the participants. Eventually, GlobalHack pivoted to use these successful

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events to shed light on—and then solve—civic and social issues affecting residents of the St. Louis areas. The first hackathon of this focus took place in 2015, and it centered around the city’s criminal justice and municipal court systems. The question? “How can we provide better information to citizens who are simply looking to pay their debt to society and move on?” The following year’s hackathon focused on building capacity with local homeless shelters and support agencies, and also on the software these enterprises use. In 2018, GlobalHack’s hackathon sought solutions for foreign-born individuals, posing questions like, “How do we improve their experience when they come to the state, in terms of connecting them to employment opportunities and more?” “How do we tell their stories through visualizations or some other means?” GlobalHack’s public-facing hackathons have much in common with its efforts in local schools; it’s about education, preparing community members for a future that, without that education, can seem like it holds no place for them. Nationally, fewer than 25% of American schools offer computer-science courses for their students, putting them at a steep disadvantage when more and more jobs depend on technological literacy. “There’s such a huge demand both from educators but also from parents as well for this kind of education, as they start to think about what they want for their children and their futures,” says Matt Menietti, GlobalHack’s Executive Director. “If their schools aren’t exposing students to STEAM programming, they seek out organizations like GlobalHack to give them access to tech in a way that is a little different than having students just play on their iPads; it’s more about creation and exploration and curiosity.” To that end, GlobalHack brings in coding courses and other computer-science programs to provide students with the tools, skills, and experiences they need in order to be successful in a digital economy. “We’re really intentional about making sure we provide accessible computer-science opportunities for all students in the St. Louis area, particularly those in low-income areas,” Matt says. With its laser focus on the city it calls home, GlobalHack is helping to close not only a tech-skills gap but also civic ones; gaps that can prevent people from moving forward financially, gaps that prevent people from understanding one another. How does GlobalHack do it? One thoughtful question at a time. GlobalHack info@globalhack.org +1-314-896-4225 GlobalHack globalhack.org 164


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ELEVATOR PITCH Connections to Success helps families break the cycle of generational R poverty by providing support to its participants as they move from entrylevel jobs to a family living wage. Through its wide variety of programming, Connections to Success empowers people to achieve the dreams they have for themselves and for their children.

OUR STORY Before it was Connections to Success, Kathy Lambert’s organization began as Dress for Success Midwest. She helped women—often single moms—to dress for the job they wanted. Many times, they got it. “But ninety days later,” Kathy remembers, “I would see them come back. I didn’t understand. I would ask them, ‘What happened? I thought you had a job.’ And one by one, they would tell me the same story: they got a raise.” If it sounds like a simple answer, albeit a counterintuitive one, it is not actually simple. The Dress for Success Midwest participants were describing to Kathy a concept she, like many people, had never heard of: the benefit cliff. It describes the cessation of work supports—that is, government assistance with rent, childcare, groceries, healthcare—before a person can actually afford to live without that assistance. Even a small earnings increase can raise a family above the income eligibility for work supports, triggering an abrupt loss of critical benefits. To be able to afford their daily needs—to stop their fall from the benefit cliff—the participants, like many people in their situation, had quit. “I thought, This can’t be right,” Kathy says. “Why would our welfare system be created so that people were so dependent upon it? And not just parents but their children—generations of this dependency. I thought, Who’s doing something about this?” have individual needs to be met in order to succeed, there was a suite of soft skills that all participants could benefit from.

Kathy sought out such organizations and found two, neither of them local. They were faith-based organizations that paired single moms with a mentoring support team. As the women moved beyond their entry-level positions and earned the raises that resulted in the loss of their benefits, their support team could fill in the gaps—providing, for example, childcare in the form of stay-at-home moms watching their children for free.

“So many of our clients came from disruptive childhoods, and the average person who walks through our doors has a third- or fourth-grade reading level,” Kathy says. “They’d learned very quickly how to survive, but they didn’t know how to plan. They’d never planned anything—not even a birthday party. They’d never had one.”

Building on the idea of holistic support, Kathy and her husband began offering additional services and soon brought them all together under the name Connections to Success. Kathy realized that, while everyone would

So Connections to Success developed its Personal and Professional Development program. It is a three-week, 72-hour course that all CTS’s 165


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participants take in order to develop their cognitive and critical-thinking skills. The course helps them understand where their strengths lie and how they can leverage those to set and reach their goals. As part of the course, participants develop a personalized and goal-driven Life Plan. As the word “life” implies, CTS is committed to its participants throughout their lifetimes. One of the first families that CTS brought on nearly twenty years ago, for example, is sending its eldest child to college; the teen is the first person from either side of their family to matriculate. Connections to Success’ efforts extend to those currently incarcerated as well, especially noncustodial fathers struggling to pay child support. Kathy learned that in the State of Missouri fathers who are unable to make their child support payments can rack up crippling amounts of debt. Failure to pay these debts can lead to criminal charges, including a felony charge in some cases. For incarcerated fathers who owe child support arrears, the debt continues to gain interest, and upon release, up to 65% of their take-home pay can be garnished to help pay it down. Combined with the other challenges of reentry, this can make it overwhelmingly difficult and discouraging for fathers as they seek to find and maintain employment. “These dads want to be responsible, but they don’t know how. They feel like everything is against them,” Kathy says. Through a partnership with the State of Kansas, Connections to Success hosted a class that allowed fathers up to $1,500 in debt forgiveness when they attended. The state forgave a total of $90,000 in debt. At the end of the six-month program period, the amount of money paid back into the state by the employed fathers was over $300,000.

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Today, there are nine Connections to Success–based programs throughout the state of Kansas and others in California, Arkansas, and Wyoming. This fall, Connection to Success’ program will be available online, allowing for replication all over the country. What Kathy said in a TEDx St. Louis talk in 2017 is still true today and will be tomorrow: “The fact is none of us would be here today on our own. None of us can do this thing called life on our own. We need each other.” Connections to Success provides that support.

Connections to Success 3000 Little Hills Expressway, Suite 102 St. Charles, MO 63301 +1-636-940-8027 info@connectionstosuccess.org connectionstosuccess.org


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THE REGION’S SOURCE FOR HOLISTIC ADVOCACY

ELEVATOR PITCH Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM) represents low-income, lowopportunity individuals in civil legal challenges. The firm’s suite of services is as dynamic as it is critical in helping to bring clients out of poverty and into the opportunities they deserve.

doing so across 21 counties and in conjunction with over 150 partner agencies and organizations. LSEM has a myriad of programs to help its clients overcome barriers to their success. One of the largest programs is targeted to serve exclusively domestic abuse victims/survivors, providing assistance in securing protective orders, in safety planning, and in matters of custody, working to keep their clients’ families safe and stable. Finally, LSEM’s staff members include not only lawyers and paralegals but social workers as well.

OUR STORY The most honorable title you can be entrusted with, says LSEM Director Dan Glazier, is that of advocate. The specific title may change across industries— doctors are advocates, as are social workers, for example—but an advocate is someone for whom a client’s well-being is the highest priority.

It’s all part of what Dan calls “holistic advocacy”—legal and social support leveraged in combination in order to address all aspects of whatever a client’s situation may be.

This, says Dan, is the only kind of lawyer he ever wanted to be, and he found his place with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri in 1981.

LSEM provides foundational assistance for families. An example of this is the educational advocacy work for children with special needs, special circumstances, or developmental differences. LSEM works with students and their parents and school personnel to create Individualized Education Plans for these children, ensuring they don’t get left behind in school, which in turn decreases the likelihood that they will later drop out. It’s a very early, very important step in LSEM’s work to address the school-to-prison pipeline. To that end, the firm also works with low-income, low-opportunity high schoolers and young people, to ensure that they have the right to stay in school and receive a proper education.

“What we believe in is social justice and in using the law as a tool to make positive change for those in need. Our motto is Action. Justice. Hope,” Dan says. “Those who don’t have the economic means to pay for legal services shouldn’t then be left out of the justice system.” Legal Services of Eastern Missouri distinguishes itself in a number of ways. Thanks to funding from the Legal Services Corporation and many others, the firm offers its services free of charge to those who are income-eligible, 167


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Dan Glazier, Executive Director - General Counsel

MISSION STATEMENT Legal Services of Eastern Missouri advances justice through legal representation, education, and supportive services. We partner with the community to improve lives, promote fairness, and create opportunities for those in need.

SERVICE AREA & STATISTICS From our main office and three regional offices in Clayton, Union, and Hannibal, we serve 21 counties of eastern Missouri. In 2018, LSEM provided direct legal help to more than 11,800 people and assisted more than 18,200 additional people through community education, outreach, publications, and referrals.

“It’s about creating building blocks for them to succeed and to surmount those barriers that might exist,” Dan says.

allow them to simply get started. LSEM connects these entrepreneurs with volunteer attorneys throughout the region who can walk them through the steps, legal and otherwise, to starting and growing a small business. Because of this collective effort, more entrepreneurs can access the region’s business ecosystem and sustain enterprises from lawn-care companies to beauty salons to high-tech ventures and even nonprofits geared toward giving back to low-income, low-opportunity communities like these entrepreneurs grew up in.

Another obstacle LSEM helps its clients to overcome is access to quality healthcare. By helping them to sign up for or maintain Medicaid and Medicare, and by ensuring they get the care they need covered, LSEM safeguards its clients against missing out on healthcare simply because the system is difficult to navigate. LSEM also advocates for its clients as they seek to secure safe and affordable housing, including public and Section 8 housing. But the firm extends its services beyond individual housing help to rehabilitating communities through its Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative. By partnering with neighborhood associations in low-income, low-opportunity neighborhoods, LSEM leverages Missouri law to repurpose abandoned properties into viable, affordable housing, rebuilding communities literally from the ground up.

“We work to help people achieve what everyone wants: the opportunity to succeed,” Dan says. “When you’re low-income, it can feel like the doors are closed against you. We’re using Missouri law to open those doors.” Legal Services of Eastern Missouri 4232 Forest Park Avenue St. Louis, MO 63108 +1-314-534-4200, +1-800-444-0514 lsem.org

The firm’s innovative spirit is also reflected in its “Microenterprise” work with entrepreneurs who lack access to the resources, whether it be financial backing or the basic knowledge of how to set up a business, that would 168


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Jessica Bueler, Founder

You don’t need an invitation to do the right thing. ELEVATOR PITCH Welcome Neighbor STL began in the fall of 2016 with a toiletry drive for newly-arrived refugee families and has organically grown into a multifaceted organization with over 1,900 supporters. The organization partners with community allies to help meet the evolving needs of refugee families.

OUR STORY

As the refugees’ needs change, so does the organization’s efforts; it’s everevolving. “Now it’s about giving the refugees a platform so that they can create a better life and future for themselves,” says Bueler.

Welcome Neighbor STL began in November 2016 with a toiletry drive for refugee families. Founder Jessica Bueler had no idea that she was starting an organization when she organized the drive; she just felt compelled to do something after reading an article in the Riverfront Times about a group of teen refugees who were attacked outside their home near the Page and Hodiamont intersection.

The Supper Club dinners have done just that. To date, there have been 78 dinners held throughout St. Louis City and County, raising $121,000. One hundred percent of the proceeds are given to the refugee women who prepare the meals. This popular event has brought the community together for family-style meals, while at the same time, helping to provide a meaningful income for refugee women who are still able to stay home and care for their children.

Bueler signed up to use the social media platform Nextdoor to connect with neighbors to share what she learned about the refugee families. It turns out that she wasn’t the only one who wanted to do something to help. The response to the toiletry drive was overwhelming; two trucks were needed to deliver the collected items, and the people who helped collect the items were eager to do more. They began visiting the refugee families living at ‘Hodiamont,’ forming friendships and helping the families navigate this new, unfamiliar world.

Welcome Neighborhood STL’s success is a larger story about what can happen when communities come together to support a common goal. Since that initial toiletry drive, the organization has grown to over 1,900 supporters, each offering something unique. Some partner with a refugee family, helping them with tasks such as enrolling their kids in school or filling out insurance forms; others teach English or even provide monetary donations. “We ask the volunteers about their skills and what they enjoy doing,” says Bueler. “There’s no cookie cutter approach.”

Initially, Welcome Neighbor STL worked to ensure that the refugee families had their basic needs met. They helped families find furniture, translate necessary documents, learn English, and eventually move out of the buginfested apartments to nicer homes. 169


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The Supper Club dinners wouldn’t exist without donated venues, community members purchasing tickets, and mentors helping lead the way. Christy Schlafly at Ford Hotel Supply has been instrumental in making it possible for refugee cooks to receive their ServSafe certificates by coordinating the translation of the training materials from English to Arabic. Those efforts have allowed more than 30 refugee cooks to complete the program and earn their ServSafe Food Handlers Certificates.

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“I want our narrative to be about helping people,” says Bueler. Welcome Neighbor STL is truly an organization by the community and for the community.

Welcome Neighbor STL 3672 Arsenal Street St. Louis, MO 63116 WelcomeNeighborSTL welcomeneighborstl welcome-neighbor-stl WelcomeNeighborSTL.com

A partnership with St. Louis Teens Aid Refugees Today (START), a studentled group from St. Louis Priory School, has enabled Welcome Neighbor STL to expand their work. Each Sunday morning, students from START pick up 40-50 meals, which have been prepared by a volunteer refugee cook, and deliver these meals to the homeless population in the city. Plans are in place to extend this service to veterans who are homebound.

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BRIDGE BREAD ISN’T LOAFING. WE’RE ON A ROLL! ELEVATOR PITCH Bridge Bread seeks to empower people who have experienced homelessness to rebuild their lives with meaningful employment. Bridge Bread is a social enterprise designed to provide job opportunities for people experiencing homelessness or those who are housing insecure. The goal of the program is to help the disadvantaged engage in a financially rewarding effort that enhances self-worth, promotes dignity, and enables them to help themselves. Our highly successful bakery demonstrates that people who have experienced homelessness are eager to work hard and can be valuable employees who earn decent wages. We are a hand up, not a handout, to our bakers. This promotes their self-worth and accounts for our success rate. Bridge Bread employs six bakers. Each of their stories and pathways to homelessness is unique. Through the support and employment of Bridge Bread, they are now self-sufficient, skilled bakers with a stable income, housing, and most importantly, hope. About two thirds of our bakers remain employed and housed.

OUR STORY There are few if any opportunities for people experiencing homelessness to be productively employed. Bridge Bread’s program accepts them as they are and allows them to participate with minimal training and minimal commitment. After training and establishing a positive work record, our workers become more employable and some will move on to more traditional jobs. This makes room for new entrants into our venture. Bridge Bread is like a doorway: a doorway to a more substantial future.

We chose to make bread because it is a high-value-add product. The ingredients for basic bread are inexpensive, but the resulting product can be highly sought after. There is something especially encouraging about turning flour, butter, sugar, and yeast into delicious handmade baked goods. About two thirds of the income from sales goes to the bakers in wages, taxes, and benefits. About one quarter covers the cost of ingredients. Our bakers are the only paid employees of Bridge Bread. Everyone else, from the

Bridge Bread engages with the community on issues of homelessness and how social enterprises can help people become valuable, contributing members of society. They are not throwaway people! 171


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Fred Domke and Sharon Domke, Founders

president to the bake-shop workers, are volunteers. Most of our equipment was purchased with donated funds or received as gifts in kind. The balance of expenses for facilities, utilities, insurance, and other costs are covered by donations. As we expand, we expect to be able to cover those costs from sales income and use donations primarily to grow the program. Bridge Bread has been sold through supporting churches from the very beginning in 2011. In July 2015, we opened our first retail location on Cherokee Street. In October of 2017, we moved our retail location down the street into the historic Vandora Theatre building at 2639 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO 63118. A year later, we moved the baking operation into the same facility. We also sell at farmers markets, on our own food truck, and recently started significant commercial sales. Bridge Bread isn’t loafing. We’re on a roll!

Bridge Bread Bakery 2639 Cherokee Street St. Louis, MO 63118 +1-314-296-3077 Fred M. Domke, President (volunteer) fdomke@bridgebread.org bridgebread bridgebread.org 172


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ELEVATOR PITCH GiftAMeal is a mobile application that helps provide a meal to someone in need each time a user takes a photo at a participating restaurant. Restaurants pay to be on the app as a mix of marketing and giving back. Over 300,000 meals have been provided so far!

OUR STORY GiftAMeal is out to prove that profits can be made with purpose, and that doing well and doing good are not inconsistent goals. Through connecting restaurantgoers with local spots to eat, GiftAMeal offers an easy way for socially conscious diners to make a positive impact in their community. Restaurants have seen impressive results from the platform. A recent 7-month case study comparing GiftAMeal customers to standard customers found that customers that use GiftAMeal spend 24% more per check, return 45% more frequently, and tip 14% more on average than standard customers. Founded in 2015 by Washington University in St. Louis alumnus Andrew Glantz, 24, GiftAMeal has grown tremendously to have over 150 partner restaurants and 25,000 people on the app. Andrew was the youngest person selected to the St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 Under 30 List, and GiftAMeal has been highly awarded, winning 14 different pitch competitions and grants, including a $50,000 Arch Grant. The impact GiftAMeal is making on the community goes beyond the numbers to make a tangible difference in the lives of people all over the Greater St. Louis area. Bridgett, a single mom in St. Louis, shared her story on the impact GiftAMeal can have through its donations that support local food programs: “My daughter is 15. The food program really, really helped us. Her grades have gone skyhigh. She came here to sit down and eat after school and have snacks and do her homework or get lunch on Saturdays. Now, my daughter takes food around to the neighbors, too, because she’s been there. She gets the vegetables and takes them around to the other places …. Back then I wasn’t capable of feeding her like she should be three times per day. But we’re in a good place now. We have a house, we have food, and we’re not going to stop just because we have. We’re going to give back.”

Andrew Glantz, founder

172,000 children in the Greater St. Louis area face hunger.

3. A meal is provided to someone in need in St. Louis.

Download GiftAMeal today!

www.giftameal.com

GiftAMeal +1-314-656-6244 info@giftameal.com giftameal GiftAMeal giftameal.com

Anybody can face hunger, and GiftAMeal believes we all have the obligation to band together and support our neighbors when they need a helping hand. By using GiftAMeal, we can heal hunger in our community, one photo at a time. 174


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for

ELEVATOR PITCH Mobility for U® is St. Louis’ premier wheelchair accessible transportation service, renting ADA approved, wheelchair accessible minivans to families who need to safely transport their loved ones, providing them freedom from confinement.

“I was also aware that with the population of the United States becoming older at the estimated rate of 10,000 people per day, there was a virgin market for a company to simplify this transportation concept and make it available to the public for rent,” Mike says. Mike found a company that specialized in adding the equipment he was looking for to ordinary minivans. Though such a system was available, no one knew of its existence. Mike then purchased a couple of Toyota Sienna minivans, sent them to BraunAbility®—one of the largest wheelchairaccessible-van conversion companies—and began promoting the concept, making the updated minivans available to families that truly needed them.

OUR STORY Visionary Mike Flotken founded Mobility for U® in 2011, when his own parents could no longer be safely lifted in and out of automobiles.

Today, Mobility for U® rents easy-to-drive, Toyota Sienna minivans that are equipped with the latest state-of-the-art BraunAbility® automatic ramp systems, which make it extremely simple for a wheelchair-bound individual to travel to doctor’s appointments, shopping trips, family reunions, weddings, family events, vacations—activities are limited only by the imagination of the client. Mobility for U® is available for shuttling to and from the airport and train and bus stations.

“Both of my aging parents were in wheelchairs and we, their children, were faced with their daily care which included transporting them to doctors’ appointments, shopping trips and family events,” Mike remembers. “It didn’t take long for us to realize that safely lifting them from their wheelchairs into regular automobiles to take them to these important events was rapidly becoming more difficult.” Mike saw the need to develop a safe, easy, and economical way to provide seniors and people with special needs the freedom to enjoy life. He was introduced to a company that rented large, old trucks equipped with hydraulic lifts. The commercial vehicles were being used to load wheelchairbound people so that they could be transported to various venues—but the trucks were hard to drive, difficult to maneuver, and required a lot of planning to use.

“It seemed as though each customer brought new challenges and opportunities to Mobility for U® and I was eager to satisfy the individual needs of these clients,” Mike says. Mobility for U® now offers Chauffeur/Companion Service where a certified home-healthcare worker drives the van for the client and can provide that extra assistance needed by the family. 175


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“These experts added a new dimension to our service,” Mike says. “Now our customers can receive help and assistance with eating, toileting, and companionship.” Mike is associated with a variety of assisted living centers, nursing homes, hospitals, rehab centers, and hotels in order to provide the wheelchairbound individual with complete access to activities. Mobility for U® +1-314-873-6814 Mike@MobilityForU.com mobilityforu.com

Mike invites you to visit their website, www.Mobility4U.com to view an assortment of instructional videos showing how easy it is to operate a Mobility for U® van. Or, call their office +1-314-873-6814 for additional information and reservations. 176


“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.” —Dean Kamen


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A HISTORY OF INNOVATIVE BREAKTHROUGHS The most widely recognized mouse ever built.

Metaphase Design Group Inc. is responsible for some of the most important and innovative Breakthroughs in Design, Ergonomics, Research & packaging for some of the world’s most prestigious Sales@metaphase.com and influential brands.

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FEMINISM, FREEDOM, AND FAMILY.

ELEVATOR PITCH

After a few months of working out of their home in Connecticut, they were ready to be surrounded by other startup founders. While researching programs across the country, they came across Arch Grants. Sam grew up in St. Louis, and she never planned to move back to the Midwest. However, once Sam and Jared learned more about Arch Grants and the St. Louis entrepreneurial ecosystem, it became obvious that the opportunities St. Louis afforded them would be crucial to Babyation’s success.

Feminism, freedom, and family. That’s what we were thinking about when we created Babyation. We are a parent-tech company that is unapologetically for moms. Our first product is a discreet and quiet breast pump so that women can finally pump on their terms.

Fast forward a bit, and The Pump by Babyation is getting ready to launch. A patent has been issued on the product, with several more pending. Innovations include:

OUR STORY

• The world’s smallest breast shields. They also have a soft component and

Everyone assumes that our founders had a baby, realized something could be made better, and then started a company to do something about it. But nope! That’s not what happened ….

are shaped more like a baby’s mouth.

• An all-in-one case (think of it like a bento box) to store all parts when

A few years ago, Babyation co-founder Samantha Rudolph read an article in the New York Times. The piece posed the question, “Shouldn’t the breast pump be as elegant as an iPhone and as quiet as a Prius?” Sam was not yet a mom (kids weren’t even fully on her radar at that point), but she saw her future flash before her eyes. She immediately woke up husband (and future Babyation co-founder) Jared Miller to vent about how ridiculous it was that the breast pump hadn’t been updated in decades, and he replied, “Oh, breast pumps aren’t that complicated. I can build one.”

they’re not in use. There’s an ice pack in there to keep milk cold on-the-go. The Pump is app-controllable, and the app tracks all elements of feeding in addition to controlling The Pump.

The team at Babyation passionately believes a woman should be able to pump whenever and whenever she wants—without the world around her knowing. For the first time ever, a woman no longer has to revolve her life around her pump. Instead, her pump can seamlessly integrate into her life. Sam and Jared realized something else, too: it’s not just the breast pump that needs a refresh—it’s the way society views mothers in general. That’s why Babyation celebrates the woman behind the pump. And it’s why the company will always advocate for moms.

Little did he know that she would actually hold him to it! Following a few brainstorming and preliminary prototyping sessions, and after doing some market research, Sam and Jared were fairly convinced their idea was obvious and that another company would bring a version of their product to market. They waited, but after nearly a year, there still wasn’t any innovation in the space. Upon recognizing that this was one of those ideas they couldn’t get out of their heads, they officially formed the company and got started developing their product in earnest.

Babyation is proud to be leading breast pumping into a whole new era. We’re committed to a world in which products for families are not just an afterthought. And we are proud to be building a global company, all from St. Louis. 181


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Samantha Rudolph, co-founder & CEO; Jared Miller, co-founder and CTO

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Babyation hi@babyation.com babyation Babyation.com

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Talia Goldfarb - CEO

Myself Belts have an easy to fasten, patented, one-handed belt closure that makes dressing easier. Parents can have peace of mind when their children are at school, knowing that they can independently use the bathroom, even when they wait until the last minute. Teachers are huge fans of Myself Belts also, as they can teach instead of helping kids in the bathroom!

ELEVATOR PITCH Myself Belts are an innovative belt line featuring a patented belt closure that makes dressing easier. From potty-training toddlers to school-age children, to adults with special needs or hand-dexterity challenges, Myself Belts are a clothing accessory that promotes independence!

Prior to creating Myself Belts, Talia was a social worker and worked with kids and families in the foster-care system. Shifting to being an entrepreneur and business owner was a huge learning curve, but Talia has used her instinct and network to educate herself and successfully move forward. She knew she had a must-have product for parents and so she quickly learned how to manufacture, sell, market, and get press for her new business.

OUR STORY They say “necessity is the mother of invention,” and Myself Belts is a perfect example of this well-known adage. Talia Goldfarb invented Myself Belts with her sister, Danielle Eason, after being frustrated that her skinny son’s pants no longer fit properly after becoming potty-trained. After scouring the mall, Talia discovered that there were no belts on the market designed specifically for young children. A toddler’s favorite words are “All by myself!” and Talia didn’t want to lock her son up in a traditional belt that she had to help him with, as he was so proud to be independent after learning this new skill.

Myself Belts’ patented closure is actually a helpful dressing aid for people of all ages, and the special-needs community has been very enthusiastic about the product. The belt is helpful for teens and adults with hand-dexterity challenges, limb differences, cognitive challenges, and anyone who finds using a traditional belt challenging. With their faux buckles, Myself Belts look like traditional belts. Myself Belts have been featured in many magazines such as Parenting, People, UsWeekly, and Woman’s Day, as well as online publications such as Forbes, The Huffington Post, and AARP.

Talia and Danielle decided to do something about this void in the marketplace and invented Myself Belts, the belt kids can fasten themselves. 183


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After 10 years of growing Myself Belts, Talia appeared on Season 6 of ABC’s Shark Tank and partnered with Daymond John. Shark Tank created incredible brand awareness and validation for Myself Belts, and Daymond John continues to be a supportive presence for Talia. Being a part of Shark Tank was an exciting adventure for her, the brand, and St. Louis!

Myself Belts +1-800-448-5108 customerservice@myselfbelts.com MyselfBelts myselfbelts myselfbelts.com 184

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OUR STORY The company, which was founded in 1991 from the garage of Brian and Diane Riggles, operates Winner-Every-Time cranes—developing, manufacturing, and selling them—as well as a new line of merchandise machines. S&B provides other operators with just the right mix of products to be successful with cranes.

S&B Candy and Toy Co. has built its success around the concept of the Winner-Every-Time crane and in the process has tackled nearly every aspect of the crane machine business. Now, the company stands ready to revolutionize the concept on which it built its current success.

Over the past quarter century, S&B has grown from a small operator with six crane machines to a fully fledged manufacturer and prize supplier, emerging from humble roots to become a dynamic player in this increasingly complex trade.

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S&B was honored recently by the Amusement and Music Operators Association with its prestigious Innovator Award for the Prize Express, their patented unit that combines crane gameplay with a light-driven merchandise game to provide players with a chance to win an even bigger prize or a coupon for a wide range of promotional opportunities.

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Prize Express, which won the Innovator Award, was several years in development, and S&B has been granted patent protection for this new attraction. The self-merchandiser, which is comprised of a crane and two keyless prize towers, affords three levels of gameplay. The first level of play involves the crane component in which a player may or may not win a prize. The second level of the game involves the lights on the game cabinet, where each light can be programmed to a specific value or prize offer. The objective during the second level of gameplay is to stop the light on a jackpot light, which corresponds with one of the prize towers. The printer will then print a coupon indicating the prize and the winning combination that can

At the heart of this exciting business is Brian Riggles, a human dynamo gifted with unique insight into the nature of operating prize machines and the imagination needed to translate that vision into products designed to expand opportunity for many other operators.

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be used to retrieve the prize. If a player does not land on a jackpot light, a coupon will print with another promotional offer for the player (like a discount on a product or service equal to the value of the cost to play the machine). Today S&B has a full route with an array of locations to test their new equipment. Those six original Candy Cranes have turned into a global company with eleven partner factories (two in Taiwan and nine in China), multiple in-house divisions, and a host of products. When S&B was first expanding, it would bring in one shipping container once every six months. Last year, S&B brought in around 35. Riggles believes this longtime focus on harnessing forward momentum and innovation is one of the reasons for his success: “Our purchasing power and tech have radically changed; we are developing beautiful new machines now with colorchanging LEDs, and the games link together so they all change color at the same time.” S&B’s crane games have gone from quaint, colorless little games to massive, linkable, LED-infused, unmissable attractions. Though crane play has changed little in a hundred years, the machine’s look and serviceability have revolutionized the industry.

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Brian Riggles and the S&B team knew they had a winner in their Prize Express machine gained a US patent, but it was certainly even better to get the recognition by the AMOA when they awarded the prestigious Innovator Award. The future looks bright for S&B with a new generation of cranes featuring linkable color-changing LED lighting.

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WAREHOUSE OF FIXTURES ELEVATOR PITCH Warehouse of Fixtures is the only provider of new, used, and refurbished furniture in St. Louis. Our expertise makes the selection, purchasing, and installation of office furniture simple and stress-free. The ability to blend new, used, and refurbished furniture, allows us to customize solutions for our clients based on their budget, time frame, and design while keeping furniture out of the landfill.

OUR STORY The original Warehouse of Fixtures closed in 2001, several years after founder Arnold Singer passed away. In 2004, David Singer, Arnold’s grandson, who had just graduated from college was back in St. Louis for the summer. He was preparing to return to Boston for a job in the prosecutor’s office. David decided to help the family by working two days a week to sell off 30 years of unsold inventory that was still in the warehouse. He knew nothing about business or furniture. When a customer asked how much an item cost, David responded by asking “How much do you want to pay for it?” “Most office furniture dealers with our level of service are aligned with a single major brand of furniture and only sell new,” David explains. “Whatever the clients’ needs are, their solution is the brand of new furniture they represent. Because we don’t sell just one manufacturer or type of furniture, we can do whatever we want—which is to say whatever the client wants.”

David enjoyed the negotiation—he’d gotten quite good at it after time spent in Israel—but equally enjoyable was getting to know his customers, many of whom were local business owners. “It was so cool to have them come in and to hear their stories, including how they got started in business,” David says. “I learned so much. And at the end of the summer, many of my customers asked me, ‘Where do we go when you close?’”

That level of service is part of Warehouse of Fixtures’ commitment to St. Louis and its community.

After researching the other businesses selling new, used and refurbished furniture to find a place to refer his customers, David came to believe there wasn’t anyone in the market segment doing a great job. So David reopened Warehouse of Fixtures believing he could do better by offering better customer service and a better customer experience.

“What I love about the city of St. Louis is that it’s got some grit. What you see is what you get in St. Louis—it’s not perfect, but it is real. And there are groups of us working to make sure the city is a better place.” Warehouse of Fixtures saw such an opportunity in 2010 when a building that had been a print shop for AG Edward (which was later acquired by Wachovia then Wells Fargo) went up for sale in downtown St. Louis. Its vacancy was bittersweet in that it seemed part of a large-corporation exodus/sellout—Anheuser-Busch, AT&T had also gone—but it was also an opportunity for Warehouse of Fixtures to expand. Other local organizations like Cortex had a similar idea to back-fill—spatially and financially—the gaps that big businesses had left behind. The building cost over a third of what Warehouse of Fixtures’ total revenue was at the time, and David was anxious that he might lose everything by overextending. But just as David believed in the City of St. Louis, the City believed in him. “A lot of the city’s alderpeople and those in City Hall were clients of ours. They’d taken the time to get to know us, and believed in our business, they really came through for us,” David says. 189


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The St. Louis Development Corporation helped Warehouse of Fixtures purchase the building without putting down any equity, which allowed the business to conserve cash. Soon after, Mayor Slay visited to recognize Warehouse of Fixtures as one of the top businesses in St. Louis. He invited Warehouse of Fixtures to bid on a job to furnish the new office for the St. Louis Development Corporation, and Warehouse of Fixtures earned the contract—the largest in the company’s history at that time--and saved the city $50,000. It was a perfect indication of the growth Warehouse of Fixtures would see in the coming years. Last year alone, the company grew by 75%, but what David is most proud of is his team. “When you look at a business and its success, it’s easy to see only the leader,” he says. “But I can relate our growth to adding good people in the right places. We have built just a fantastic team. They believe in creating a better environment and making a better St. Louis.”

2720 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63103 +1-314-534-5900 sales@stlwarehouse.com WarehouseofFixturesTNG woftng

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“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” —Albert Einstein


SPORTS & HUMAN PERFORMANCE


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ELEVATOR PITCH As home of the 11-time World Series Champion Cardinals, Stanley Cup Champion Blues, and host of three NCAA Final Fours, St. Louis is a great sports city. Thanks to the Musial Awards, it holds a far more meaningful title: home of the best sports. This world-class event gives St. Louis a powerful opportunity to enhance its image and impact across the country and around the world.

Produced by the St. Louis Sports Commission and the National Sportsmanship Foundation, the Musials are presented in historic Stifel Theatre and broadcast to a national audience. The honorees have been as famous as Arnold Palmer, Joe Torre, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, or broadcaster Ernie Johnson. They have been as anonymous as two college softball players carrying an injured opponent around the bases so she could record her first-ever home run. They have been as young as a 9-year-old goalie offering his rival a goalkeeping lesson between periods. They have been as old as a 99-year-old nun, praying with the Loyola University basketball team and casting her own warm glow off the bright spotlight of a Final Four.

OUR STORY Previously known as the National Sportsmanship Awards, the Musials honor shining examples of integrity, selflessness, dignity, humility, generosity, and class—traits embodied on and off the field by Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial. Considered one of the greatest baseball players in history, he played 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and finished his career with 3,630 hits, three MVP awards, and three World Series titles. By personifying the awards in a man who held all the virtues that the event celebrates, we have a face, a vocabulary, and a shorthand for all that’s right in sport.

Whether watching in person or on television, viewers are reminded that these athletes perform physical feats that the rest of us can only dream of. But behind the state championships and world records and MVP awards, they are only human, like the rest of us. Through their acts of character and integrity, honorees and audience share the common bond. We may not be able to replicate their athletic achievements, but we can replicate their humanity.

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The Musials serve as a springboard for spreading character, integrity, and sportsmanship beyond sport to society. The Sports Commission and National Sportsmanship Foundation foster these values year-round through the Musial Moments program and Good Sport Pledge campaign as vehicles to spread the values of Stan Musial and the honorees and to empower people to lead healthier, happier lives through the values of sportsmanship. The honorees, then, serve an example and inspiration to one and all. They offer hope that given a difficult situation, each of us will rise to the occasion. When we cheer for their humility, honesty, or generosity, we’re really encouraging one another—and more importantly, ourselves— to do the same. To create our own Musial Moment.

St. Louis Sports Commission MusialAwards MusialAwards MusialAwards musialawards musialawards.com

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ELEVATOR PITCH The city of St. Louis has been begging for a professional basketball team ever since the loss of the former NBA St. Louis Hawks, now the Atlanta Hawks, in 1968. In 1973, the city acquired the Spirits of St. Louis, an ABANBA merger team. Their franchise was short-lived, shutting down in 1976. Who knew that 35 years later a professional basketball team would once again reign in the city? Only this time, women’s basketball would become the talk of the town.

Khalia Collier, a St. Louis native and former player, became one of the youngest sport-team owners in the country in May 2011 after seizing ownership of the St. Louis Surge Professional Basketball team at 23 years old. Khalia began playing basketball at the age of five and fell in love with the game. From a very young age, she always had an entrepreneurial mindset. Her talents on the court prompted her to become one of the top players in the region; setting several impressive records during her time as a student-athlete. She ultimately decided to commit to a small university where she finished her career as a Spartan, graduating with a degree in Communication Studies.

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St. Louis Surge Khalia Collier, Owner & General Manager +1-314-262-2791 stlsurgebasketball stlsurge stlsurgebasketball.com

character first without sacrificing talent. All players are required to obtain a college degree. Khalia gets them out into the community, arranging mandatory schedules for the players and herself to attend school appearances, host sports camps, provide community service, and take part in other local events. Khalia has secured several partnerships with local and national companies to assist in brand expansion. With these strategic efforts on and off the court, attendance at Surge games have grown from 50-60 attendees (when Khalia took over in 2011) to now thousands of fans per game within a year!

After graduation, Khalia began working for a Fortune 500 company. Her corporate experience, along with her passion for basketball, business savvy, and deep commitment to the city of St. Louis, prepared her for the next phase of her life—becoming the Owner and General Manager of the St. Louis Surge. When Khalia discovered the St. Louis Surge, not only did a light bulb go off in her head as she instantly saw the potential the franchise had to thrive, but her natural ambition and grit took over. In 2013, the Surge began rebranding; new logo, staff, coaches, and roster. It was the beginning of a new chapter, a glimpse of what Khalia and the Surge would continue to build, and the start of an innovative blueprint focused on impact beyond the court. In less than 10 years under Khalia’s leadership, the Surge have continued their success, winning 2 National Championships and becoming four-time runners-up.

Khalia’s strategy of growing the team by pursuing community engagement, promoting the development of leadership, and showing the importance of education takes her personal philosophy and applies it to her team, and through them, to her community. Khalia continues to serve as a trailblazer, expanding into unchartered territory while changing the landscape of professional women’s sports. Her tireless energy and ability to see what is possible keep her charged up to continue making history.

Khalia has helped grow the Surge into a franchise the city of St. Louis can support. She was determined to revolutionize the impact of sports in the community. To do so, Khalia took a creative approach by only recruiting 196


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BARX ADAPTIVE ELEVATOR PITCH BARx Adaptive Training provides an inclusive fitness environment for individuals with a wide range of skill levels and capabilities. This organization strives to create a supportive community for athletes with physical disabilities by building functional fitness, improving confidence, and supporting increased independence outside of the gym.

OUR STORY One of the core philosophies underlying the Crossfit methodology states that the fitness needs of individuals vary in degree, not type. This means that everyone can benefit from increased capacity for basic human movements such as pushing, pulling, lifting, squatting, and running (or wheeling!). The adaptive methodology for modifying Crossfit workouts to fit the needs of athletes with disabilities

Directors of Operations Bob Portell and Monica Lohnes. Photo by John Fedele.

Group picture with athletes, coaches, and assistants following an evening class. Photo by John Fedele.

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Athlete Kiland Sampa carries a weight as part of a workout. Photo by John Fedele.

Athletes of all ability levels row during a workout. Photo by John Fedele. exemplifies this philosophy perfectly. For example, while an able-bodied athlete performs squats with a barbell on their back, the adaptive athlete may practice transferring an external object from the ground up to a box or hold a weight while twisting from side to side. In this way, the purpose and stimulus behind the workout holds true, and all athletes can obtain a similar level of intensity while working within their individual capacities. The BARx adaptive program began somewhat serendipitously after co-founders Monica Lohnes and Bob Portell crossed paths at a Crossfit competition for kids in the spring of 2018. Bob’s 13-year-old daughter, Josie Portell, has spina bifida and was entered in the competition that day, and Monica worked closely with Bob to help plan specific adaptations for all the events. Everyone in the gym that day, from the competition organizers to the other participating athletes to the spectators, walked away feeling awed and humbled by her performance. Something special had just taken place, but it was only the beginning. After that competition, Monica and Bob took it upon themselves to begin developing a long-term adaptive program in concert with the owners and coaches at BARx Crossfit and a seemingly endless supply of dedicated volunteers. The combination of Monica’s passion for fostering an inclusive fitness environment for people with disabilities and Bob’s endless dedication to creating fulfilling athletic endeavors for his daughter was a match made in heaven. Working around their full-time jobs and

Athlete Josie Portell demonstrates a seated lift during a fundraiser event. Photo by Rachel Harris. other obligations, these two threw themselves heart and soul into this project, and in the process, they created an enduring program that is truly exceptional. BARx Adaptive became an official 501(c)(3) in 2019, but the program has been building up over the last 18 months. Currently, six adults and seven teens with various ability levels participate in classes multiple times per week. A team of two coaches, five assistants, and one intern assist with programming, equipment, and behind-the-scenes setup. The adaptive athletes are welcome to attend any of the gym’s regularly programmed group classes, performing the workouts and making modifications as would any other member. Each athlete begins with a 4-class on-ramp introductory program, in which they learn the basic moves and lifts to get them ready for the group classes. Within 198

the adaptive program, this is a learning opportunity for both the athlete and the coaches as they get to know each other and understand how to optimize their fitness environment. The BARx Adaptive Training program continues to grow, as does the excitement and dedication around it. Everyone involved looks forward to what the future holds and continues to be inspired by the positive impact that this inclusive fitness environment has already had—both for the athletes participating and those privileged enough to find themselves in their presence.

12309 Old Big Bend Road Kirkwood, MO 63122 +1-314-822-BARx info@barx-adaptive.org barxadaptive barxadaptive barxadaptive.org


“You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.” —Julia Child


HOSPITALITY & CULINARY


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HOSPITALITY MEETS INNOVATION AT ST. LOUIS-BASED HOTEL

ELEVATOR PITCH environmentally friendly practices. The result: a hotel that is creating more value for its guests.

The historic Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel is a premier travel destination for lodging, food and beverage, and meetings and events. The Chase is committed to sustainable innovations that bring value to the organization and its guests.

Beginning in the hotel’s food and beverage department, The Chase has launched a number of initiatives that are helping reduce the organization’s carbon footprint and our waste. The hotel’s organic food waste program is reducing the hotel’s overall waste by 40–50%.

OUR STORY Innovation spans every aspect of business, from technology and product development to customer service and finances.

Each month, the hotel diverts an average of 9,800 pounds of waste from the landfill and is on track to reach 58 tons by the end of the year. Further adding to that, The Chase buys back an average of 40 pounds of nutrientrich compost per month for the kitchen’s micro-greeneries. These microgreeneries are used to grow basil, arugula, bull’s blood (beets), chives, radish,

It is no different in the hospitality industry—opportunities to be innovative are abundant. Recently, the executive team at The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel in St. Louis has taken steps toward more sustainable and 201


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and mizuna, as well as larger plants including lettuce, kale, and mustard greens. All greens harvested from the micro-greeneries are used in dishes prepared for the hotel’s restaurants. Another way The Chase is helping the planet is through the “Skip the Straw” initiative, in which the hotel’s restaurants and bars are only providing paper straws in drinks upon request in efforts to preserve marine life. According to the National Park Service, more than 500 million straws are used each day in the US, enough to circle the planet 2.5 times. Furthermore, plastic straws are proving to be deadly and are now one of the top 10 marine debris items found on beaches. The Chase also supports the honeybee population, which has taken a sharp decline in recent years. According to Smithsonian Magazine, bee abundance declined across 23% of US land area between 2008 and 2013. In efforts to combat that decline, The Chase’s chefs built and installed two rooftop hives, each containing 10,000 honeybees. It is estimated that the hives now contain 80,000 to 100,000 honeybees which are expected to produce 15 gallons of fresh, organic, local Forest Park honey by this fall. The honey harvested from the hives will be used in the hotel’s restaurants and offered to guests.

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Finally, The Chase is taking steps to ensure its recycling program is working at full capacity. The hotel is currently recycling an average of 1.5 ton per month, which equates to 18 tons per year. With the recent addition of recycling bins in each of the nearly 400 guestrooms, the leadership team estimates that the amount they currently recycle will increase 30% year over year. Frederik Houben, director of sales and marketing for The Chase, said all of these initiatives would not be possible without the support and enthusiasm of their team of employees—many of whom are driving the day-to-day operations. He said there is an overwhelming appreciation and respect for each other across departments and management functions, something that is amplified through the hotel’s “Living a Day in the Life” initiative, in which members of the management team swap their regular job for a line-level job function in one of the operational departments for one day. Houben said the program, which launched in 2017, is an opportunity for employees to gain a unique perspective on hospitality operations as well as what it takes to perform the different roles that are essential to the hotel’s success.

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Each quarter, the executive committee of The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel draws their assignments from the pre-established operational departments and the line-level job functions, such as housekeepers, greeters, bellhops, and attendants. On the job, executives get to spend time with employees, learning about challenges, opportunities, and personal goals of each individual they meet.

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The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel 212 N. Kingshighway Blvd St. Louis, MO 63108 +1-314-633-3000 Sonesta.com/ChaseParkPlaza

“At any business or organization, it is important for all managers to know what other departments endure and are faced with to achieve a common goal,” Houben said. “Having the knowledge and basic skill set of other departments provides the opportunity for positive constructive feedback on how to improve the overall service delivery and create amazing moments.”

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ELEVATOR PITCH Angad Arts Hotel is a 146-room hospitality experience that embraces the visual arts, performance, fashion, literature, and gastronomy. It is the first hotel where guests are encouraged to book their luxury accommodations by room type and emotion of color, and enjoy culinary artistry at Grand Tavern restaurant.

OUR STORY Angad Arts Hotel (AAH) is a wholly new hospitality experience that embraces the visual arts, performance, fashion, literature, and gastronomy. The hotel features 146 artfully designed guest rooms and 25 extended stay rooms with kitchenettes. Located in the Grand Center Arts District, the hotel is conveniently accessible to theater, music, galleries, restaurants, and nightlife. AAH is defined by a culture that is sophisticated, provocative, and fun in a luxury environment providing interactive and engaging experiences in the arts of performance, fashion, literature, visual, and gastronomy, all with superb, gracious, and friendly service. The culinary team creates superb offerings within the hotel at Grand Tavern restaurant, the rooftop Angad Rainbow Terrace, and for the premier banquet and meeting spaces. Designed by the Lawrence Group especially to appeal to your emotional side, the color palette of our rooms sets the mood for your stay. Choose your room by how you are feeling in the moment. Whether your choice is passion red, tranquility blue, happiness yellow, or rejuvenation green, our rooms and amenities are perfect for work and play.

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Angad Arts Hotel +1-833-233-0014, +1-314-561-0033 AngadArtsHotel angadartshotel angad-arts-hotel AngadArtsHotel.com

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Photo by Samantha King

Sarah Eckert Lanxon, Jill Eckert Tantillo, Chris & Angie Eckert

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ABOUT ECKERT’S What started as a humble roadside fruit stand more than 175 years ago is now one of the top pick-yourown orchards in the country, and one of the most beloved and iconic family attractions in the Midwest. Decade after decade of hard work, creativity, and a willingness to take risks has paid off. First, it was wholesale. Then, retail. Then, agri-tourism or agritainment—the addition of pick-your-own experiences. More wholesale. More farms. And, more produce—the Eckert family has helped to create hybrid crops like the sought-after “EverCrisp” apple which is quickly becoming a nationwide favorite. While innovative in their approach to farming and business, the Eckert family contributes their success to one vital attribute: an unflinching commitment to family.

OUR STORY As business saw its ups and downs and trends came and went, the Eckerts continued to put people at the center, offering an accessible place for creating special memories while providing an invaluable lesson: knowledge and gratitude for where food comes from. Now, families all throughout the St. Louis region hold Eckert’s Farms in their hearts through the cherished traditions and memories they share with their families. Eckert’s has three farms in the St. Louis Region: The Belleville Country Store & Farm, the Millstadt Fun Farm, and Eckert’s Grafton Farm. Eckert’s also owns an orchard in Versailles, Kentucky, purchased in 2016. The Belleville Farm is the main farm and offers a country store, country restaurant, more than 100 acres of fruits and vegetables, Christmas trees, seasonal festivals, and a number of rotating activities and entertainment. The Millstadt Farm is unique to the other farms, as it puts a special focus on rides, games, and fun experiences like the bonfire and pumpkin cannon. Those looking for a quaint, rural experience will find it in the Grafton farm, which is located on the beautiful bluff of the Mississippi River. The Versailles farm is located in Woodford County, the heart of horse country and bourbon distilleries. Eckert’s grows strawberries, asparagus, blackberries, peaches, tomatoes, summer squash, sweet corn, apples, pumpkins, and Christmas trees, among other things. Each season includes specialty products and programming like Easter Egg-Citement in the spring, the Strawberry Festival in May, peach pie in July, apple picking and cider donuts in September, pumpkin carving and pies in October, and Christmas trees and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus beginning in November.

Eckert’s 951 S. Green Mount Road Belleville, IL 62220 +1-618-310-1951 eckert-info@eckerts.com eckertfarms eckerts.com

Photo by Janel Peyton Eckert’s has been committed to sustainable agriculture in St. Clair County since 1837. And this commitment was made long before the term “sustainable” was ever coined. At Eckert’s, we utilize sustainable farming methods to grow the highest quality food possible for our family and customers to enjoy. For more than a century, we have utilized integrated crop management and integrated pest management practices to grow our crops. Every day of the year, whether rain or shine, our highly trained agricultural team is constantly monitoring our farms to ensure early detection of pests and diseases, as well as to check soil conditions. These pro-active observational practices have allowed us to significantly reduce our use of crop protectants. In addition, the team at Eckert’s is constantly seeking educational and research opportunities to proactively expand their knowledge of sustainable farming practices. We have recently become members of the Midwest Apple Improvement Association to develop new seedling varieties such as the EverCrisp. In addition, Eckert’s participates in programs with the National Conservation Service. Our team also attends numerous conferences throughout the year, including the Illinois Specialty Growers Conference, Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo, Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, and the Southeast Fruit and Vegetable Conference, among others. There are few who have grown up in the region who have not made special memories at one of Eckert’s three local farms. For those who haven’t, stop by soon; we’d love to show you around the farm! 208


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RE-INVENTING COOKIE DOUGH ELEVATOR PITCH Like the best cookies, the idea behind Soozie’s Doozies, LLC is simple but delicious: Olivia Kelvin wanted to bring the first all-natural, non-GMO, precut refrigerated cookie dough in a stand-up pouch to refrigerators around the country. “There is a need for an all-natural, bake-at-home cookie that tastes great and is also more convenient,” says Kelvin.

OUR STORY A Doozie of an Idea Founded in 2015, the startup currently has two patents pending: One for its cookie dough formulation that prevents cookies from being stuck together while refrigerated and another for the formulation that extends the shelf life of the dough without artificial ingredients. Currently, the bake-at-home category is dominated by a couple large companies—but Kelvin believes that those two patents set her startup apart and can give her a competitive advantage over the giants as the consumer market for all-natural products continues to grow. There’s another advantage to her idea, too—although it’s less to do with the dough itself. Rather than those tubular rolls of dough that require you to bake all the cookies at once, a resealable pouch is great for those who live on their own and don’t have a huge family to bake for—a number of households that continues to grow, Kelvin says. The pouch also has a bit of clever marketing built into it: “The dough also has a fresher appearance as there’s a pouch window,” Kevin says. That’s one smart cookie.

Key Ingredients Kelvin’s professional background helped lead her to the startup life. Fifteen years of experience as a food scientist in research and development were invaluable in paving the way. “I have a lot of knowledge in food and saw that there was an unmet need in the refrigerated cookie dough section,” says Kelvin. “I also wanted to use my science background to remove the artificial ingredients typically found in food. I put my years of experience to work to make the world a better place. Everyone can now enjoy great tasting cookies without worrying about additives.”

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“It took over two years of research and development to create this product and process design,” she explains, adding that they rented a small, foodsafe-certified space from which to conduct R&D, rather than doing the research from a home kitchen. Part of the reason for this is because there was equipment to design for the business as well.

L O U I S

Soozie’s Doozies PO Box 984 Union, MO 63084 sooziesdooziescookies sooziesdoozies.com

“We have a proprietary process to form the cookie dough that our COO, Bob Stanton, developed,” says Kelvin. “It forms perfectly portioned pieces with a fresh color appearance … the formulation in combination with our process sets us apart and helps insulates us from the competition.” Once they had the recipe and process down, they moved into a 16,000-square-foot mass-production facility in August 2015, ready to ramp up production. Soozie’s Doozies were ready to launch one month later. Stanton, the COO, is an engineer with more than 30 years of experience in food manufacturing with brands like Anheuser Busch, Sara Lee, and Kellogg’s. Marie Meyer, the CFO, brings experience in running operations and finance in food manufacturing to the table.

The Next Generation of Cookie Dough Soozie’s Doozies also launched the first edible cookie dough bar in the summer of 2017: the Doozie Bar. Now, you can eat cookie dough on the go which is the latest craze! People in New York City have been waiting 2 hours in lines at edible cookie dough parlors just to have a taste. Now, you don’t have to travel to New York and can visit your local grocery store to satisfy your cookie dough craving.

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THIS JOB IS THE FROSTING ON THE CAKE:

HOW A LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR TURNED HER PASSION INTO THE HAPPIEST PLACE IN TOWN. ELEVATOR PITCH Sweetology is the culmination of many years of varied work experience. After finishing law school at Washington University in St. Louis, Newmark practiced law for a few years before going to work for the tech startup SportsHuddle.com. Later, she started her own consulting company for startups and tech companies which she ran for 15 years before being brought on board as COO of Welvie, a surgery decision–support company. Five years later, she decided to bring the skills she gathered in her various positions to build a new company.

What if you could recreate your favorite memories at your job? For local entrepreneur Kara Newmark, memories of baking with her kids sparked a business where customers can make their own sweet memories. At Sweetology, customers choose from a seemingly endless stock of candy, sprinkles, fondant, and icing to decorate cakes, cookies, and cupcakes.

OUR STORY

Under the philosophy that if you’re not loving what you’re doing you shouldn’t be doing it, Newmark knew she wanted to make a company that was all about fun. While in search of ideas, her friend asked her what makes her happiest. Newmark, a mother of three, answered that she loves spending time in the kitchen baking with her kids. Thus, the idea for Sweetology was born.

“When people want commodities, they will go on Amazon. Traditional retail is dead, and consumers are now craving experiences,” Newmark explains. Sweetology is on the cutting edge of where retail is going in the future. Newmark is masterful at bringing the best experiences to customers. From the eye-popping candy wall to the sweet scent of cake and the chic, immaculate décor, it’s clear this workshop isn’t only for kids. Sweetology hosts corporate events, decorating classes, and parties for all occasions. Newmark even ships decorating kits nationwide so that customers can host a hassle-free decorating party at home. For those seeking immediate gratification, premade premium baked goods are ready for purchase.

After raising capital through an angel investing round, the first Sweetology store opened in Ladue in May of 2014. Sweetology is the first dedicated entertainment retail concept around the decoration of cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. The colorful wonderland of Sweetology is a kid-magnet but also a wonderful place for a girls’ night of wine and decorating, and even corporate team building. One event allows corporate teams to bond over giving back to the community. “We partner with the nonprofit It’s Your Birthday to allow groups to make cakes for kids in shelters, because everyone deserves a birthday!” says Newmark. Sweetology also supports kids with complex medical issues at Ranken Jordan hospital by donating a portion of the proceeds on special cupcakes every Valentine’s Day. Newmark’s vision for

“We all have a creative spark in us—a desire to make something wonderful of our own,” Newmark says. She took her creative spark and created a place where everyone can unleash their imagination and be a creator, or what she likes to call a Sweetologist. “Today’s customers are more interested in experiences than accumulating items,” explains Newmark. “An afternoon spent with Grandpa and Grandma here at Sweetology will be remembered long after the latest gadget breaks.” 211


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the future is to have a Sweetology in every major city in the United States as well as a successful e-commerce store.

Kara Newmark, founder & president

Newmark emphasizes that when you’re celebrating a milestone, it is not all about having a perfect cake. At the heart, it’s about the fact that an 8-year-old made his grandpa’s birthday cake, and that’s what makes it perfect. Sweetology believes in the “why,” and that’s why Newmark believes she has uncovered the secret of the future of retail. 212

Sweetology +1-636-220-3620 info@sweetology.com sweetSweetology sweetsweetology Sweetology sweetology.com


“The history of innovation is the story of ideas that seemed dumb at the time.” —Andy Dunn


MARKETING


I N N O V A T E

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INNOVATIONS IN MARKETING:

2019

L O U I S

CONSUMERS HAVE MORE INFO THAN THEY COULD EVER USE, AND LESS TRUST IN MARKETING THAN EVER BEFORE. MORE INFORMATION: IDC predicts that the Global Datasphere will grow from 33 Zettabytes (ZB) in 2018 to 175 ZB by 2025.

Marketers have powerful tools. But consumers have all the power.

LESS TRUST: More educated, wealthier ‘informed’ customers trust businesses less than ever before – and trust is eroding quickly. In 2018 only 54% of informed consumers trusted companies – down from 74% in 2017.

27

%

THERE’S NOWHERE TO HIDE. TRANSPARENCY IS EVERYTHING. Information isn’t just free, it’s everywhere. Purchasers want to know more before making their buying decision, and they’ll often find whatever information they’re looking for. So, don’t hide it. Transparency won’t just land new customers; it will help retain customers by continuing to build trust.

*

DECREASE IN CONSUMER TRUST

67 * 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer.

THE DECISION ON WHAT TO BUY HAS PROBABLY ALREADY BEEN MADE BEFORE A PROSPECT EVEN SHOWS UP ON THE SALES RADAR. Because it’s so measurable, too many marketers focus on the ‘middle of the funnel’ to the detriment of awareness marketing. While your salesforce is still a powerful influencer, “57% of the purchase decision is already complete before the customer calls the supplier.”* *Gartner **SiriusDecisions

“ With

%

of the buyer’s journey being done digitally,”** it’s more important than ever to make your information available to your target the way they want it – and when they need it.

CONSUMERS KNOW WHAT GOOD MARKETING LOOKS LIKE (SEE AMAZON). Thanks to Amazon and Netflix, consumers know what to buy and what to watch. The big players have set the bar pretty high, but like all technology, innovations that were once only for large companies are now affordable and have an extremely high return on investment. The ability to harness and optimize data has transformed marketing. Now we can shorten sales cycles and provide superior customer service (increasing both the word-of-mouth potential and the lifetime value of a customer). 215


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MINING FOR GOLD IN YOUR DATA. TRACK, TEST, MEASURE, MODIFY. Moving beyond “People who bought this also bought…” Even five years ago, the thought that a mid-size company could mine their data and create actionable insights would have been ridiculous. Today, it’s a fact. The tools, technology, and computing power are at virtually everyone’s fingertips. For many companies, their data is locked in silos; CRM, web analytics, customer support, social data, marketing automation, etc. By pulling the right information out of each silo, marketers can create a Customer Data Platform, activate data, and unlock digital signals that drive sales.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. GETTING THE SALE IS GREAT. MAKING SURE THE CUSTOMER IS GLAD THEY MADE THE PURCHASE IS EVERYTHING. One bad apple (or review) spoils the bunch. Unhappy customers cost far more than just their next purchase:

ONLY 0.7% OF PEOPLE WHO HOLD THIS BOOK WILL READ THIS FAR. CONSUMERS WANT INFORMATION – FAST. VIDEO IS MORE IMPORTANT (AND LESS EXPENSIVE) THAN EVER BEFORE.

• An unhappy customer is 91% less likely to do business with that brand again. *

GET IT TOGETHER ALREADY. (Sales & Marketing Alignment)

• A dissatisfied customer tells 15-20 people about their experience. **

Get sales and marketing out of their silos and magic will happen.

• 88% of customers read an online review that influenced their purchasing decision. ***

• Sales and marketing alignment can help businesses become 67% better at closing deals.****

• 42% of customers said that a recommendation from a friend or family member would influence their purchasing decision more than a sale or a promotion. ****

• Tightly-aligned sales and marketing teams achieve a 24% faster three-year growth and faster 3-year profit.*** • 50% of sales’ time is wasted on bad prospects.* • 65% of sales reps say they don’t have the right information to share with a prospect. **

• It takes 40 good reviews to undo one negative review. *****

*SalesHub ** Kapost *** HubSpot **** Marketo and Reachforce

*Lee Resources ** White House Office of Consumer Affairs *** Zendesk **** American Express ***** Inc., February 26, 2018

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www.spokemarketing.com


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SALES & MARKETING ARE LIKE TWO RAILS ON THE SAME TRACK. Alignment keeps the engine rolling. A recent report* found that by successfully aligning sales and Marketing, companies can: GENERATE

32%

RETAIN

ACHIEVE

36%

38%

HIGHER REVENUE

MORE CUSTOMERS

HIGHER WIN RATES

*CMO’s Agenda Report: Aberdeen Group

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IT SEEMS SO OBVIOUS. SALES AND MARKETING SHOULD WORK IN HARMONY.

Innovation With An ROI. Most marketing agencies are pretty good at marketing (some better than others, of course). Even if they use the old products, place, price and promotion model, when it’s done well – marketing results in sales…right?

SPOKE IS DIFFERENT. THEY WORK BACKWARDS.

What Does Success Look Like? The key to success is to start with the end in mind – so Spoke starts with sales. They do a deep dive into their clients’ sales processes (and ask the hard questions). They want to know what happens every step of the sales journey: how prospective customers search for information, how they make their decision, how they indicate intent to purchase, and what obstacles stand in the way.

What the Buyer Wants, The Buyer Gets. They map the sales process against the buyer’s journey, and ensure that for every itch, there’s a scratch. Whenever a prospect has a question, there’s a sales process with an answer. Whenever a prospect wants to compare benefits, sales is there to prove value. Executed well, sales appears to be a Superhero (not a Whack-A-Mole that won’t go away).

Best Performance in A Supporting Role. The point of marketing is to support sales. Full stop. If a dollar spent on marketing doesn’t result in three dollars in sales, it’s not working. If you’re looking for a secret formula – put away your spreadsheet, that’s it.

www.spokemarketing.com 218


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WHO WE ARE goBRANDgo! is a marketing agency that partners with $50–250 million manufacturing & distribution companies whose owners are in their 50s and 60s and are looking to make a successful leadership transition. Our mission is to empowergize people & organizations with the innovation, imagination, and inspiration to see higher and be better.

OUR STORY Ever since company owners Derek Weber and Brandon Dempsey teamed up back in the day, goBRANDgo! has been dedicated to entrepreneurially minded people who aren’t afraid to strike out on a journey to accomplish something great. In fact, our mission is to empowergize people & organizations with the innovation, imagination, and inspiration to see higher and be better.

WHAT THE HECK DOES “EMPOWERGIZE” MEAN? empowergize, verb. em • pow • er • gize (\ im-ˈpau̇ (-ə)r-ˌjīz \) A made-up word that means to simultaneously empower and energize; to leave every person or organization you encounter with a little more excitement, a little more energy, and a few more tools to help actualize the greatness that lies within them.

talking about weapons like Excalibur or the Elder Wand. We’re talking about helping these companies inspire and connect with their customers ... through distinctive and compelling branding, marketing strategy that aligns with business objectives, and an online presence that reflects the innovation and expertise found within the four walls of the business.

So, empowergizing sounds really great and makes everyone get the warm fuzzies inside (it is, and it does). But we don’t get excited every day to do marketing because it makes everyone feel good. We get excited because we are on a quest to help manufacturing and distribution companies overcome disruption and win in the marketplace. Why? Not only because broadbased changes in the sector have the potential to send shock waves through economies, but even more importantly, because these companies are pillars of their communities and the source of livelihood for millions of families.

THE SIDEKICKS Empowergizing isn’t just reserved for our clients. With all this battle for market share going on, there’s got to be someone in the castle dungeon smithing the weaponry. Enter the go!-team.

THE DISRUPTION

Some might say we put the “cult” in culture. We’re a core-values company and it takes a lot of chutzpah to stay true to our values under pressure ... and that’s when they count the most. Being a go!-mate is not for the faint of heart.

Traditional sales channels are being disrupted by new customer expectations as a result of increasing online presence in these companies’ competition. Customer-base diversification becomes increasingly important as macroeconomic changes cause all types of businesses to find themselves on shaky ground.

THE GO!-VALUES goBRANDgo!’s vision is to be the habitat where go!-getters gather to transform opportunity into reality and be awesomer (another one of those made-up words). And in order to be awesomer, we’ve identified seven core values that we live out every day.

These challenges are the villains that leaders of manufacturing & distribution companies do battle with every day. Our passion at goBRANDgo! is arming them with the weaponry they need to win. And we’re not 219


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L O U I S

l Courageously Communicate With Honesty &

Transparency l Radiate Passion & Positive Energy l Think Like An Entrepreneur l Creatively Develop Smart Solutions l Drive Innovation With Curiosity and an Open Mind l Be Confidently Humble l Grow Personally & Professionally Every Day

Bottom line? We respect each other. We are passionate about our clients. We love what we do ... and we’re honored to have great partnerships with innovative manufacturers who enable us to do it every day. Feeling empowergized? We love to meet and get to know people and companies who align with our mission, vision, and values. Reach out to us and let’s talk!

goBRANDgo! info@goBRANDgo.com +1-314-754-8712 goBRANDgo goBRANDgo.com

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How Data Empowers Parents When parents have the right information to make decisions, students excel! dataqualitycampaign.org

BETTER INFORMATION EMPOWERS PARENTS... TO PROVIDE BETTER SUPPORT, MAKE BETTER DECISIONS, AND BE BETTER ADVOCATES. Full picture of academic progress and proficiency from K-12

MARIA’S DASHBOARD State Test Results

GRADES

SERVICES

! AT RISK !

TESTS

PLANS

PROGRAMS

APPS

Timely updates and messages about on-track information and milestones

’14 ‘15 ’16 ’17

Mark and Anna receive an alert as soon as Maria starts veering off track in one subject, but they know she’s exceeding grade level expectations in another. Direct connections to additional resources to help her succeed are available right on her dashboard. Mark and Anna are empowered to take timely action and respond to her teachers’ plans to further support her success.

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CENTRAL HS

INFORMATION ELEMENTARY State

Test Results

MIDDLE SCHOOL

MATH HISTORY SCIENCE ENGLISH

A C B C

SHARE DATA

ATTENDANCE

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Since it’s their child’s information, Anna and Mark can control access to her dashboard, choosing to share data with others who support Maria’s academic growth. It also moves with Maria regardless of which school she attends.

SCHOOL / DISTRICT DATA

RESOURCES

E.G. PROGRAMS, APPS

AFTER SCHOOL

MARIA

SCHOOL PROFILES

SERVICES

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Next to the data are suggested actions and resources

School and district data provides context for individual data

FACILITIES FUNDING

$$$$$$

THE BEST FIT

STRENGTHS: MATH

ASSESSMENT

CENTRAL HS

STEM PROGRAM DUAL ENROLLMENT OPTIONAL SUMMER COURSES

INTERESTS: PROGRAMMING DEMOGRAPHICS

GOALS: COLLEGE

Mark and Anna use Maria’s information and publicly-reported school information to select the programs and schools that best fit her needs and interests.

Parents deserve to see the full picture of their child’s learning along with guidance on how to help their child succeed.

ELEVATOR PITCH We do this by designing infographics, animations and videos, storyboards, data visualizations, presentations, maps and posters, card sets, editorial design and illustration, brand identities, interactive experiences, interfaces TH E DE S I G N

BUT DEEP FOUNDATIONS They’re dug about 60 feet deep—40 into dirt and 20 into bedrock, requiring 300,000 cubic feet of earth to be excavated. 500+ steel tensioning bars extend down from the foundations.

20

BUT CONSTRUCTION WAS EVEN BIGGER, Construction begins February 12, 1963. The Gateway Arch is built by MacDonald Construction Co. of St. Louis, with steel supplied by the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Company. It was delivered right to the Arch’s future front door, as it were, via the railroad on the grounds.

21

Once the Arch hits 70 feet, ingenious cranes “climb” up tracks attached to the Arch’s growing legs. A brace stabilizes the freestanding cantilevers. When the legs meet, the derricks crawl down, the track holes are plugged, and the Arch is polished.

22

INTERESTINGLY, THE HEIGHT The Arch stands 630 feet tall and is the tallest structure in St. Louis. It’s also the tallest U.S. federal monument. When you compare its height to other famous monuments, it falls right between the Statue of Liberty (305 feet from ground to torch) and the Eiffel Tower (986 feet tall).

15

23

T HE FO UNDATIO NS

TO TAKE VISITORS TO THE OBSERVATION ROOM

IT APPEARS ON TV AND IN FILM, Compared to other national monuments, the Arch gets little screen time. But it does feature prominently in the TV show “Defiance,” a post-apocalyptic alien action series on Syfy.

36

THERE WAS MUCH CONTROVERSY Critics attack it from every side. Some dismiss the design for being too mathematical to be taken seriously as a work of art. Others accuse Saarinen of stealing the idea from a never-built Fascist memorial. Many, including the Arch’s steel supplier, simply believe the structure’s design will fail.

37

Forest Park is the region’s greatest civic treasure. A place of beauty, history, discovery and fun. It’s where we live, laugh and connect with each other. It’s vital that we maintain and sustain this beloved destination for generations to come.

AND EVEN POSTAGE STAMPS. The Arch appears on at least two U.S. stamps, once in a 2006 series called “Wonders of America,” and again in a 2002 “Greetings from...” series featuring the 50 U.S. states. It cost 39¢ to mail a letter in 2006 and 34¢ in 2002—compared to just 3¢ when the memorial project was conceived in the 1930s.

39

BUT NEITHER EARTH, WIND, FIRE, The structure is earthquake proof and designed to sway up to 18 inches. That said, it takes a 50 mph wind to move the top

32

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CTOBER 28, 2015 marked the 50 TH anniversary of the “topping out” of the Gateway Arch. On a sunny fall day in 1965 a custom-built climbing derrick placed a final 10-ton triangle of stainless steel at the top of this huge, shining arch. The St. Louis Metropolitan Fire Department had to hose down the unlikely structure with cool water—it had expanded five inches in the sun’s heat and the last piece wouldn’t fit, apparently confirming many skeptics’ warnings that architect Eero Saarinen’s most famous project was doomed to fail.

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Founded in St. Louis in 2013, we’re an eclectic group of strategists + designers with deep backgrounds in technology, business, journalism, publishing, advertising, art, architecture, and more. Our information-rich visual communications engage audiences because they focus on stories, learning, and understanding. We help people quickly understand the whats, whys, and hows that make your brand, product, or idea different— and better.

IS THE SUBJECT OF BOOKS, We liked The Gateway Arch: A Biography.

ROADSIDE REPLICAS, There is a not-quite-proportional replica at Neal Auto Parts in Peoria, Illinois. There’s another at 1/10 scale at the Economy Inn in Vandalia, Illinois.

38

AND EVEN MORE COST The cost is $13 million—$11 million for the Arch itself and $2 million for the innovative, custom-designed transportation system, which is paid for by the Bi-State Development Agency. In today’s terms, the cost would be $97 million.

31

AMAZINGLY, IT WAS COMPLETED WITH NO DEATHS.

Insurance underwriters estimate that 13 people will die during construction. None do.

CAN TARNISH THIS MONUMENT’S REPUTATION.

The U.S. designates the Gateway Arch a National Historic Landmark in 1987. (Today it is, in fact, tarnishing a bit—stainless steel is rust resistant, not rustproof.)

30

AT THE TOP. On the day the final piece is to be put in place, October 28, 1965, the sun’s heat expands the south leg by five inches and the piece won’t fit—apparently confirming skeptic’s predictions. The leg is doused with water, contracts, and the last section is placed as Vice President Hubert Humphrey circles in a helicopter.

25

NOR DAREDEVILS On September 14, 1992, 25-year-old daredevil John C. Vincent climbs the exterior using suction cups, then parachutes to the ground. Over the years at least 10 pilots disobey the order to not fly through the legs.

34

35

AND AN EQUATION THAT BRINGS THEM TO LIFE.

This is the equation which defines the Arch. Over-achieving math geeks should check out Robert Osserman’s impenetrable paper, “Mathematics of the Gateway Arch,” or his slightly more approachable, “How the Gateway Arch Got its Shape” report.

24

AND YEAH, IT’S PRETTY HEAVY. There are 43,306 tons of concrete and steel in the Arch. The structural steel (and stairs, trams, etc.) weighs 4,313 tons and the #3 finish type 304 stainless steel panels that cover the exterior account for 886 tons.

17

Delivering just the facts is not enough—no matter how rational and compelling they may seem. You need to draw people in and make them care. You need to tell a real story—one that captivates, educates, and activates your audience. Tremendousness designs great stories by combining the power of visual thinking with the wonder of a compelling narrative. The result: stories that have the power to change minds and drive action.

29

(AND SECRET STAIRS) 1,076 steps, which are used only for emergencies

On a clear day you can see 30 miles west into Missouri and east into Illinois. The room is an arched deck just 65x7x7 feet, and holds 150 people. Its 32 portholes are only 27x7 inches, but they’re 3/4 of an inch thick. The intense pressure would crush a larger window.

AND THE WIDTH ARE THE SAME— It’s square, but appears more tall than wide because our brains compare the more drastic inside curve to the base width, and the fact that it gets thinner and farther away as it goes up. The original proposal is slightly taller than wide, but Saarinen’s affection for clean math evens things out.

16

DEATH, On November 22, 1980, 33-year-old Kenneth W. Swyers of Overland, Missouri attempts to land on the top of the Arch during a parachute jump (some say he was just trying to go through the legs). When he touches down, a wind gust catches his deflating chute and his wife watches as he slides down the north leg to his death.

33

WITH A QUOIN Most arches have a keystone at the top, a final piece called a headstone quoin that joins an arch’s legs. The Gateway Arch doesn’t. The final four-foot section—installed with heated drama and cold water—actually is just the last piece of the north leg and simply was welded to the south leg.

and maintenance, wind up each leg.

FOREST PARK

just 11/4 inches off center. Contrary to popular belief, it’s struck by lightning just once or twice year and has a system of lightning rods grounded directly into bedrock.

CAN BE CIRCULAR, PARABOLIC, OR CATENARY,

In Saarinen’s words: “The arch actually is not a true parabola, nor is it a catenary curve. We worked at first with the mathematical shapes, but finally adjusted it according to the eye. I suspect, however, that a catenary curve with links of the chain graded at the same proportion as the arch thins out would come very close to the lines upon which we settled.”

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THERE ARE TRAMS INSIDE Sixteen custom tram cars (eight per leg, holding five people each) take visitors to the top. They travel about three mph during the four minute ride and leave every five minutes. You actually travel 748 feet on the trams as they curve from a horizontal path underground then up the nearly vertical legs.

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OUR STORY

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SUPPORT ITS 142 STACKED SECTIONS. There are 71 sections, or “cans,” in each leg. They’re equilateral triangles with a double-wall construction: 1/4-inch stainless steel outside and 3/8-inch structural steel inside. They’re filled with reinforced concrete up to 300 feet, which lowers the center of gravity.

MADE POSSIBLE BY CUSTOM “CREEPER DERRICKS.”

THE SCIENCE

ARCHES “The arch is nothing else than a force originated by two weaknesses, for the arch in buildings is composed of two segments of a circle, each of which being very weak in itself tends to fall; but as each opposes this tendency in the other, the two weaknesses combine to form one strength.” —Leonardo da Vinci, Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci XIII: Theoretical Writings on Architecture (In fact, the Gateway Arch is the tallest arch in the world!)

THE ORIENTATION IS OFF, The Gateway Arch appears to be oriented

due north-south, but is built at an 18º angle.

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The builder leases time on McDonnell Aircraft’s supercomputer to run a “critical path” algorithm to sequence 2,000 construction tasks. It calculates that the job will take 740 days and prints out 500 pages of plans. The bill for 2 1/2 minutes of processing? $55,000.

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The finish is load-bearing—every stainless weld gets checked with an X-ray machine. 12,127 tons of concrete are poured between the skins and 25,980 tons set in the foundation.

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ARCH PROJECT MANAGEMENT WAS A BIG JOB

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THE PLANS FOR THE MEMORIAL GROUNDS

T H E N AT I O N A L PA R K S E RV I C E R A N G E R S

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$100M $800M

T H E TO U R I STS

SPENT IN THE ST. LOUIS AREA IN 2011 LOCAL, STATE, & FEDERAL TAX REVENUE

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2.5m VISITORS IN 2012

0306-0519-0608

Tremendousness brings ideas to life using information design and visual storytelling. We help organizations explore and explain complex ideas, innovations, products, and processes—covering everything from digital strategy to transformation and change to thought leadership to marketing.

THE ECONOMY

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THE WA S H I N GT O N MONUMENT

THE FOUNDERS: P I E R R E L AC L E D E

We need YOUR help!

& HIS STEPSON AU G U ST E C H O U T E AU

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4 THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL

THE OLD RIVERFRONT

Old St. Louis

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THE OLD COURT HOUSE

T H E D R E D SCOT T C A S E

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T H E G R E AT F L O O D O F 1 9 9 3

THE RIVER TRAFFIC

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It’s expensive to maintain Forest Park! Because the City of St. Louis has 100+ other parks to manage, supporters of the nonprofit conservancy Forest Park Forever are essential to keeping our civic treasure beautiful and accessible. Our members’ dollars improve everyone’s Forest Park experience by supporting a wealth of services!

Plantings

Preservation

Restoration

Maintenance

Education

Visitor Services

19.6’ OVER FLOOD STAGE

T H E U N D E R G R O U N D V I S I TO R C E N T E R

Museum

1 THE IDEA MAN: L U T H E R E LY S M I T H

Vision

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ONE MAN’S IDEA During the depression of the 1930s, St. Louis attorney and civic booster Luther Ely Smith decides to revive the dingy downtown riverfront area with a memorial. In 1914 he’d started a pageant-Masques series on Art Hill in Forest Park, which gradually developed into The Muny, America’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theatre.

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BECOMES A MEMORIAL In 1935 St. Louis voters approve a $7.5 million bond issue for the project. Twelve years later local architect Louis LaBeaume draws up guidelines for a memorial competition with the requirements that the project be “(a) an architectural memorial or memorials to [U.S. president Thomas] Jefferson; dealing (b) with preservation of the site of Old St. Louis... provision of a Museum interpreting the Westward movement; (c) a living memorial to Jefferson’s ‘vision of greater opportunities for men of all races and creeds;’.. (d) recreational facilities...”

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TO HONOR THOMAS JEFFERSON Jefferson, a Founding Father and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, also is known for initiating the Lewis & Clark Expedition, which explored the western lands bought from France in the Louisiana Purchase by navigating the Missouri River all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

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ON A RIVERFRONT LOCATION In the late 1930s, 40 city acres are leveled. Not even Dr. Joseph Lawrence’s offices at 307 Locust Street—where he invented the antiseptic Listerine—are spared. Before the depression, the riverfront was a thriving port for manufacturing, trade, and travel, but had fallen into significant decline. Smith chooses this location partly because Lewis & Clark began their journey here in 1804.

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IN THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS 170 years earlier, in 1764, St. Louis is

founded by Frenchman Pierre Laclède and stepson Auguste Chouteau. The city is named after Louis IX, the only canonized king of France, who reigned 1226–1270.

THE HISTORY

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F O U N D AT I O N PILLARS DIRT

THE HONOREE: THOMAS JEFFERSON

WHERE NATIVE AMERICANS Long before that, a mound-building Mississippian culture inhabited the region, peaking between 1000–1400 A.D. St. Louis is nicknamed “Mound City,” though all earthen mounds—save one—are destroyed as the city is developed. Fortunately, about 80 are preserved across the river at nearby Cahokia Mounds. HAD LIVED ALONG ‘THE BIG MUDDY.’ The Mississippi River cuts through or along 10 states, from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, flowing 2,320 miles. “Mississippi” is derived from a native Ojibwe word for river: Misiziibi, meaning “river spread over a large area.” Today the Arch dominates the St. Louis riverfront, standing on the 91 acres that make up the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, overlooking the “Big Muddy.”

EERO SAARINEN WINS In 1948 Eero Saarinen’s design is selected as the winner, earning him $50,000 in prize money (plus another $40,000 for his team) and beating 171 other architects, including his father, the renowned Eliel Saarinen. Born in 1910, sadly Eero dies of a brain tumor in 1961, two years before construction begins.

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WITH HIS INSPIRED ARCH DESIGN, Part of Saarinen’s inspiration for an arch shape came from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., just finished in 1947. The Arch’s shape references the Jefferson Memorial’s dome, in contrast to the Washington Monument’s line, and the Lincoln Memorial’s rectangle.

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COLLABORATING WITH MANY Saarinen collaborates with about a dozen people in order to get the design right. Key players include the German-American engineer Hannskarl Bandel (engineered the Arch’s final curve), Swedish sculptor Carl Milles (suggested a triangular section shape as opposed to the original quadrilaterals), and Norwegian-American engineer Fred Severud (studied the monument’s structural feasibility). Saarinen’s associates Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo see the project through after his death.

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TO BRING HIS NEOFUTURISTIC STYLE TO LIFE Saarinen’s “neofuturistic” style—simple, sweeping curves—is more than evident. His other famous projects include the TWA terminal at New York’s JFK, the main terminal at Dulles in Washington, D.C., the General Motors Technical Center in Michigan, and many university buildings and furniture designs, including the “Tulip,” “Grasshopper,” and “Womb” chairs.

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PARK RANGERS The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial rangers are federal employees. They provide security, assist visitors in and out of the trams, and, of course, answer many questions about the Arch and the city.

AND HISTORY MARCH ON. In 1847, former slave Dred Scott appears at the Old Courthouse to fight for his freedom. The case ultimately goes before the U.S. Supreme Court which rules that persons of African descent are not citizens under the U.S. Constitution and hence, have no right to file suit. More than 160 years later race relations are still headline news, and a disconnected Arch appears on the cover of The New Yorker.

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PATROL THE GROUNDS The landscaping is designed to complement the Arch, not to compete or contrast with it. Saarinen’s and landscape architect Dan Kiley’s setting has curvilinear concrete staircases at both ends and symmetrical ponds and walkways that reflect the Gateway Arch’s huge, graceful curves—all of which combine to become the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, officially located at 11 North Fourth Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102 USA.

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(AND THE UNDERGROUND) There are theaters, shops, and a museum underneath the Arch. The original visitor center opens June 10, 1967, but isn’t finished until 1976 due to insufficient funds. Exhibits feature a history of the riverfront, America’s westward expansion, and the construction. Tucker Theater shows Charles Guggenhiem’s 1967 Academy Award nominated Arch documentary, “Monument to the Dream.” WHILE RIVER TRAFFIC, The Port of Metropolitan St. Louis stretches 70 miles from Alton, Illinois down to Jefferson County, Missouri, and about a third of the 100 million tons of commodities that float by St. Louis are on- or off-loaded here—$10 billion worth. Barges are efficient: using one gallon of fuel, a ton of cargo can be moved 60 miles by truck and 200 miles by rail... but more than 500 miles by river barge.

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PERIODIC FLOODING, On August 1, 1993 the Mississippi crests at 49.58 feet—19.6 feet over flood stage. Water is halfway up the Gateway Arch’s riverfront staircase. The peak discharge of the “Great Flood of ‘93” measures 485 million gallons per minute—a flow that would fill the old Busch Stadium in just 65 seconds. The flood causes about 50 deaths and $15 billion in damages.

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WORSHIP, The Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (aka the Old Cathedral,

finished in 1834), is the oldest cathedral west of the Mississippi River and one of just a handful of buildings to escape demolition as the grounds are developed around it. It may very well be the only land in St. Louis that’s been used for the same purpose since the city’s founding—records suggest an itinerant priest set up a tent on that location in 1764.

Did you know?

VISITORS TO THE ARCH 2,496,726 people visit the Arch in 2012, the last year we could find exact numbers. 4.6 million people visit in 1966, but this number drops to 1.4 million just four years later. Attendance averages 3.3 million from the mid-90s to the mid-2000s, but has been averaging just over two million since then. BOOST ST. LOUIS TOURISM A 2011 National Park Service report shows that the two million plus visitors to St. Louis’ national park units that year spent $100 million in the area. Overall, tourism in the St. Louis area generates about $800 million dollars in local, state, and federal taxes every year.

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AND A RENOVATION CONNECTS IT TO DOWNTOWN—

The 2013–15 CityArchRiver project finally enables visitors to walk from downtown to the Arch on a continuous greenway, with no curbs or cars in their way. It expands the museum and includes new trails, play areas, and performance venues.

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At 1,300 acres, Forest Park is 500 acres larger than Central Park...

...and welcomes 13 million people per year — more than the Arch and all our sports teams combined.

In addition, Forest Park itself receives no tax dollars from the Zoo Museum District (ZMD).

THAT IS, UNTIL THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE HAPPENS.

If the Arch were unmaintained, some experts think its 300-foot-tall concrete pillar portions might stand for 5,000 years. The rest likely will be destroyed by tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, neglect, government shutdowns, vandals, terrorists, zombies, and/or aliens. Until then, St. Louisans wake up every day to a Midwestern skyline dominated by the incredible, the fantastic, the majestic, the tremendous Gateway Arch—a “monument to a dream.”

T H E I M PAC T

Forest Park Forever and the City of St. Louis partner to keep Forest Park beautiful and thriving.

Join us today!

forestparkforever.org/membership

So our members and donors cover half of Forest Park’s annual operating budget!


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and icons, and by doing live sketching, graphic recording, ideation sessions, visual storytelling workshops, and more. The common theme: visual storytelling. Clients often come to us with a specific need—an infographic or video, for example. But most are trying to engage a variety of audiences and can greatly benefit from telling the same story—or parts of it—across multiple mediums, channels, formats, and devices. We’re expert at repurposing artwork and narrative across various mediums, so you can connect to your audiences across multiple screens and social channels.

SHEDDING LIGHT ON SMART CITY PRIVACY Automated License Plate Reader

City street lights are so ubiquitous they often go unnoticed. Today, street lights do more than just illuminate urban spaces. Fitted with multiple sensors and beacons, street light infrastructure becomes a hub for capabilities ranging from environmental to public safety to transportation and more.

Light Sensor

Pedestrian Traffic Sensor

MIT has instituted a collaborative, shared, automated budget planning process... BUDGET IS PRESENTED TO DEAN

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DEPT/ UNIT/LAB DRAFTS BUDGET, REVIEWS, EDITS

BUDGET IS SUBMITTED TO PROVOST WHO REVIEWS

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DEAN FUNDS OTHER WISH LIST ITEMS

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BUDGET IS FINALIZED

DEPT. A

DEPT. b

LAB X

S

TELECOM

Drone cameras monitor traffic

GOVERNMENT SERVICES ENVIRONMENTAL

Citizens and visitors enjoy improved quality of life, including safer, more efficient services, seamless interfaces, and responsive institutions. Individuals’ data fuels new services and infrastructure.

Power meters proactively manage usage

ING

Real-time data enables first response

Riders plan ahead with transportation apps

AY

DW

OA

BR

Private Public Partnership provides free Wifi for all Detectors pinpoint gunshot locations

Public bike shares managed by RFID tags Urban cards for universal access to city services

Cloud servers hold and process data

PPPs improve the quality, reliability, speed, diversity, and sustainability of city service and solutions. Technologies and Power grid enable individuals, data flows self-regulates demand governments, and businesses to collaborate in real time.

B

Rail network transmits data on usage and breakdowns

dio

au

CCTV security cameras deter crime

Municipality leverages social feeds for awareness and response

P

Beacons support navigation for the blind

Smart cars communicate with city and other cars

DATA PRIVACY

Power grid self-regulates flow based on demand

DATA PRIVACY

CONCERNS

TOOLS SURVEILLANCE

“Post-award process for grants is broken”

PARK

Public broadband connects services

Local governments become more transparent, inclusive, responsive, efficient, and innovative. Data from connected sensors fuels a plethora of infrastructure, services, and activities.

LAN

WIFI

Water meters monitor usage and quality

Police apps improve emergency response

GOVERNMENT

“Shadow systems”

Landfills monitor emissions levels

Sensors direct cars to open parking spaces

Traffic controls react automatically to pedestrians

INDIVIDUAL

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DFIL

Trash cans alert for pick-up when full

STAKEHOLDERS

“We need it to be a two-way street”

“No view of history—when people move on emails and PDFs don’t stay with the department”

PA S

Automated tolling tracks traffic patterns and congestion

N ISIO

IV RD

TE

WA Body cams improve transparency and accountability

Companies and civic organizations explore new business opportunities, improve products and services, and promote research and innovation based on access to new, real-time, reliable urban data flows.

DATA SPILLS

UNEXPECTED USES

OPEN DATA VS. PRIVACY

DISCRIMINATION

DATA QUALITY

PRIVACY PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

NOTICE and CHOICE

LOCAL STORAGE

DATA MINIMIZATION

VENDOR MANAGEMENT

DE-IDENTIFICATION

“Is it a budget change or JV?” “Forecasting is a huge effort”

And now Fiscal Officers have timely and appropriate access to the right data 5

Buses adjust route based on demand

UTILITIES

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

“Lining up faculty payroll and FTEs is a major pain point”

Budgeting and forecasting at MIT is complex, lengthy, and time-consuming. It is often further complicated by events, such as new hires, unexpected departures, chairs, leaves and sabbaticals. With limited access to needed information, Fiscal Officers (F.O.s) cannot be as effective or efficient as possible in supporting their P.I.s and the work of their DLC. In the future, F.O.s will be able to focus more on being trusted advisors, and less on data entry and searching for the right information. Here’s what that could look like...

Water networks minimize and remediate leakage

TRANSPORTATION

CURRENT STATE

“Unequal awareness of disruptors”

Z-

Water analytics improve water quality

URBAN SECTORS

“Too many of our processes are manual”

“Nimbus is flat— it’s like seeing one page of a book”

Air quailty sensors warn of high pollution levels

Environmental Sensor

Gunshot Detector

ENABLING THE FISCAL OFFICER TO BE A TRUSTED ADVISOR AND PARTNER

“Key systems don’t talk to each other”

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Trucks adjust route in real-time based on need

CCTV

BUSINESSES

A VISION FOR BUDGETING AND FORECASTING

FPF.ORG

Location Beacon

NOT JUST A STREET LIGHT

This process is highly collaborative and iterative. Working together, we leverage our clients’ knowledge and expertise to co-create communications that drive understanding and alignment, and help to bring about change for Fortune 500s, startups, academia, media, and other organizations (a partial customer list includes Adobe, Amgen, AARP, Bain & Company, Cigna, Cisco, Deloitte, Gartner, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Lowe’s, MIT, Purina, Salesforce, TED, UCSF, Washington University, and many more).

Produced by

Cities generate data through a vast and growing network of connected technologies that power new and innovative services ranging from finding a parking spot to improving water quality. Smart cities can raise privacy concerns tied to the collection and use of individuals’ data. Sophisticated data privacy programs can mitigate these concerns while preserving the benefits of cities that are faster, safer, more efficient, and sustainable.

LAB Y

F.O.s now can answer everyone’s questions more quickly and accurately

Over 90% of our clients are repeat customers—and we’d love for you to be one of them.

Tools

We’re better able to be trusted advisors and business partners!

Permissions SELF-SERVICE HISTORY Integrity & ACCURACY Training

Tremendousness helps make complex ideas understandable and engaging. We can get the Dean’s feedback earlier!

No more paper! Less room for error!

We can calculate multi-year scenarios!

I don’t have to enter it into multiple systems!

I can see both sides of the transaction and track commitments!

...and a vibrant, supportive community has been established around the standardized F.O. role

That’s our story. We’d love to have the opportunity to help tell yours.

FISCAL OFFICER

A TRUSTED GUIDE

When do I run out of money?

AdVICE, Q&A Consultations online chats

How many grad students can I hire?

Tremendousness hello@tremendo.us +1-314-282-0676 tremendo.us

When will be my grant money be released?

CALL TO ACTION

training & onboarding

It’s great to share best practices!

These tools are actually built for us!

We are trusted with the Institute’s sensitive data!

It’s much easier to train and onboard new F.O.s!

· Design an open and automated process · Provide F.O.s access to better data · Formalize the F.O. role; create community

MIT Administrative Experience F.O. Study sponsored by the Administrative Systems Steering Committee (ASSC) and conducted during the summer and fall of 2016.

v1.0 | ©2016 MIT | Prepared by Gartner & Tremendousness

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Cabanne Howard, CEO

ELEVATOR PITCH Today’s technology-driven communications landscape is complex; how do you effectively cut through the noise and convey a clear and concise vision for your company? Kaleidoscope Management Group can help. The team at KMG helps cultivate high-performing and happy companies as their go-to marketing and communications partners.

OUR STORY Cabanne Howard did not want to create just another marketing firm. She had seen a myriad of marketing firms over the course of a career that has taken her to Paris, New York, and Los Angeles before returning to her hometown of St. Louis. And all these firms seemed to operate with a similar formula—using cookie-cutter methods to crank out stock results for clients.

BRINGING THE COMPLEX INTO FOCUS

Howard set out to do things differently. She had a vision to create a business-to-business strategic marketing firm that would focus on building long-lasting relationships. One that would take the time to understand each client’s unique needs and challenges in order to help them fly further, faster, and higher. In other words, she wanted to help her clients bring the complex into focus.

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The result was the launch of Kaleidoscope Management Group in 2015. Howard wanted KMG to be the firm she wished existed while on the client side, where she’d held roles such as senior manager of global advocacy communications for Peabody, the St. Louis–based $5 billion energy company, and as director of sales and marketing for S. King Collection, a consumer luxury goods company.

L O U I S

While growing the firm, the KMG team also has grown its influence in the community. Howard has always been passionate about giving back and likes to find unique ways to work with her clients to support the community. To this end, KMG led strategic marketing efforts for Women Who Whisky, a philanthropy initiative designed by Major Brands, a key KMG client. In this act of creative philanthropy, Sue McCollum, Chair and CEO of Major Brands, brought together seven female leaders to create a unique blend of Private Select Maker’s Mark bourbon, bottles of which were then sold to benefit four local nonprofits. The Women Who Whisky effort initiative raised $250,000+ to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Forest Park Forever, and the Saint Louis Fashion Fund.

Howard brought Peabody with her as her founding clients when she launched KMG and has since added clients in industries ranging from healthcare to real estate to technology. She has been focused on thoughtful growth rather than fast growth, expanding KMG’s staff and its client base in a mindful manner. The firm’s clients now include three of St. Louis’ top 10 largest public companies, as well as large private firms, national clients, and cutting-edge startups. Howard says she has grown the firm with lots of hard work and a little bit of being in the right place at the right time. The KMG team works hard every day to exceed clients’ expectations, and to help them make the decisions that matter and considers themselves complex problem-solvers at heart. And along the way, the firm has been noticed by other highperforming companies who have decided to team up with KMG and also become clients.

Kaleidoscope Management Group CIC @ CET | 20 South Sarah Street St. Louis, MO 63108 info@kaleidoscopemg.com KaleidoscopeManagementGroup KaleidoscopeManagement Kaleidoscope_MG Kaleidoscopemg.com

Cabanne Howard and the KMG team look forward to expanding their St. Louis footprint and growing strategic relationships with members of the Innovate® St. Louis community.

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ELEVATOR PITCH Elasticity is a St. Louis digital marketing agency focused on innovative tech startups. Unlike most agencies, they operate in part like a think tank by creating ideas for clients and companies independently, which may then be sold or licensed out.

clients. This is the think tank model. They come up with the idea, develop it, pay for it, and then license it out to companies. This way of working developed organically, says Cross, from all the surplus creativity bouncing around the organization. “If you think of what an agency is, there are a lot of creative ideas floating around,” says Cross. “We wanted to utilize that.”

DO YOU KNOW Elasticity is also proud of their multicultural D&I (diversity and inclusion) group, which has gone deep into ways that embracing multiculturalism can transform marketing from the bottom up. “If you want to reach the Hispanic market, don’t just translate your campaign into Spanish—actually use culturally relevant information to reach that particular audience,” says Cross. This extends to all kinds of communities and identities, from urban to Latinx to LGBTQIA+. “These are heavy tech digital users, and they’re very innovative in their purchase behavior.”

For example, says Cross, they worked with an e-sports company recently. “We created a whole new company with a whole new product, spun that up into a whole new entity, and a year later it got bought up in a deal with a larger company,” says Cross. “We do a little more than the typical agency with writers and graphic designers executing contracts at an hourly rate.” Elasticity is proud of how they’ve stayed ahead of the curve. “Ten years ago social media was already big, but now you don’t have to just know social media, you have to understand that those platforms don’t let you reach your organic audiences the way they once did.” This means that “media buying” has transitioned—or expanded—from the traditional TV and radio to Google, Amazon, Snapchat, Facebook Marketplace.

OUR STORY Elasticity is focused on tech startups, but in an expanded sense the term. “It could be what we traditionally think of as a tech startup, but it could also be a large company who wants to start up a new department or program,” says Brian Cross, a founding partner of Elasticity. “We work with that second group pretty heavily.”

Elasticity employs a data analytics team for this work, and that team uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics to optimize ROAS (return on advertising spent). “I’m proud of that evolution,” says Cross. “Coming from a creative agency, this is real innovation.”

For its clients, Elasticity does everything from digital paid media buys to influencer outreach to social media to content marketings, and, like any creative agency, they have writers, animators, video creators, and graphic designers on staff. What sets them apart is their knowledge of the digital space. Their specialization in digital media—raising awareness, getting traction, and expanding user acquisition—allows them to faster take their clients, as Cross says, from zero to sixty.

St. Louis itself has shaped the arc of Elasticity’s trajectory, too. “You can have an impact here that you couldn’t have in a bigger city,” says Cross. “We created a nonprofit called Rally St. Louis that uses crowdsourcing to come up with civic projects that bring pride to St. Louis, and uses crowdfunding to raise the money.” Partnering with private businesses, they installed a magic house at the airport, created a “food roof” downtown, and installed a basketball court in a low-income neighborhood.

Elasticity also doesn’t just wait around for clients to hire them. They’re always proactively brainstorming ideas that could be used for potential

St. Louis is now considered one of the three best cities for accelerators and one of the best places to start a company, and Elasticity has played a major

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role in this. “A rising tides lifts all boats,” says Cross, explaining why they’ve been pushing St. Louis for the last ten years—and innovative startups in particular for the last five. “We’ve planted the seeds, we have the infrastructure, we have the awareness, and in the last year or two we’ve really started to see the fruits of all this labor. Now what happens?” says Cross. “I’m excited to see.” To get in touch with Elasticity, visit goelastic.com.

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Elasticity 1008 Locust Avenue, Suite 300 St. Louis, MO 63101 +1-314-561-8253 hello@goelastic.com Elasticity goelastic.com


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ELEVATOR PITCH Influence & Co. is a content marketing agency that specializes in creating engaging content that fuels companies’ content marketing efforts and positions their key employees as influencers within their industry.

OUR STORY Influence & Co. exists to embrace the power of storytelling in marketing and sales. For its clients, this dedication to storytelling is what sets the agency apart from others and enables it to show off the faces behind brands. As content creators, the people of Influence & Co. have devoted their time to finding effective, engaging, and unique ways of telling their clients’ stories since the beginning. About eight years ago, the world of content marketing looked a lot different. It was very new, and most people didn’t fully understand what it was. They heard people talking about it, primarily in conjunction with the term “thought leadership,” but they had no idea how to create content and use it to their advantage. It was then that Kelsey Raymond, CEO and co-founder of Influence & Co., along with John Hall, co-founder and board member at Influence & Co., and Brent Beshore, co-founder and owner of Adventures, saw a tremendous opportunity to fill a gap in the market. If they could leverage relationships with online publications that need content and help others get content created and published, they could make big moves within this budding industry.

Alyssa Patzius, VP of Client Experience, and Brittni Kinney Ratliff, VP, celebrating Influence & Co.’s placement on the Inc. 500 List of Fastest Growing Companies.

So in 2011, Kelsey, John, and Brent co-founded Influence & Co. The company they created quickly became the leading provider of bylined, guestcontributed content to major online publications, helping its clients solidify placements in Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Harvard Business Review, Adweek, and more. As the content marketing industry evolved, Influence & Co. and its people had to evolve, too. They invested in developing their own project management and analytics software to enhance their clients’ experience with the team. They examined the industry and expanded their offerings based on what they knew their clients and future clients would need. They added services like blog content, whitepapers, infographics, keyword research and technical SEO audits, public relations, social media, graphic design, and email marketing to their roster. Influence & Co. was no longer solely a guest-contributed content provider; it had evolved into a fully integrated content marketing agency.

Fortune article, “Smartphones Need Cobalt—but It’s Mined by Children. What Should Manufacturers Do?” Today, Influence & Co. continues to create content rooted in thought leadership. Its content creators approach each piece with engagement, quality, and message in mind, resulting in content that is goal-focused and communicates the thought leadership of their clients. An example of this is a recent article in Fortune, “Smartphones Need Cobalt—but It’s Mined by Children. What Should Manufacturers Do?” This article discussed sustainable innovation and the pressing moral dilemma around the creation of smartphones. At Influence & Co., the desire to go beyond just creating content to delivering powerful news, starting conversations, and inspiring action is the reason its people do what they do.

As Influence & Co.’s services grew, so did its team, placing the agency on the Inc. 500/0 List of Fastest-Growing Companies four years in a row (2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019). It was also named one of Inc.’s Best Workplaces in 2017 and was a Content Marketing Agency of the Year Finalist in 2015, 2017, and 2018. 227


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Influence & Co. co-founder and CEO Kelsey Raymond speaking at HubSpot’s annual marketing conference, INBOUND.

Kelsey Raymond, co-founder & CEO, Influence & Co.

Influence & Co.’s proprietary software, ICo Core.

The Influence & Co. team at their annual company retreat.

Influence & Co. info@influenceandco.com

In October 2018, Kelsey bought the controlling interest in the agency from its previous holding company, making Influence & Co. a womanowned business. It’s under her strong leadership that the company grew to serving over 200 clients, including big brand names like Facebook, Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft.

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“Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.” —Barbara Januszkiewicz


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St. Louis Sports Commission: Musial Awards


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TELLING THE STORIES OF LOCAL ’PRENEURS

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Another fresh way EQ combines its passion for people and ideas thoughtfully presented is through EQ Leadership Labs. A conference first held in the spring of 2019, the event drew over 400 attendees who gathered to hear world-class speakers and local heroes of innovation. While the event signaled that EQ is ready to expand beyond St. Louis, its tagline, revealed at the conference and based on an STL acronym, roots EQSTL firmly in St. Louis: “Stand Together and Lead.”

EQ is an in-print, online, and in-person media brand dedicated to telling the stories of local entrepreneurs and innovators who are committed to making a difference to the cities they live in.

OUR STORY

In the spirit of sending down roots in order to grow, EQ recently acquired the assets for Accelerate St. Louis from the St. Louis Regional Chamber and has been hard at work developing new membership products for its readers, such as online training courses and a regular events program. The team also has plans to return to its roots in another way: bringing back the print publication.

EQ’s approach to supporting St. Louis businesses extends beyond the magazine it began as (and may become again). Whatever the medium, EQ proves that there’s more to quality content than something that is attentiongrabbing and easily digestible. “We have to find new ways to communicate information and get people to engage in deep learning—in paying attention and processing ideas and thinking them through,” says Jonathan Allen, who acquired EQ in 2019.

“As part of our overall mission of empowering local storytelling, print becomes a historical record,” Jonathan says. “By turning these stories into an artifact, that artifact becomes the most authoritative.”

Today, EQ wants to apply this level of consideration to its stories, and its stories are about St. Louis and its people—specifically its ’preneurs. That’s a term EQ has coined to describe a broader view of entrepreneurship that reflects all the ways people are working within that frame. In addition to traditional understandings of entrepreneurship, a ’preneur is someone who follows their passion without necessarily being beholden to exit strategies or garnering hefty investments—the valuative approaches that too often define a venture.

In a previous professional life, Jonathan helped print companies transition to the digital sphere. Looking towards the future he’s excited to bring Entrepreneur Quarterly from its current online-only presence back into— well, print. “I was a big evangelist for online, but having done that for so long, my observation is that information just doesn’t stick anymore,” Jonathan says. He believes a print publication has two functions.

“Our view is that almost everyone is engaged in some kind of entrepreneurial activity these days, whether they have a full time ‘day job’ or not. From driving Uber or managing a property on Airbnb, to pursuing a side hustle to fund a vacation or volunteering with an organization to practice new skills, all of these are meaningful entrepreneurial activities that express a commitment to making a difference to the place you live,” Jonathan says.

“One: it doesn’t matter how much is going online; at the end of the day, when you’ve got something in your hand that you can hold, that is worth more. It’s worth all the digital marketing you could pay for on Facebook and Google.”

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Jonathan Allen (EQ) teamed up with Dixie Gillaspie (Return To Your Power), Erik Lutenegger (Innovate Giving), Nick Robison (SalesMentour), and Clockwork Productions to produce a 4-track interdisciplinary conference covering the topics of Marketing & Influence, Sales & Growth, Intention & Leadership, Culture & Change at EQ Leadership Labs in April 2019. Photos by Tyler Smalls.

The second function, he says, is to create an artifact that people can congregate around. “When I acquired EQ, I was amazed at how many people knew the brand and felt connected to it but had actually never read it; all they’d done was just seen it around and maybe picked it up and flipped through it. Artifacts, at the end of the day, are really powerful.” Through all of its enterprises, EQ’s focus on local businesses from a humaninterest point of view reflects its community-centric philosophy. Rather than focus solely on news, EQ wants to tell good stories—which is to say strong ones. “We’re not really just choosing success stories. The main thing is: What can everyone learn from the story of what this person did? Whether it failed or succeeded. And what’s the commonality that we can find? One that maybe inspires someone else to say, You know what, I’m gonna take that risk in my life.” EQSTL jonathan@eqstl.com EQSTL eqstl

In the long run, EQ’s mission is covering the people who are making a difference in the place they live and empowering others to do the same—for their own inner ’preneur, and for their community. 232

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ELEVATOR PITCH bbc is a brand strategy consultancy that harnesses dynamic human connections and the conscious desire for change to create forward momentum for brands, cities, and people.

OUR STORY The STLMade Movement St. Louis is in the midst of a nascent renaissance that’s being fueled by the creativity and sheer tenacity of thinkers, doers, makers, and innovators who are coming together in bold ways to move our city forward and create a place that’s more open to all. A revitalized urban core, nationally ranked startup community, leadership in global tech sectors, a thriving arts culture, and a food and beverage scene that pushes the edges of convention are just some of the proof points that St. Louis refuses to stand still. Until recently, this renaissance has gone unclaimed by its creators and unseen by those who don’t engage with the city. We have learned through our research and deep listening that the reasons are many and varied; negative headlines and lackluster data points tend to overshadow stories of progress. A collective psychology of disappointment dampens our feelings of hope and pride. Awareness of our issues hinders us from celebrating our accomplishments. Fragmentation and siloed mindsets deter us from connecting to find strength in a common narrative and identity. The STLMade movement was sparked by a growing community that sees the transformation, refuses to reminisce about the past, and is breaking the chains of outdated modes of thinking. The STLMade movement is coming together to be a catalyst for change and forward momentum. We know that St. Louis has an exciting and authentic story to share with the world—this is a place where you can start a business or a career, get the support you need to stand out, and enjoy a vibrant life that lets you stay right here to do it. By leaning into our strengths, shining a light on the people and ideas that are moving our region forward, and giving our residents a common language to express what makes this place unique, we are inviting the world to experience what it means to be STLMade.

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Small Business Monthly

The Source for Business Owners

ELEVATOR PITCH

OUR STORY

SBM St. Louis provides the advice, encouragement, and inspiration to help local companies grow. SBM has become The Source for growing companies in St. Louis. Through its advice, success stories, and events, SBM is helping build the next generation of business greats.

Founded in 1988, SBM brings business tips, strategies, and analysis to the presidents, CEOs, owners, and top executives of local companies. Through its monthly magazine, St. Louis Small Business Monthly, and its online version, www.sbmon.com, SBM provides small-business owners with best practices and guidance to help them build better companies.

Sooner or later, just about everyone who works for someone else is tempted to dump the corporate rat race and make a go for it alone.

“Over the years we’ve helped guide business owners with everything from knowing their numbers to hiring strategies,” said Ron Ameln, Owner and President of SBM. “We’ve become a must for businesses when it comes to learning the best practices of running a small business.”

Why not? As a nation raised on the notion of pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps, we worship the idea of the self-made man or woman. In St. Louis, startup stars like World Wide Technology’s David Steward and Build-A-Bear’s Maxine Clark are more than just role models—they’re 21st century heroes.

Business advice isn’t the only reason small-business owners look to SBM. They are also looking for inspiration. “SBM profiles some of the area’s top entrepreneurs, and we focus on their challenges and struggles,” Ameln said. “These stories inspire other business owners. They know that running a

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Small Business Monthly 2451 Executive Drive, Suite 109 St. Charles, MO 63303 +1-314-569-0076 stlouissmallbiz RonSBM SBMon.com

business isn’t easy. They know others are also taking on the challenge and they are not alone.” SBM not only provides guidance for growing companies, it also provides exposure for these firms. SBM hosts two business-tobusiness trade shows, the St. Louis Business Expo & Business Growth Conference, each year. The St. Louis Business Expo & Business Growth Conference brings together the brightest business leaders from the most dynamic companies throughout the St. Louis Metro region for a full day of education, networking, and learning. “Over the years, we’ve become ‘The Source’ for growing companies in the St. Louis region,” said Ron Ameln, Owner and President of SBM. “When business owners think about how they can grow in the future, they think of us. When they need more business, they think of us. We take great pride in knowing that we’ve helped build some of the top businesses in the area.” 236


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Experience-based marketing defies traditional mediums of throwing marketing efforts to the wind; it pinpoints your exact target market, gives them an experience, brings them into your fold, and hooks them for life. We found this to be true with our own company: if you can get in front of your customer, give them a unique experience—you get loyalty. Xplor was created because of the model that events work. Events bring people together. Events provide a platform for your message that you can express human to human, in an authentic way. Events and experiences bring a human element to marketing, in a time where connection is appreciated.

ELEVATOR PITCH Xplor is an integrated boutique marketing company focused on experiences and events that conceptualizes and brings to life experiences that impact bottom lines and result in real relationships. We are creative gurus, storytellers, innovation pioneers, and savvy connectors. We create brand stories communicated via experiences that will connect and provide unforgettable moments in time to businesses and organizations looking to directly connect with their target demographic and customer.

Xplor began after our previous company, kidzxplor, partnered with families, women, small business owners, and kids to be able to provide an experience or events. We found that through traditional forms of marketing and advertising, we weren’t moving the needle. We didn’t have the connection. Provide them a platform or an event or experience—that worked. We believed in it so much, that in September of 2018, we completely pivoted the company to focus solely on creating, curating, and connecting brands to people via social connection.

OUR STORY Being in branding and marketing for over 20 years, CEO and co-founder Angela Sandler has seen all forms of marketing come, go, stick around, evolve, work, not work, cause frustration, be innovative, be timeless, bring ROI, bankrupt budgets, and cause frustration and elation and overall confusion. ROI on marketing is a tough and difficult thing to analyze. Yes, there are all kinds of tools and programs—but all in all, marketing, in most aspects, is completely a crapshoot. Throw in changing technology, limited time, limited budgets—it’s a wonder how any small business owner can keep up. How can you continue to throw marketing into the world—and watch it continue to be a mismatched jigsaw puzzle that only causes frustration, disappointment, and loss of faith in the system?

Part experiential-marketing company, part event innovators, part consensus builders, and part connectors, Xplor conceptualizes and brings to life experiences that impact bottom lines and result in real relationships. We are creative gurus, storytellers, innovation pioneers, and savvy connectors. We create brand stories communicated via experiences that will connect and provide unforgettable moments in time. We love to stay in the know and believe in the power of connection and collaboration. We weave influencer marketing within the clients and brands we work with to make sure that brands are represented on all levels.

One thing that always seemed missing was the human connection. How can brands effectively build relationships with their customers and get in front of them, face-to-face? How can you woo a customer and build brand affinity? How do you even get to your customer in today’s busy world?

We craft and curate those authentic, exclusive experiences and opportunities that humanize brands and enhance relationships because we are passionate about people and we believe that brands are just like people. Organizations are living, breathing, moving entities that deserve a human touch. From concept to implementation, we are there every step of the way, so that the client can engage smarter and move the needle with purpose.

Chances are if you can provide a customer a good experience, speak to them, interact with them, and listen to them—well, then you have a customer for life. 237


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We do this via strategy, access, and production. We think strategy is sexy and believe companies should, too. After extensive research and diving deep into business goals and brand mission, we conceptualize and create a plan that will drive visions forward. We build strategic partnerships that tap into the pool of audiences that matter to businesses. A matchmaker of sorts, we connect companies to our growing member list of influential individuals and families. We make brands truly appealing to target demographics by producing unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experiences. We work with companies, organizations, festivals, charities, and foundations who want to engage employees and their families, foster collaboration and develop teams, launch new products or services, create connection with new demographics, celebrate milestones, enhance fundraising efforts, and drive attendance. Integrated marketing has reached a new norm where consumers are expecting more from brands; they want to reach out and touch them, feel heard, feel connected, and have fun. By harnessing creative elements, working strategically, and providing unique experiences, we believe that experiential marketing is the future of marketing as a whole. Watch what we can accomplish—together.

Angela Sandler, co-founder & CEO

Xplor 677 Craig Road | St. Louis, MO 63141 info@xplorcity.com | +1-314-458-7816 xplorinspiringexperiences xplor.city kidzxplor xplorcity.com 238


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JAMES THOMAS PRODUCTIONS ELEVATOR PITCH “Firstlook At The Movies” – featuring movie trailers, interviews, and reviews of the latest theatrical releases from major and independent studios.

James Thomas Productions started in 1990 as a privately owned company. Today, it is a multifaceted production company bringing quality programming to St. Louis through its Television Production Division, the St. Louis Black Film Festival, and the Classic Black Film Festival.

Company Locations and Facilities All equipment and office management space is inside TREX, located at 911 Washington Avenue in Downtown St. Louis.

OUR STORY

The St. Louis Black Film Festival

The Television Production Division at James Thomas Productions is centered around producing television programming. Our programs include

The St. Louis Black Film Festivals’ focus is on Africa- American Films, past and present. Its mission is to promote, educate, and display new and current film projects of African-American descent or interest and films produced, directed, or acted by a majority of African Americans. Sponsored seminars are held to educate in the field of production, directing, acting, financing, and film distribution. All funding comes in the form of sponsors, advertisers, and donations.

“Morning Blend” – a magazine-style news show with three segments “The Blend” – satellite interviews on many subjects with national spokespersons “Business Café” – business information and interviews with small business owners, investors, venture capitalists and bankers

The mission of the Classic Black Film Festival is a celebration of those films that were the pathways and opened the doors to many of today’s AfricanAmerican films.

“Talking Points” – community affairs, news, information, and discussion.

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These two projects are annual events. Down the road, we hope to establish a Black Hollywood Hall of Fame, and eventually a museum. James Thomas, founder & CEO 240


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FILAMENT MAKING MEETINGS MATTER

ELEVATOR PITCH Filament designs, facilitates, and hosts amazing meetings that help smart people think together better and solve problems in person. Filament’s meetings, retreats, conferences, and off-sites are collaborative, engaging, productive, and totally PowerPoint-free, and—if you’re meeting in St. Louis— happen in a creative 15,000 square foot innovation space right downtown.

OUR STORY Twenty years ago, Matt Homann tired of terrible meetings. Like many of us, he’d suffered “death by PowerPoint” thousands of times, and—probably because he suffers from a self-diagnosed case of “Idea Surplus Disorder”— believed there had to be a better way. He wondered why traditionally designed meetings were so bad at doing the things they were convened to accomplish: engage attendees, foster collaboration, promote problem-solving, and deliver measurable outcomes and meaningful results. Building upon lessons learned as a lawyer, mediator, keynote speaker, nonprofit leader, design thinker, startup founder, and innovation facilitator, Homann leased an unfinished space in a huge building on the edge of Downtown St. Louis and decided to create something brand new: a better meeting machine. Because Filament mission is to Make Every Meeting Matter, every Filament engagement includes creative meeting design, expert facilitation, real-time visual illustration, and meaningful post-meeting artifacts that capture the work that was done and what’s left to do. Since their opening in 2016, Filament has delivered hundreds of collaborative, problem-solving meetings for thousands of their customers’ smartest people, helping them: • • • • •

Develop New Strategies & Plan for the Future Imagine New Products Redesign Old Processes Build & Improve Team Culture Create the Case for Change

In addition, Filament has helped dozens of nonprofits work better, innovate faster, and build creative teams of focused employees and engaged board members.

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If you’re looking to rethink your meetings, here are three lessons from Filament: 1. Leverage the Power of Face-to-Face: If you’re meeting in person, don’t add to the agenda things you could have done virtually. Make your meeting about insight discovery, not information delivery—and remember, people prefer thinking together to (just) drinking together. 2.

Space Matters: Nobody has ever had a breakthrough idea in a dimlylit hotel ballroom. A friendly, creative, and engaging space makes attendees feel better, which usually means they’ll think better, too.

3. Finally, Pay Attention to the Elephants, Squirrels, Zombies, and Porcupines: Make room for people to discuss the things hiding in plain sight (elephants), the distractions that keep groups from focusing on doing their best work (squirrels), the issues that never seem to die (zombies), and the prickly, personal challenges we’re usually afraid to discuss (porcupines). Ignoring hard conversations doesn’t make them go away—it just makes them worse.

Filament LLC 1518 Washington Avenue, Suite 100 St. Louis, MO 63103 Info@TheFilament.com MeetAtFilament TheFilament.com 242

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“Work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you, they’ll invest in you.” —Marissa Mayer


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Established in 1993, EO St. Louis has experienced steady growth, and its numbers are impressive. The chapter typically maintains a membership base close to 150 members who collectively employ over 5,000 employees. Median sales for EO members worldwide are above $5 million. What the statistics don’t quite capture is what EO St. Louis has meant to its members.

The St. Louis Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018. Among EO’s oldest and largest chapters, EO St. Louis gives its members the structure and support to learn, grow, and develop meaningful connections in and outside of their businesses.

“The colonel always eats alone, but having a group of entrepreneurs that share in your struggles allays that loneliness,” says Michael Brennan, EO St. Louis’s President and a member since 2010. “Having others you can truly connect with is such an incredible gift, and I am a better, more alive, more awake individual because of my EO connections.”

OUR STORY At a recent meeting for prospective members, Membership Chair Scott Levine presented EO’s core values: Boldly Go!; Thirst for Learning; Make a Mark; Trust and Respect; and Cool. Before he explained each, he paused, suddenly struck by the contrast of his sales instincts with the “anti-pitch” he was about to give those gathered in the room. “I thought of EO’s core values and I thought of the people who have been in EO St. Louis for over decades and how they really do live out these values. That day, in that meeting, it was simplest to say, ‘If you can’t relate to these values, or you don’t aspire to them, then this is not the organization for you.’”

Mark Lincoln is a chapter founder for EO St. Louis and a former global board member. “EO’s mission statement—to engage leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow—is exactly what I get out of EO,” he says. “Here in St. Louis, I’ve met many outstanding people who are doing all kinds of things, but because EO is a global organization, I’ve also gotten to meet entrepreneurs abroad. In both cases, the difference between and variety among their perspectives have helped me to see new opportunities but most importantly, they’ve helped me to grow personally.”

But who wouldn’t want to be the sort of leader—and person—that EO’s core values describe, especially when EO St. Louis is one of the most robust of Entrepreneur Organizations’ in the world with nearly 200 constituent chapters?

From its fascinating learning events to its retreats to its MyEO Groups and beyond, EO’s programming is extensive, but most loved among members worldwide are its Forums. For EO St. Louis, each comprises seven-to-nine noncompeting business owners who meet monthly to share what’s going

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EOers at an EO learning event in India

Additionally, through its Accelerator program, EO St. Louis enables firststage entrepreneurs to catapult their own businesses. Open to founders and owners of businesses with revenue of $250,000 to $1 million, and led by EO members, the Accelerator program empowers participants to grow their businesses to over $1 million in sales and to become a better entrepreneur and leader. EO St. Louis’s next 25 years promise to be even more fruitful than its first 25, and that journey is reflected in the chapter’s five-year plan, which focuses on bolstering organizational strength, expanding EO St. Louis’s ecosystem, and creating a personalized experience for its members. But, even that fiveyear plan has its first moment in today, when members choose to live out, in every action and decision, the core values of Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

OUR VISION EO St. Louis annual chapter meeting

To build the world’s most influential community of entrepreneurs.

right, what’s gone wrong, and any other challenges and opportunities they’ve faced in their business, family or personal lives.

OUR MISSION To engage leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow.

“My Forum is a place I can be totally myself and share my business successes—or failures—without fear of losing a friendship,” Michael says. “In some ways, my Forum knows more about me than my own family. The inspiration and support we offer one another is unique and rare; you don’t find those sorts of connections very often.”

OUR CORE VALUES BOLDLY GO! Bet on your own abilities THIRST FOR LEARNING Be a student of opportunity MAKE A MARK Leave a legacy TRUST AND RESPECT Build a safe haven for learning and growth COOL Create, seek out and celebrate once-in-a-lifetime experiences

The strong bonds between EO St. Louis’s members reflect its strength as an organization and its commitment to community—within EO St. Louis but especially beyond it. Members are involved in any number of charitable endeavors throughout the world, serving as host parents for Safe Families for Children, founding a volunteer educational program in rural India, fundraising in creative ways for cancer research and prison education, and more. It’s tempting to say that members spend as much time volunteering as they do running their businesses; their success in both certainly suggests it.

OUR PILLARS | PEER-TO-PEER LEARNING | ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME EXPERIENCES | | CONNECTIONS TO EXPERTS | 101 West Argonne, Suite 131 St. Louis, MO 63122 246

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ELEVATOR PITCH Products/Innovation: 55 commercial products, 14 patent applications, and 5 patent awards in 2018 Jobs: 260+ new jobs with over 1,500 created since 2012 Annual Payroll: $42 million Monthly Revenue: $3.5 million New Companies: 94 onboarded in 2018 Funding: 70 program graduates have raised almost $200 million Diversity: since 2016, female founders have increased 100% and African American and Hispanic have increased by 50%

Founded in 2008 as the IT Entrepreneurs Network, ITEN’s mission is to be a catalyst for tech innovation by supporting the development of fast-growing and successful technology businesses. Designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, we require neither payment nor equity from early-stage startups. We accelerate scalable technology startups by providing unique entrepreneurial training and education, mentoring from subject matter experts, connections to workforce talent, essential networking opportunities, engagements with corporate partners, and access to funding.

OUR STORY

To that end, ITEN works closely with many other organizations, in the St. Louis region and beyond, to ensure founders are connected to the resources they need.

In our 11-year history, ITEN has worked with close to 1,000 startups at stages ranging from idea to growth and scaling. ITEN’s main programs and services include business model validation support, its EUREKA! proof of concept modules, customer discovery and sales training, and its cornerstone program—Investor Readiness, which includes Mock Angel pitch sessions and due diligence preparedness. The Investor Readiness Program boasts 70 graduates since 2009 that have raised approximately $200 million. At the foundation of all of these programs is a network of over 60 mentors from diverse tech industries working closely with member companies to help them advance their business.

ITEN is also a leader of many broader ecosystem initiatives and events including Startup Connection, Vision Inclusion Symposium, and the Equity in Entrepreneurship Collective. For more information about ITEN visit www.itenstl.org.

In 2016, ITEN added the Corporate Innovation Program (CIP) to connect corporations to startups and network with peers from other corporate innovation teams. This program connects dozens of startups to these potential partners and customers while creating environments for sharing of best practices between corporations as they work to innovate internally. The success of its entrepreneurs is the driving force for ITEN. As an economic development entity, our effectiveness is reported annually, as reflected in highlights from our 2018 report:

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ELEVATOR PITCH The Missouri Cures Education Foundation is a statewide nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to promote medical advances to improve the health of Missourians and stimulate the economy so Missourians can look forward to a brighter and healthier future.

The original 501(c)(4) advocacy arm of the organization was founded in 2005 by the late James Stowers and former Washington University Chancellor Dr. William Danforth. Then known as The Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, the organization now called Missouri Cures began as a 2006 state constitutional amendment ballot initiative. “The Stem Cell and Cures Initiative,” known as “Missouri Amendment 2,” was co-chaired by former US Sen. John Danforth and the late US Sen. Thomas Eagleton and was formed to protect stem-cell research and therapies in Missouri that were legal under federal law. Donn Rubin served as the campaign chairman and still serves as Chairman today.

OUR STORY Originally formed to protect stem-cell research in Missouri, Missouri Cures has broadened its mission to protecting all medical research in the state, focusing on the treatment and restoration of health to ensure that all medical research legal at the federal level is also legal in Missouri. 249


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Ellie Hayes, Outreach Director

In 2011, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Missouri Cures Education Foundation was founded. Its mission is to promote ongoing clinical and medical research, clinical studies, and thought leadership in the area of regenerative medicine. It sponsors events and provides educational forums; enables thought leadership by participating in, or speaking at, medical and biotech industry events; issues regular communications through emails and social media posts; and collaborates with other like-minded advocacy groups. In 2013, the Women in Science & Entrepreneurship events were created and are now held in six cities in Missouri to give women in the field a chance to learn and network.

Donn Rubin, Chairman

l

Collaboration with organizations and individuals around the state to help spread the word and advocate for initiatives and programs that educate and inform as well as protect continuing medical research in Missouri. l Progressive and forward-thinking: Missouri Cures’ mission is to support cutting-edge research in the areas of regenerative medicine to find therapies and cures for debilitating disease—finding tomorrow’s cures today. l Innovative: Missouri Cures is a unique organization that supports ALL medical research, supporting researchers and doctors, as well as educating legislators in the progress being made in the quest to find new therapies and cures by the fostering of groundbreaking research and therapeutic treatments for debilitating diseases.

Key values of Missouri Cures l Advocacy: advocating for policy issues that protect and promote medical research and ensuring that researchers can do their jobs; analyzing, understanding, and speaking on how proposed legislation affects organizations as well as existing law. l Economic growth and development: drive economic development activity through research-driven startups. l Education about legislative issues, ongoing research, and clinical trials, and connecting patients with relevant resources; raise public awareness of the depth and breadth of medical research taking place in Missouri. l Independence and inclusivity in working with volunteers, donors, patients, organizations and research facilities involved with and touched by regenerative disease conditions, treatments, and research.

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With 300+ corporate members statewide and a prominent seat at the table as Missouri prepares to issue nearly 350 cannabis business licenses, the membershipbased association unites doctors, patients, cultivators, processors, techies, and more.”

ELEVATOR PITCH MoCannTrade is an association of business owners, healthcare providers, professionals, and patients working to implement a successful, safe, and compliant medical marijuana program in Missouri. MoCannTrade is the representative “Voice of Trade” for its members and the industry and works with stakeholders, state government, and the Department of Health and Senior Services to develop and implement sensible, proven policies, rules, and regulations.

OUR STORY

“There’s an exuberance, energy, and excitement about the possibilities,” said MoCannTrade board chair John Curtis, also cultivation director at BeLeaf, one of the state’s two inaugural medical cannabis licensees.

The potential membership pool was tiny when the roots of MoCannTrade (Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association) first took hold: two St. Louis–area nonprofits were granted license in 2014 to cultivate the plant and manufacture and dispense CBD extract to epilepsy patients. It was their foresight into Missouri’s emerging industry that served as catalyst.

With 300+ corporate members statewide and a prominent seat at the table as Missouri prepares to issue nearly 350 cannabis business licenses, the membership-based association unites doctors, patients, farmers, techies, and more.

Fast-forward to 2019, and MoCannTrade’s profile is considerably higher, and its impact decidedly bigger.

Its early formation enabled MoCannTrade to get a head start on speaking with a unified industry voice even before state voters overwhelmingly approved the cultivation, distribution, sale, and use of medical marijuana in November 2018.

In March, more than 2,200 aspiring industry participants—from patients, caregivers, and would-be cultivators to greenhouse vendors and softwaresolution experts—packed Union Station in St. Louis for the group’s inaugural trade show and business expo.

As the focus shifts to implementation and compliance with a voter-backed law now enshrined in the state Constitution, the trade group is poised to help lead a “Green Rush” expected to create thousands of jobs and funnel millions into the state’s economy—all while providing relief to patients with cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, and other qualifying conditions.

It was a coming-out party with a level of anticipatory buzz that exceeded even its organizers’ greatest expectations—not to mention a public show of force of the industry’s transformative social and economic potential.

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“Missouri is well on its way to emerging as a model state when it comes to implementation and execution of medical cannabis rules and regulations,” said Andrew Mullins, MoCannTrade executive director. “We’re proud of our role in helping to make that happen on behalf of prospective business owners, investors, healthcare providers, caregivers, and most importantly, patients.” As a membership-based association, MoCannTrade is directed by a board of diverse professionals experienced in medical marijuana, healthcare, law, pharmaceuticals, science, agriculture, law enforcement, security, commercial real estate, finance, public affairs, and regulatory sectors. The nascent industry group’s emergence as the state’s leading voice on medical cannabis has infused participants with a united purpose and spirit of cooperation. Its smooth rollout of regulations is difficult, if not impossible, to find in the 31 other states that adopted medical marijuana earlier. Voters in neighboring Arkansas, for instance, approved medical marijuana in 2016, but delays meant the first dispensary didn’t open until May 2019.

Andrew Mullins, Executive Director

It’s also provided MoCannTrade and its members with the opportunity to provide state officials with valuable input into the myriad rules and regulations required to create such a heavily scrutinized industry from scratch.

Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association 1015 Grupp Road, #31674 St. Louis MO 63131 +1-800-766-0599 director@mocanntrade.org mocanntrade mocanntrade.org

Legal cannabis sales are expected to commence in Missouri in early 2020, with the state required by law to award licenses for cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensary sites by December 31. That timetable, and MoCannTrade’s aggressive early efforts, has led to what Mullins calls a more “harmonious” and collaborative industry that doesn’t favor one license-holding business over another. “We’re working in cohesion with our members and the state’s governing body to move in the same direction, toward ensuring Missouri has the best possible program implementation nationwide,” he said. “We like to think this distinct approach provides innovation of a different type, we are innovating how these programs are being implemented to an expeditious and successful conclusion…and from what we can tell, that’s one of a kind.”

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Hispanic Working Women

ELEVATOR PITCH

Whether it’s businesses or corporations looking to tap into the Hispanic workforce, Hispanic buying power, or to fulfill supplier diversity initiatives, the Hispanic Chamber’s strength comes from its diverse membership of small, medium, and large businesses who are all invested in strengthening our community. According to Nielsen’s State of the Hispanic Consumer: The Hispanic Market Imperative, “If it were a standalone country, the U.S. Hispanic market buying power would make it one of the top twenty economies in the world.”

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis is the leader in entrepreneurial support services and legislative advocacy for Hispanic small businesses and professionals in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. In 2018, it was recognized as “Large Chamber of the Year,” by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In 2019, it was named the third largest chamber of commerce in the St. Louis region by the St. Louis Business Journal. These accolades are a product of the Chamber’s work in connecting regional leaders and partner organizations to ensure the economic development of Hispanics in the region.

In addition to its work with businesses and professionals, the Hispanic Chamber has a sister organization, the HCC STL Foundation, which conducts leadership programs every year. The first program is the Hispanic Leadership Institute, which is a group of up to 20 Hispanic professionals in key areas of leadership to focus on leading oneself, leading others, and leading an organization.

OUR STORY Incorporated on April 28, 1982, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis strives to promote the economic development of Hispanic-owned businesses and improve business opportunities for all in the St. Louis region. The Chamber fulfills this mission by increasing the competitiveness of its member businesses in local, state, and international markets. The Chamber is the cornerstone for the Hispanic business community and looks to participate in present and future business developments of metropolitan St. Louis.

Due to the success of HLI, the HCC STL Foundation launched a second program, the High School Hispanic Leadership Institute. This program accepts incoming sophomore through senior Hispanic high school students from all over the metropolitan area to learn about leadership, their cultural identity, and financial literacy. Students also explore a different university every day and learn about the application process, scholarship opportunities, and various career paths. Since the program’s inception in 2017, the High School Hispanic Leadership Institute has graduated 60 young leaders. 253


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Job Fair

Adelante Awards

High School Hispanic Leadership Institute

The HCC’s growth has come with an opportunity to increase its staff and services as well. In just three years, the Hispanic Chamber has added three new roles: a membership manager, a business counselor, and program assistant. Through these efforts, the organization has more than doubled its membership and contributions to the economic development of the region.

Hispanic Leadership Institute

The Hispanic Chamber hosts major events each year, including the annual Job Fair in February, Adelante Awards in April, and Hispanic Working Women in August. The Hispanic Chamber also plays an active role in an annual political advocacy day, Hispanic Capitol Day at Jefferson City. Through all of these efforts, the Hispanic Chamber attempts to strengthen Hispanic enterprises and small and minority business integration to promote sustainable socioeconomic development and a better quality of life in the St. Louis region. The Hispanic Chamber serves as a facilitator in strengthening Hispanic enterprise, and it anticipates new challenges and opportunities, encourages innovation, and promotes the development of the Hispanic entrepreneurial sector.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis kramirez@hccstl.com +1-314-664-4432 HCCSTL HCCMetroSTL HCCSTL.com

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“Work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you, they’ll invest in you.” —Marissa Mayer


INCUBATORS & ENTREPRENEURIAL SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS


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ELEVATOR PITCH “In order to attract talented attorneys to an untested law firm, we needed to present them with something new,” says Scott. “We focused on creating an environment, culture, economic model, and technology platform that met the needs of the attorneys joining the firm.”

AEGIS is an innovative, business-focused, modern law firm offering integrated legal services to emerging and established companies throughout the country. Like its clients, the firm is driven by a fierce entrepreneurial spirit, and prides itself on getting behind the opportunities and risks within its clients’ businesses. And the lawyers who support them.

AEGIS forewent a site-specific server, for example, committing instead to being cutting-edge in their technology and building up a custom platform that would allow them to work from anywhere on any device.

OUR STORY

When it was time to hire more attorneys to manage their workload, it germinated for AEGIS Law what shouldn’t have been a novel idea for the industry—that is, the idea that lawyers should practice in an environment where they can learn, grow, and simply put, be happy.

The traditional law practice is set up without a particular distinction between the business of law and the practice of law. As a result, most lawyers perform double-duty in managing both aspects of their firms, and the stress has measurable consequences. A recent study by the American Bar Association revealed that around 28% of lawyers experience mild and high levels of depression.

“There are a lot of miserable attorneys out there,” Scott says. “The pressure of these antiquated business models—to produce a lot of work and to work a lot of hours—hasn’t changed in many, many decades. And for some attorneys, there’s also not much of a future in well-established firms dominated by partners that are nearing retirement.”

It wasn’t a statistic that Scott Levine necessarily set out to combat when he established AEGIS Law in 2003. Like any business, they first focused on supporting the needs of a growing client base. Then, out of necessity, AEGIS began to add attorneys to support that growing client base. That was where the innovation began. 257


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AEGIS Law, by contrast, employs a non-equity model, which accounts for its innovative separation of the business of law and the practice of law. The model frees the firm’s attorneys to focus their undivided attention on practicing law, and it lends itself to collaboration; without the traditional ladder to the top of the business, attorneys can work together more collaboratively and leverage each other’s experiences. “It’s a more entrepreneurial approach,” Scott says. “We also have a creative bonus program tied to the firm’s profit that we share with everyone- from our support staff to our most senior attorneys. We want them to know that everyone is part of what we’re building and we want people to care about the firm’s success.” AEGIS Law’s model is disruptive in other ways, too. Its hub-and-spoke model allows the firm to be location-agnostic; attorneys can work from virtually anywhere. Today, AEGIS Law also has attorneys in Kansas City, Chicago, Tampa, O’Fallon and Ann Arbor, and the firm’s growth has not gone unnoticed. In 2019, AEGIS was named an Inc. 5000 company, in addition to making the Fast 50 in St. Louis and the Fast 500, a national ranking of the country’s fastest-growing law firms. Because St. Louis is on the leading edge of innovation, it remains the perfect hub for AEGIS Law as it expands. “We started the firm here, it’s an easy place to function with all of the entrepreneurial support, and the innovation ecosystem has exploded in terms of growth. We’ve ridden that wave, and we have committed to supporting early-stage and emerging companies in a way that larger firms were slow to come to. We’ve always had a business model that could support the volatility inherent in startups,” Scott says.

Scott Levine, JD, Founder & Managing Attorney

Nicholas Schopp, JD, LLM, Managing Attorney

Such insightful decisions early on set AEGIS Law up for success, but its attorneys—current and future—will sustain that success. AEGIS Law’s model, in turn, supports them in doing so. It’s a cycle the firm wants to keep going.

That ability comes in large part from the firm’s early decision to using cutting-edge technology, which has streamlined the firm’s processes. In an industry where time is almost literally money, AEGIS Law, because of its focus on efficiency, can offer its services at more affordable rates—which has been key in supporting smaller companies and thus the St. Louis’ ecosystem.

“We’re offering a refreshing way of practicing law,” Scott says. “Our management team knows how to meet attorneys’ needs, and our team is collegial; there are no politics to navigate, and we can all be one another’s associates—even when some of us have been practicing for twenty, thirty, forty years. We work together to help our clients. That lack of hierarchy is something we’re eager for new attorneys to see.”

601 S. Lindbergh Blvd Frontenac, MO 63131 +1-314-454-9100

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AEGIS Law slevine@aegislaw.com goaegis aegislaw.com


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SIMPLOY Simplified employment.

ELEVATOR PITCH SIMPLOY provides a creative solution to help innovative employers succeed with the Innovators’ HR Infrastructure. These innovators (small and large) access a high level of immediate Human Resource capacity for employees, managers, and owners. This foundation includes employee benefits, government compliance, workers’ compensation insurance, payroll, and personalized HR services—all in one bundle.

DRIVING INNOVATION THROUGH INNOVATION

OUR STORY innovators, their staff, and a few other companies like SIMPLOY. The results are inspiring, and show that SIMPLOY’s state-of-the-art solutions really do improve the lives of innovators and employees. Here are the statistics:

When Jay King started his first business in 1998, he soon recognized that creating new jobs was necessary to be more successful, but it was also clear to him that adding employees could be a path to failure. A larger staff facilitated more services to more clients and new revenue. However, as his workforce grew, the administrative work necessary to be an employer became overwhelming. Paperwork, payroll, taxes, insurance, compliance, HR, risk management—the list of obligations was long and grew longer every year. Jay’s business was both expanding and imploding—at the same time!

SIMPLOY INNOVATORS... Grow 7 to 9% faster. The number of employees at innovators who partner with SIMPLOY grows faster than at other businesses. Have twice the median revenue growth year over year. Revenue growth for innovators who partner with SIMPLOY averages 10%, vs. 5% for other businesses. Are 16% more likely to report an increase in profitability. Profits at SIMPLOY innovators increase 58% of the time, vs. 50% at other small businesses. Have one-third less employee turnover. The turnover rate for similar businesses is about 33% higher than for SIMPLOY innovators. Are 75% less likely to go out of business. The failure rate among businesses is about 8% per year. It is less than 2% per year for SIMPLOY innovators.

Then Jay learned about a new and novel employer service organization which handled all of those obligations—better than his company could, and for less time and money than he was already spending. Better service, more time, less cost—what a great idea! So in 2004, he bought the company, rebranded it to SIMPLOY, and the innovation continued. Since then, Jay and his team have supported hundreds of innovators and thousands of employees. Now they are part of the story, too. And together they all become more successful every year. Instead of rattling on about what SIMPLOY does, Jay focuses on innovators, their employees, and changes that arise from their partnerships. Every year a national research firm studies SIMPLOY 259


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Jay King, CEO, Simploy

EMPLOYEES AT SIMPLOY INNOVATORS... Have access to Fortune 500 Employee Benefits. Health insurance, dental and vision care, life insurance, retirement saving plans, job counseling, cafeteria plans, and more. Have increased participation in Retirement Savings Plans. Participation in a retirement plan is 3 times higher than at other companies. Stay at their jobs longer. The turnover rate is a third lower than for employees at other businesses. Receive crucial assistance from Human Resource professionals. Employees at SIMPLOY innovators have access to HR experts anytime, so they can get what they need to be more productive.

SIMPLOY’s subsidiary, HEMPLOY, is now helping innovators and employees of Missouri’s cannabis industry to be successful, too.

SIMPLOY’s innovation solutions drive innovation around the country—and success.

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SIMPLOY, Inc. 13023 Tesson Ferry Road, Suite 105 St. Louis, MO 63129 +1-314-544-1700 SIMPLOY.com


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“We’re bringing in BDO. The partner’s already on it.”

Accounting & Advisory services for growing St. Louis companies. With innovation comes opportunity. With growth comes challenge. With new products, new services, and new markets, growing companies are faced with a wide range of real-world complexities: funding needs, regulatory concerns, process inefficiencies, and more. BDO can help. Our professionals help 100s of companies throughout the St. Louis region in industries such as Technology & Life Sciences, Healthcare, Manufacturing & Distribution, Private Equity, Nonprofit, and more. Our partner-led practice works closely and collaboratively with clients, tailoring our services to meet the specific needs of each. BDO is in St. Louis, across the country, and around the world.

⊲ ⊲ ⊲

Specialists in virtually every technical area Specialists in virtually every industry One of the world’s leading Accounting & Advisory organizations

Accountants and Advisors

bdo.com

© 2019 BDO USA, LLP. All rights reserved.

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Title Here Ni quam que seque magnatum conem hil inctestrunt quo

Automate Tax Processes

MARIE CARLIE Partner, Tax +1-314-889-1140 / mariecarlie@bdo.com

Humans don’t like routine tasks. Computers do.

Streamline Audit Requirements

Don’t disrupt employees any more than necessary.

Reduce Bottlenecks

Almost every process can be done more efficiently.

Protect Data

A firewall is just the beginning.

RICHARD KRANER Office Managing Partner, Tax +1-314-889-1234 / rkraner@bdo.com

SEAN NORMILE Office Managing Partner, Assurance +1-314-889-1180 / snormile@bdo.com

JEFF WARD National Managing Partner, Third-Party Attestation (SOC/WebTrust®/Cybersecurity) +1-314-889-1220 / jward@bdo.com

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CEdge participating in Stemulate organized by SLU and USGIF to promote STEM/GIS in community ( Sekhar Prabhakar CEO & Samuel Douglas Director of Business Development of CEdge)

CEdge COO Traci Porter at Stemulate USGIF to promote GIS in community

CEdge CEO Sekhar with Mayor Lyda Krewson at GEOINT 2019 in San Antonio promoting STLmade

Sekhar Prabhakar CEO at GEOPLUNGE 2018 to promote GIS in elementary schools.

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OUR STORY Sekhar Prabhakar worked for several years in Silicon Valley before moving to St. Louis when his wife took a job here. It was in St. Louis that he remembered his father’s dream for him to be an entrepreneur. So he started a consulting company and has since discovered the joy of being involved with clients and their ever-evolving needs. CEdge focuses on four main activities, Sekhar explains: project-based consulting, staffing, reselling enterprise software and hardware, and selling their own products, which include a data-analytics product and a cybersecurity product. in early, you’ve already helped shape the product specifically for your customers, which is a much better value for them.”

CEdge has grown organically over time to include services from developing enterprise architectures, solutions integration, operational support of a network environment, and maintaining a totally secure IT infrastructure. In all these areas, their calling is to provide innovative solutions. Oftentimes, says Sekhar, companies want to “do the cookie-cutter model,” and will do the same thing over and over again. CEdge, meanwhile, having always taken on a diverse range of projects, finds innovative solutions due to their diverse subject matter expertise.

Sekhar offers an example: “While we were working with Hybris, an e-commerce software, they were bought by SAP. It became one of the de facto standards of e-commerce software, and so many large companies jumped on the bandwagon. But we had successful implementations from the very beginning, and because we were there early, we were already masters of it.” CEdge is growing. They have recently become part of the NGA (National Geospatial Agency) as a subcontractor, and are part of a $855M contract for artificial intelligence and machine learning. They also landed part of a large IT transformation contract with IRS, becoming one of the subcontractors on a $1 billion contract. The advantage of CEdge, according to Sekhar, is that they have become experts at adapting, which he says should be done regularly and vigilantly, lest you increase what you’ll have to spend when you migrate to them later. “New products are made to be compatible with the latest technologies, so if your whole system is based on old technologies, the amount of new technologies you’re missing out on becomes compounded.”

CEdge takes pride in their extremely well-trained workforce, who provide hard-to-find subject matter expertise. “Some of these folks are published authors,” says Sekhar. “Many have worked on million- to billion-dollar projects.”

“The question becomes,” says Sekhar, “do you want to keep using the legacy system just because you’re afraid to move? Or do you want to take advantage of everything that’s available to you?” To get in touch with CEdge, visit cedgecorp.com.

Additionally, CEdge is a CMMI Level 3 company, so the team makes sure their processes are well documented, which facilitates top-notch service delivery.

ELEVATOR PITCH

In St. Louis, Sekhar sees a great ecosystem for startups. CEdge is plugged into corporate citizenship-related activities. They support K-12 education and are involved in creating and funding internships. Sekhar devotes part of his time to mentoring startups through accelerators and is a board member at ITEN.

C-Edge Software Consultants is a CMMI Level 3 and MBE/DBE certified technology firm providing full-spectrum IT consulting and staffing services to government and commercial enterprises nationwide. From agile software development and data analytics, to e-commerce and enterprise architecture, CEdge’s niche is the areas that form the very heart of any small, medium, or large enterprise.

Sekhar is proud, too, of the way CEdge’s size allows them to take advantage of emerging technologies larger firms are too conservative to capitalize on. “Big firms are afraid to take a risk,” he says. “We, on the other hand, when we see a new technology, are not afraid to try it out. We’re light, nimble.”

CEdge 655 Craig Road | Suite # 220 |Creve Coeur | MO 63141 Email: info@cedgecorp.com linkedin.com/company/cedge-software-consultants @CEdgeSoftwareConsultsLLC cedgecorp.com

“By the time emerging technologies become mainstream, they’re more difficult and more expensive to modify,” Sekhar explains. “When you get

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ELEVATOR PITCH Black Dress Circle, founded by Erin Joy, is an innovative organization that specializes in creating and facilitating round-table groups of female entrepreneurs. Black Dress Circles® help guide, empower, and support women as they address the specific challenges and opportunities that come with emerging, evolving, and leading companies.

OUR STORY Empowering Female Entrepreneurs and Executives As a child, Erin Joy played office under her mother’s desk. Even then, she knew she wanted to become a businesswoman. After starting two companies, Erin turned her sights toward her next goal: empowering other women entrepreneurs to achieve holistic success in their endeavors. She also knew that St. Louis was the perfect place to base this effort. With its startup culture, plethora of resources, and supportive community, St. Louis provides an environment where new and innovative ideas and businesses can flourish.

the round table participants’ revenue—it is about their well-being. As a third-generation female entrepreneur, Erin has made it her life’s mission to provide women business owners with the resources, services, and support they need to be successful in business—and in life. As a result of participating in Black Dress Circles, female entrepreneurs are equipped to strategize, prioritize, and improve organizational performance, as well as find guidance for successfully navigating relationships, work/life balance, and more.

Erin followed her passion to found Black Dress Circle, an innovative program that brings together groups of women business owners. Black Dress Circles are expertly facilitated round tables, and provide a forum for participants to discuss issues, frame decisions, and share experiences with others who understand the challenges of managing emerging and evolving companies.

Black Dress Circle success stories abound. Kathy Jordan, Founder and CEO of Jordan Search Consultants, values the camaraderie with other Black Dress Circle members. “It’s nice to know we’re all struggling with similar issues—and that success comes as a result of transforming those struggles,” she says. “We all benefit from the depth and breadth of each other’s knowledge and experiences.” Nancy Cripe, President at GRS Strategic Liquidations, has seen significant business gains since joining a Black Dress Circle, and most importantly, feels well equipped to handle the volatility of entrepreneurship. “I would not have been able to effectively and quickly

Studies reveal that companies with at least 30% female leadership have higher net-profit margins, while new businesses started by women are sound financial investments, generating more than twice the return on funding as compared to male-founded startups. However, only 2% of female-led companies ever break the $1 million mark—and this is something Erin is committed to changing. But Black Dress Circles aren’t just about 265


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navigate the myriad business transitions and stages with confidence without this group by my side,” she shares. “Erin’s ability to guide the conversations so they are impactful for everyone is masterful and sets the tone for the Black Dress Circle experience. The diversity of personalities, businesses, and industries results in some powerful knowledge-share.” In addition to her work facilitating Black Dress Circles, Erin is a sought-after speaker and thought leader. She developed and produced the awardwinning St. Louis–based Midwest Women Business Owners’ Conference that drew female entrepreneurs from throughout the Midwest. She also shares her significant knowledge and insights on a variety of business topics through other channels, including her ongoing series of podcasts, videos, and workshops. Erin is currently working on a book anthology and is committed to bringing the Black Dress Circle model to cities across the globe.

Erin Joy, Founder & CEO, Black Dress Circle +1-314-223-0000 erin.joy@blackdresscircle.com 9666 Olive Boulevard, Suite 150 St. Louis, MO 63132 erinjoy.blackdresscircle erinjoy.blackdresscircle erinjoyblackdresscircle erinjoy blackdresscircle.com 266


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ELEVATOR PITCH Shift creates Human-Centered, actionable outcomes that are measurable, feasible, and business viable. We are comprised of cross-industry consultants and design leaders who have decades of experience in helping businesses solve the right problems, shape business strategy, and design “people-first” product and service experiences.

OUR STORY Over the past 50 years, our economy has shifted from being product-oriented to service-minded. Today’s leading businesses have taken this a step further, to experience-driven innovation. This new experience-driven economy is emerging for both customers as well as the workforce responsible for defining and delivering the customer experience. Many businesses already feel that they are customer-centered. The unfortunate reality, however, is that while 80% of companies believe that they are providing a superior experience to their customers, only 8% of those businesses’ customers agree. That false sense of security proves to be damning for many businesses. By 2016 only 60 of the original S&P Fortune 500 still existed. That equates to the death of one of the largest companies in the world every year over a 60-year period. Even more frightening is the fact that companies are dying at a much faster rate every year, and at the current rate, it is expected that half of the current S&P 500 will be replaced in the next 10 years. These are our “too big to fail” businesses, so imagine where that leaves small to midsize businesses. The bar has been raised, and as Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said: “Yesterday’s wow quickly becomes today’s ordinary.” Companies that aren’t willing to commit to this new Human-Centered transformation have and will continue to fall victim to smaller, more nimble businesses or larger innovation-oriented disruptors like Amazon and Google.

So how do we shift the paradigm? 1.) Move from Inside-Out to Outside-In thinking. Far too many businesses assess value internally, without understanding the impact to customers. Reframing the conversation from business goals to customer opportunities opens up a new world of competitive advantage. 2.) Leave behind product thinking. No customer experience can be understood from a product-first mindset, whether that product is physical or digital. Customer experiences happen in a nonlinear ecosystem that includes interpersonal interactions, human-to-digital interactions, physical environments, processes, etc. By understanding that these interactions are all a part of a unique and interwoven ecosystem, businesses are able to meet customer needs with a well-equipped workforce and ultimately create organically healthy growth.

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Jake Truemper, Founder, Human-Centered Design

3.) Understand the value exchange. Lean has long been a popular means of improving profitability by way of improving delivery processes. Lean still has a place in the new experience-driven economy, but Lean can’t provide a meaningful or lasting competitive advantage. In order to create a lasting competitive advantage, we have to find the intersection between what is desirable to customers, viable for businesses, and feasible to implement. It’s important to note that companies need to assess value in that exact order. Without focusing on the customer need first, businesses should not expect to last more than a handful of years, even with a highly controlled niche.

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Keith Pelkey, Founder, Business Design

In short, Shift transforms businesses through Human-Centered innovation. Whether it be a company’s strategy, culture, product, or service, we create experiences that are business viable, feasible to execute, and desirable to real people. Our team has deep experience changing the way businesses work. From shaping business strategy, to designing product and service experiences, we are united by a passion for Human-Centered innovation. Shift jaketruemper@shiftstl.com +1-314-827-5504 Shiftstl.com

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MAKING VISIONS REALITIES ELEVATOR PITCH Founded in 2007, Experience on Demand is a full-service managementconsulting firm. We are a team of strategy, design, and execution experts who help businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations strengthen performance to achieve their objectives. Our firm prioritizes building longterm, trusted advisory relationships with our clients, enabling them to ultimately become self-sufficient.

Frank Danzo, Co-founder & Senior Partner

OUR STORY Experience on Demand does more than help clients reach their goals; we challenge them to think on a grander scale, showing them how bolder thinking—in combination with relentless focus—results in greater success. “We listen carefully to our clients to understand their unique challenges and ask the right questions,” says Steve Finkelstein, a co-founding Senior Partner. “We strive to make our clients’ visions and goals a reality through excellence in execution by rolling up our sleeves to get the job done.” Steve Finkelstein, Co-founder & Senior Partner

We challenge clients to think differently. We ask tough questions:

for small businesses. Our team expanded by working to retain current clients, connect with new clients and build business partnerships. Each of the founders has published books highlighting their experiences in their respective areas of expertise.

- Are you spending more time on your problems or your opportunities? - Are you spending more time on your problem employees or developing your top performers? - What would you do if you knew you would not fail? - What is the cost of not doing it?

Together, Experience on Demand’s partners boast an average of more than 25 years of experience in leveraging best practices for our clients’ success. Our areas of focus include strategic planning, executive coaching, CFO services, CIO services, talent management, process improvement, project management, M&A services, supply chain, healthcare, and training.

While the bottom line is often people’s main concern, Experience on Demand helps them see into the “negative space” of their goals and decisions, exploring options clients once assumed to be impossible. But Experience on Demand knows those limits because our founders have explored them themselves. We help clients see and believe in the possibilities.

The firm is also proud of its proven commitment to serving the St. Louis community. As a firm, we have completed over 70 nonprofit capacitybuilding projects. Also, each of our partners is involved in the community through volunteering, board leadership, community service, work with veterans, and as adjunct professors in local universities.

“The key to our success is earning our clients’ trust by building strong relationships and delivering results,” says Frank Danzo, a co-founding Senior Partner. Initially, Experience on Demand was built around its two founders, its growth restrained by lack of brand identity and resources. By utilizing a growth strategy of adding new partners, building long-term client relationships, and meeting our commitments, we became known as being experts in execution. By aggressively pursuing those goals, Experience on Demand succeeded in building its brand as the “go to” consulting firm

The name says it all—Experience on Demand. From being named St. Louis’ No. 1 consulting firm for 4 years by the Small Business Monthly, to our recent TORCH Award from the Better Business Bureau, to our partners’ publications and achievements, Experience on Demand is not only building bridges but also leading our clients across them to equally bright futures.

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David Berndt, Senior Partner

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Ken Goldberg, Senior Partner

Glen Justis, Senior Partner

Ray Scott, Senior Partner

Sarah Dubberke, Partner

Keith Emerson, Partner

David Giffin, Partner

Doug Menendez, Partner

GeGe Mix, Partner

Pat Murphy, Partner

Barry Worth, Partner

Experience on Demand 16020 Swingley Ridge Road, Suite 240 Chesterfield, MO 63017 contact.us@experience-on-demand.com experience-on-demand.com

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Rick Vanderwal, Senior Partner


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A PASSION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO PURSUING THE NEXT GREAT IDEA

ELEVATOR PITCH

Polsinelli’s attorneys provide counsel to investors, startups, and growth organizations, including:

Deeply rooted in the St. Louis region, Polsinelli has a steadfast reputation in the legal and business communities for its sophisticated work, industry knowledge, civic leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit. An Am Law 100 firm with more than 875 attorneys in 21 offices, Polsinelli provides value to clients by combining legal counsel with astute business insight.

Preparing and negotiating term sheets, as well as the definitive agreements necessary to complete a Series Preferred investment Preparing private offering documents for investment into venture funds

OUR STORY

Assisting with the intellectual property and technology investigation, and due diligence of the portfolio company

Polsinelli is the law firm entrepreneurs, accelerators, and investment funds turn to for innovative legal advice. As an Am Law 100 firm with more than 875 attorneys throughout the US, Polsinelli shares its clients’ passion for and commitment to pursuing the next great idea and aims to help clients overcome challenges they face, as they turn their innovation into viable and successful businesses.

Compliance with federal and state securities laws and investment advisory laws Structuring and negotiating equity incentives and other incentives for management teams and other employees Tax structuring Patent, trademark, and intellectual property matters

Polsinelli attorneys regularly counsel entrepreneurs and capital investors in connection with angel, seed, and later-stage transactions involving venture capital. Working collaboratively by combining the vast knowledge bases within the firm’s Venture Capital, Corporate, Tax, and Intellectual Property practices, Polsinelli attorneys assist venture capital funds, startup organizations, and angel investors by creating investor-business relationships which are mutually beneficial and allocate risk appropriately.

Exit strategy preparation, negotiation, and implementation Fund formation, including choice of entity, capital structure, and taxation and securities law implications, as well as the preparation of partnership and limited liability company agreements In addition, Polsinelli is the law firm of choice for entrepreneurs and investors in the St. Louis region because of the firm’s commitment to serving the needs of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Polsinelli has invested in virtually every startup community organization in the St. Louis area, annually providing sponsorships and pro bono services totaling more than $200,000. Attorneys are directly involved serving in leadership, mentoring, and advising roles in the following organizations, among others:

Representing emerging growth companies across a variety of industries, Polsinelli’s attorneys proactively help clients identify issues that may arise and provide creative solutions, allowing clients to avoid potential hurdles. Attorneys recognize the financing issues both new and growing organizations face, as well as understand the entire gamut of challenges encountered when building the businesses in which clients invest, own, and operate. Polsinelli’s advice and guidance are tailored toward advancing its clients’ business objectives, as well as their investment goals.

Arch Grants ITEN Missouri Venture Forum LaunchCode’s Geek Gala and Moonshot Awards CIC + 39 North Venture Cafe St. Louis Startup Week Startup Connection T-REX RISE Women’s Collaborative Workspace St. Louis Arch Angels Polsinelli is also proud to be a founding sponsor of the St. Louis Business Journal’s annual “Startup Exit Awards,” which celebrate the region’s laterstage success in the startup ecosystem. The awards program shines a spotlight on the companies, individuals, and startups leading the renaissance of innovation and creativity within the St. Louis community. 271


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Polsinelli 100 S. Fourth Street, Suite 1000 St. Louis, MO 63102 polsinelli.com 272


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ELEVATOR PITCH Purpose First Advisors works with entrepreneurs and the organizations that serve them to build profitable ventures that create generational wealth for founders and their families. Purpose First Advisors is particularly focused on helping women and entrepreneurs of color—those visionaries who are typically underrepresented and underestimated—build wildly successful businesses. Founder & CEO Christy Maxfield’s portfolio includes privately held companies, startups, entrepreneur support organizations, and regional initiatives.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: PATHWAY TO PROSPERITY AND GENERATIONAL WEALTH

OUR STORY My dad owned our family florist—started by my grandfather as a side gig in a detached garage. I never imagined after watching him work every weekend and holiday that I’d follow in his footsteps. Dad’s goal was to work for himself. He never self-identified as an entrepreneur. He liked being his own boss. I figured there had to be a better way to make a living, an easier way to get paid to do what you love. To that end, I sought out mission and purpose in my work, first as a fundraising professional and then as a social entrepreneur. It has always been incredibly important to me that the work I do improves the human condition, seeks to end inequities, and changes the world. Today that means my company, Purpose First Advisors, and podcast, Entrepreneurially Thinking, are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, particularly women and entrepreneurs of color, build companies that enable them to create wealth for their families and prosperity in their communities. Purpose First Advisors challenges the myth of meritocracy and the prevailing belief in the infallibility of the market. We work with ecosystems of entrepreneur support organizations, mentors, coaches, investors, and advisors to acknowledge and dismantle the implicit and explicit biases that inhibit deal flow for founders who are female, Black, Brown, or otherwise marginalized. We work with founders to unlock their thinking about what is possible using business-model validation and financial operations modeling to develop strategic and tactical go-to-market strategies. Our focus is on profitability and the research, planning, execution, and measurement required to create wealth. From startups and scale-ups to mature ventures, it’s an exciting time to be in the business of growing companies.

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Photos by: Gator MediaSTL and Bill Smith

After raising tens of millions of dollars as a development professional for nearly 20 years, Christy started her entrepreneurial journey in the spring of 2010 when she co-founded The Mission Center, winner of the 2011 business plan competition hosted by the St. Louis Economic Partnership and inaugural St. Louis Regional Chamber Arcus Award for innovation and entrepreneurship. Today, she is President and CEO of Purpose First Advisors and co-hosts the Entrepreneurially Thinking podcast, winner of the inaugural Moonshot Collaboration Award from LaunchCode. Christy is on the board of Forward Through Ferguson and has taught entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis and University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Purpose First Advisors +1-314-703-1790

cmaxfield@purposefirstadvisors.com purposefirstadvisors.com

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INNOVATIONS OF THE WORLD

“We are a global market place for ideas, creativity and collaboration.” ~ SVEN BOERMEESTER, CEO GLOBAL VILLAGE PUBLISHING


www.InnovationsoftheWorld.com Connecting Minds - Building Communities

“The secret to innovation is the collective mind.” ~ CALLIE VAN GRAAN, COO GLOBAL VILLAGE VENTURES


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ELEVATOR PITCH Open Bionics was founded in 2014 by Joel Gibbard and Samantha Payne with the goal of developing affordable, assistive devices that enhance the human body. In other words, Open Bionics turns disabilities into superpowers. The Bristol-based bionics company is known globally for using 3D printing and 3D scanning, along with some clever software and design, to make advanced, affordable and accessible bionic limbs.

OUR STORY In May 2018, following four years of research and development, the company released its first product, the Hero Arm. The Hero Arm is the world’s first medically certified 3D-printed bionic arm, and the very first multi-grip bionic arm for children as young as eight years old. Engineered and manufactured in Bristol, the Hero Arm is a lightweight and affordable myoelectric prosthesis, available now through prosthetics clinics in the UK, USA, France, Spain and Ireland. The company have ambitious plans to launch the prosthesis in new international regions throughout 2019 and 2020. The Hero Arm has market-leading functionality, weighs less than 1kg, has a breathable and adjustable socket, and can be fitted with customised covers; including Star Wars and Marvel superhero designs. Each Hero Arm is custom-built to ensure a perfect fit. The Hero Arm works by picking up signals from a user’s muscles. When an amputee puts on their bionic arm and flexes muscles in their residual limb just below their elbow; special sensors detect tiny naturally generated electric signals and convert these into intuitive and proportional bionic hand movement. The bionic hand is 277

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controlled by tensing the same muscles which are used to open and close a biological hand. Wearers of the Hero Arm can choose between different finger speeds and grips to allow them to pick up objects ranging from a small marble, to an entire shopping basket. Other multi-grip bionic hands, such as the bebionic and ilimb, are prohibitively expensive and too large or heavy for children (and some adults, too). The Hero Arm is less than half the price of these competitors, and because it’s manufactured using 3D printing, it is also the lightest bionic hand on the market. 3D printing is an extremely efficient and suitable manufacturing method for prostheses which are always “one-offs�. Almost all of the 3D printed parts are manufactured using an additive technique called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), which uses a laser as the power source to sinter powdered nylon. Open Bionics believes that the most advanced prosthetic and orthopaedic technology should be available for everyone that needs it. Open Bionics have a development contract with NHS England, with the aim of offering the Hero Arm on the NHS in the UK. In June 2017, they worked with NHS England and the Bristol Centre for Enablement on a world-first clinical trial 278

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of a 3D-printed multi-grip bionic arm. Following a successful first stage of the trial, the company have now begun a second stage of the trial with multiple NHS clinics around the UK. Open Bionics also have royalty-free licensing agreements with Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Eidos Montreal and Twentieth Century Fox, to offer superhero cover designs such as BB-8, Iron Man and Alita: Battle Angel. They are making science fiction a reality. Their work has received praise from the likes of Mark Hamill and the Dalai Lama, they’ve won a whole host of coveted awards, and their users have featured in media all around the world.

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Open Bionics’ lab space is currently located next to the Bristol Robotics Lab, but the rapidly expanding company will soon move to a custom-built production space in the centre of Bristol following a £4.6 million investment round in January 2019 from high profile firms such as F1’s Williams Advanced Engineering. Open Bionics are proud of their Bristol roots, and it’s easy to see Bristol’s punk creativity pumping through the veins of this innovate bionics company. In the near future, Open Bionics look forward to offering the Hero Arm in multiple international markets and continuing the development of great products that solve challenges within mobility and independence.

OpenBionics OpenBionics openbionicsltd openbionics.com

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ELEVATOR PITCH Anyone well acquainted with Bristol will recognise the sign at the entrance to Stokes Croft. It’s an alarmingly apocalyptic countdown to the last harvest, and we don’t seem to have many years left of the clock. Humanity must increase food production by 70% to feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050. We must achieve this with 25% less farmland, degraded soils, and in an ever more unstable climate. Our existing methods of agriculture will not be enough to feed ourselves. Additionally, the majority of our ‘fresh’ produce is imported out of season, often travelling hundreds of miles to reach our plates. Lengthy supply chains result in a colossal environmental impact every year 900,000 tonnes of food is wasted in supply chains in the UK alone, before even reaching our plates.

OUR STORY A WORD FROM THE FOUNDERS

LettUs Grow was founded in 2015 to tackle some of these challenges. Indoor farming can address this systemic problem by establishing localised farms in and around cities, improving local food security, and reducing food waste. However, the industry has been having difficulty scaling to compete with traditional agriculture. That’s where we come in….

Charlie Guy, Co-founder and Managing Director of LettUs Grow, said, “We are providing technology that allows us to grow more with less impact on the soil so we don’t have to farm the soil in an industrial way. We want to take the pressure off the ecosystem so we can farm traditionally in a more sustainable way as well, not just driven by supermarket prices and overreaching targets. We want to be able to provide a predictable, resilient supply of produce that means we don’t over-farm or overproduce, but allow sustainable farmers to work with the land.”

Our novel technology represents a step-change for indoor farms. We design modular, aeroponic irrigation and intelligent control technology to improve the efficiency, sustainability, and ROI of indoor farming. Our systems are nozzle free, easy to clean, completely automatable, and can be run without the need for pesticides. This patent-pending system dramatically reduces the operational cost of indoor agriculture, whilst delivering an average of a 70% increase in growth rate across a range of crop species compared to hydroponics (the current method used in indoor farming). Our technology enables indoor farms, of any size, to reach profitability that would not have been previously viable—enabling this environmentally efficient industry to scale globally.

Ben Crowther, Co-founder and CTO of LettUs Grow, said, “We don’t think it should replace hectares of fields. Indoor farming, greenhouse and open field farming each have their different roles. If you can grow it in a field, then grow it in a field—it makes much more sense. But in many places it’s just not possible as it uses too much water, pesticides, or the soil is degrading quite rapidly.”

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GROWING UP IN BRISTOL to the thriving Bristol tech ecosystem. The Engine Shed and SETsquared are a core part of this.”

Bristol is a brilliant place to be a startup. It has a long-standing connection with aerospace firms and expertise in robotics—so it’s the perfect place for a company like ours. Because of its history of innovation, there is a well-trodden path and heaps of support for new businesses. We were lucky enough to cut our teeth in the Engine Shed in Bristol. It is a hub, run by Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol, and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, where businesses, entrepreneurs, academics, social innovators, and corporates can collaborate. That’s where we met SETSquared.

There is also a thriving ecosystem of startups, SMEs, and talented mentors to draw upon in Bristol. If you’re in a bind, you know you can always find someone who’s been through something similar to talk to.

LettUs Grow 157–179 Kingsland Road St Phillips, Bristol, BS2 0QW info@lettusgrow.com +44-07779636745 LettUsGrow lettusgrow.com

Guy said, “We joined SETsquared to access their experienced mentorship, world-class training and extensive founder and investor networks. As first-time entrepreneurs, this was an invaluable resource in our early years and continues to be a fantastically effective way to provide training to all of our staff, whilst exposing the whole company

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WE MAKE NUTRIENTDENSE BARS AND PROTEIN POWDERS WITH THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL SUPERFOODS TO HELP YOU “FILL THE NUTRIENT VOID” IN YOUR HECTIC DAY.

The Problem

How? By creating healthy, macronutrient-balanced plant-based bars and then boosting them with the world’s most powerful superfoods. Many brands use the word “superfoods”—Landish really means it.

As a big believer in the importance of healthy eating, Daniel had one frustration while working in banking in Montreal: the lack of nutrientdense, low-sugar snacks that could keep him sustained and focused during some long work hours.

The Superfoods

What’s wrong with protein or energy bars? One or often many of the following: • Too much sugar • Not nearly enough nutrient density • Don’t satisfy your hunger • Don’t taste good (sweet and fake or just chalky and bland) • Offer no functional benefits

CRICKET POWDER

For the same weight crickets contain twice the protein in beef and chicken, over fives times the vitamin B12 in salmon, and they’re also full of iron, calcium, potassium and a prebiotic fibre called chitin beneficial to gut health. SPIRULINA

Spirulina is a blue-green spiral-shaped microalgae and a form of a cyanobacteria. It’s extremely nutrient-rich with up to 70% protein, lots of beta-carotene, iron, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, chlorophyll, and phycocyanin, a powerful antioxidant. It also contains prebiotic polysaccharides responsible for probiotic growth.

Daniel felt that more and more nutrition-focused consumers like him would continue to demand better.

The Solution This led to the kick-off of Crickstart in 2016, which became Landish in the spring of 2019.

FUNCTIONAL MUSHROOMS

Among other benefits, functional mushrooms such as reishi and turkey tail, contain high levels of beta-glucans, which are proven to contribute to probiotic growth, reduce LDL cholesterol levels, and boost the body’s immune system.

The Landish team made it its mission to create the most nutrient-dense natural bars EVER for people experiencing what they call “the daily grind”. 283


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And there’s more to come…

How Landish Thinks About Nutrition The Landish team doesn’t believe in fad diets. The brand is all about macronutrient balance, micronutrient density, and gut health, which are understood to be the fundamentals of good nutrition.

How Landish Thinks About Life Commit to your health so that you can commit to something greater than yourself.

How Landish Thinks About Work Don’t sacrifice happiness today to pursue it in the long term. Work hard, but remember what matters most now and always: health and happiness.

3 of Landish’s Sustainability Initiatives 1. Sourcing sustainable ingredients. 2. Reducing the impact of its bar packaging by implementing its own private recycling program with TerraCycle. 3. Planting a tree in an area of BC or California devastated by wildfires for every online order received.

The Landish team (from left to right): Adrian Loffredo, Director of Operations; Erin Little, Community Manager; Daniel Novak, CEO; Gabrielle Faraggi, VP Sales and Michael Badea, COO

hello@landish.ca | +1-888-997-3629 284


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MAKING ACCESS TO SPACE AFFORDABLE “I BELIEVE THAT SPACE IS A GREAT ENABLER THAT TRANSFORMS OUR LIVES BACK ON EARTH. IN A FEW YEARS, WE WILL SEE PLANETS BEING COLONISED AND ASTEROIDS BEING MINED. SPACE TRAVEL WILL BECOME AS COMMON AND AS AFFORDABLE AS AIR TRAVEL.” ROHAN M GANAPATHY, DIRECTOR & CEO, BELLATRIX AEROSPACE

When humans make Space their habitat in the not-so-distant future, a Bengaluru company would have been part of conquering the final frontier. A new Space company incubated at Indian Institute of Science, Bellatrix Aerospace is developing advanced in-Space propulsion systems that can bring down the cost of access to Space, and aims to be the first private company to launch a rocket from Indian soil.

systems. The major disadvantage with chemical propulsion is that they require a large mass of propellant.” Electric propulsion is an emerging technology that is quickly replacing chemical propulsion technology. Using an electric propulsion system, a satellite can carry 3 times more payload compared to a satellite that uses chemical propulsion. This results in reduced mission costs and increased Return on Investment (ROI) per satellite. Bellatrix aims to be a global leader in the field of propulsion by offering advanced technology at competitive prices.

Bellatrix Aerospace is led by a team of engineers with Rohan M Ganapathy (CEO), Yashas Karanam (COO) and Narendra Narayanan (MD) for whom creating technologies through internal R&D is an exciting challenge. This is due to the fact that propulsion technology is a restricted technology; technical information is not easily available and is constricted by export control/tech transfer into India.

“Our proprietary electric thrusters can also accommodate water as propellant. This is a scalable technology and offers a high thrust-to-power ratio compared to competitors in this segment. Bellatrix is working towards becoming a provider of combined solutions for all propulsion requirements and is currently developing different varieties of chemical and electric propulsion systems for satellites ranging from nano satellites to heavy satellites.”

Talking about the unique features of Bellatrix’s work, Ganapathy explains, “Just as cars need engines to move, satellites need propulsion systems for orbit raising and station keeping (maintaining proper orientation) applications. Most of the current satellites today use chemical propulsion

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Given the high cost of sending satellites to Space, the proposition of reducing the satellite mass even by a small amount is very attractive. Traditional satellites employ chemical propulsion systems which considerably reduce the on-board space available for payload. This makes the satellites very inefficient and expensive to launch. Electric propulsion systems negate this as they require much less fuel in comparison with traditional systems. This results in a dramatic downsizing of the propulsion system allowing for a satellite to carry much greater payload and enhance the orbital endurance. This allows for greater profitability and a competitive advantage among satellite operators adopting electric propulsion systems.

Bengaluru is also the hub for Space companies in India. With ISRO, HAL and BEL headquartered in Bengaluru, a complete ecosystem for aerospace manufacturing has come up in the city. The Public Private Partnership model is the key to building a better world with affordable access to Space-based services.

Bellatrix is aiming to also diversify into ground to Space propulsion (rocket propulsion) after getting a good foothold in the in-Space propulsion area. It is working on newer ways of making access to Space more affordable through ‘Chetak’, a reusable micro launch vehicle that can carry a 200 kg payload to Low Earth Orbit. When this happens, Bellatrix would be the first private company to launch a rocket from Indian soil. The highs for Bellatrix have been getting a developmental contract from ISRO, receiving the TDB National Award 2017 from the President of India for development of technology with potential for commercialisation. Ganapathy was also featured on Forbes India and Forbes Asia’s ‘30 under 30’ list for the year 2018.

 Bellatrix team receiving Technology Development Board National Award – 2017 from President of India.

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CRADL Brad Snyder & Brandon Clarke: Co-Founders

The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. – Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Introduction

Innovation Story

Formed in 2016, CRADL is a partnership between Brad Snyder and Brandon Clarke focused on putting Phoenix at the forefront of exploration and innovation in technologies, media, products, and services that help delight, and even save children and families. CRADL’s mission is to help professionals and entrepreneurs recognize that children are students and athletes and brothers and sisters and gamers and much more—at the same time. Programming, educating, and creating with the whole child in mind will result in better products and services that will move society from reaction and symptom-treating towards solutions, more supportive communities, and a stronger economy.

As proud fathers, our children are at the center of our worlds and, along with our wives, we are incredibly grateful to have the means to provide them a life of comfort and adventure. As entrepreneurs with several ventures between us, we’ve aligned our passion for what inspires the life and learning of kids with our individual skill sets. Brad as a child-life specialist, author, researcher, and founder of New Amsterdam Consulting, and Brandon as an avid youth sports coach, startup mentor, and co-founder of the StartupAZ Foundation. CRADL is poised to tackle big challenges facing today’s youth. Starting with mental health therapy in schools and the factors that affect school climate, we are in the early stages of developing WEXLER; a platform that will help millions of troubled students that lack access to resources to help cope with incidents of bullying, abuse, neglect, and other childhood traumas. Only 4.2% of school districts in the U.S. provide adequate access to counselors, yet nearly 45 million children have survived an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). WEXLER is designed to triage and deescalate common and even not-so-common situations which in turn, will help make classrooms more productive, campuses safer, and improve the overall learning environment. The goal is to provide students with actionable tools and situational-relevant resources based on their needs while beginning to develop a circle-of-care with parents/guardians, teachers, and mental health professionals. Where possible, CRADL leverages the talent within the local startup community, partnering with innovative entrepreneurs who have the market-defining technologies that help move WEXLER forward. CRADL is also evaluating a connectivity platform designed to reduce the unacceptably high turnover rate of foster parents and the multiple placements that plague children in the foster care system. The objective is to create a community which centers on better resourcing caregivers

cradl.co

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Why Phoenix?

and providing actionable techniques and trainings based on the needs of the youth in their care. In partnership with Foster Arizona—a young and ambitious non-profit that works tirelessly in the foster care community— we aim to reduce the current 80% turnover rate of foster care parents by 30% in two years. Better resourced caregivers create a more sustainable environment and less disruption for our nearly 18,000 displaced youth in the state of Arizona. And finally, CRADL’s signature event, the Cross-Border Youth Summit, was our way of reacting and responding to the increasingly louder and more vitriolic rhetoric, targeting the heritage of children and youth ins the Southwest. CBYS was designed to be an opportunity to convene middle school students from Mexico and the United States to share experiences and propose solutions on topics ranging from prejudice and bullying to commerce, education, and media. CBYS 2018 hosted over 250 students from both countries who collectively made impactful statements about how they wish to be portrayed in the media, educated in their schools, engage positively with their peers in person and over social media, and generally treated by the companies making the products they consume. The plan for CBYS 2019 is nearly 800 students with an expanded agenda, a higher-level of engagement, and even higher quality connectivity.

Greater Phoenix is well positioned to become the place to develop products and services for a more culturally diverse population. The demographics of Arizona now match what the demographics of the overall US population are predicted to be in the coming decades, making this region the perfect lab to develop and test products, strategies, and business models in education, healthcare, transportation, and media.

Advice & Best Practices Find a big problem that you’re passionate about that needs solving in a large enough market to make a sustainable and growing business out of it. If you lack experience in the industry or sector, find a job that allows you to build your expertise and become the most qualified person to solve the problem. 90% of startups fail. Avoid being in the majority by overpreparing. Ideas are easy, execution is hard. Find your tribe! “Surround yourself with people that push you to do and be better. No drama or negativity. Just higher goals and higher motivation. Good times and positive energy. No jealousy or hate. Simply bringing out the absolute best in each other.” — Warren Buffett

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ELEVATOR PITCH Caribu helps children age 0-7 to read and draw with their parents and grandparents through a video-call when they’re not in the same location. Caribu is a game-changer for the hundreds of millions of global families that are separated by distance and need to make memories together with their (grand)children through mobile and tablet devices.

OUR STORY We saw a picture of a soldier trying to read a children’s book to his daughter through a webcam and realized we could build something better. Today, many families are separated by distance because a parent travels for work, a grandparent lives in a different state or country, a parent is deployed, or the family is part of the 50% of couples who are divorced. Caribu’s platform opens up opportunities for children to connect with adults who can engage with them in real-time as they read and draw together.

Milestones

Caribu is using tech to rapidly scale and innovate a solution for the hundreds of millions of families, across the globe, that are separated by distance and want to make memories together with their (grand)children through mobile and tablet devices. Caribu allows you to call the toddler in your life, pick out a book, and read or draw together in real-time through a shared-screen video call. An in-app library has hundreds of books from leading children’s publishers (including Highlights, Sesame Street, Mattel, Usborne, and many others) in seven languages, and interactive educational workbooks and activities that you can draw on together. The result is an engaging experience in a carefully designed, curated, and secure platform. As our users say, “It’s FaceTime that kids don’t run away from.” Today, Caribu has customers in 164 countries.

We have been the finalist or winner in over 30 pitch competitions, winning over $100K in cash and prizes from organizations such as the 1776 Global Pitch Competition (with an investment from Steve Case), SXSW EDU, InterAmerican Development Bank, The Pitch Podcast on Gimlet Media, Teach For America, and Babson College. We have also been selected for many prestigious awards such Caribu being listed as a World Changing Idea by Fast Company and our CEO being named a Toyota Mother of Invention and one of the Top 100 Female Founders by Inc. Magazine. Caribu has been featured in Forbes for three years in a row, and has had over 90 international and national earned media mentions. We are also partnered with Blue Star Families to donate free subscriptions to all currently serving military.

Human connection has become a luxury good. Caribu’s mission is to bring families together, and our future vision is to be the world’s premier communications tool for people to collaboratively learn, be entertained, and connect. We want to change the world by creating the best and most engaging alternative for people to learn and bond with their families even when they can’t all be there in person.

“Caribu has a novel solution to a global parenting problem,” says Ryan Gunnigle, co-founder of Be Curious Partners and CEO of Kids II, whose brands include Bright Starts, InGenuity, Oball, Disney and Baby Einstein . “I believe this technology will redefine how families communicate and we’re excited to invest in this strategic partnership.” 289


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Maxeme Tuchman, Caribu’s CEO and co-founder, is eager to bring about the company’s future—and to do it in Miami. “The ecosystem in Miami is still young so we can be a big dolphin in a small pond,” Tuchman says. “In the past 3 years, we’ve invested as much in the Miami ecosystem as they’ve invested in us, and I’m honored to be building and growing our company in my hometown. There is an incredibly supportive and collaborative group of women in our ecosystem who will do everything in their power to lift each other up, celebrate each other, and help each other succeed. The future IS Miami.”

Her advice for future CEOs?

Maxeme Tuchman, CEO & Co-founder, with team

“Get a CTO as your co-founder. Make sure they can explain things to you like a six year old, that they have patience to do that, and that they realize the value of having you understand their world,” she says. “Also, have a BHAV (Big Hairy Audacious Vision) and keep your eyes on the prize. If you’re building something with an inspiring vision that’s going to change the world or create solutions to real-world challenges, that will keep you motivated. Finally, keep track of the small wins. You will have them. Lots of them. Remind yourself that those will add up to big wins one day.”

Caribu 111 NE 1st Street, 8th Floor, #112 Miami, FL 33132 +1-415-952-3974 Caribu caribu.com 290


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Cory Steven Tholl CEO

ELEVATOR PITCH Klymit makes ultra-lightweight sleep gear for when you’re away from your bed, focusing on solutions that are comfortable, reliable, and affordable. With a range of products designed and precision-engineered in-house, Klymit has been operating out of Utah for over 10 years, and is now based in Kaysville.

OUR STORY “We’ve chosen to solve what we view as the one main problem to being outside—sleeping,” says Cory Tholl, CEO of Klymit, who describes himself as an avid problem-solver who loves the outdoors. “People love to go camping, but many people hate to sleep away from their bed,” says Tholl. “And we recognize that, so we’re trying to solve this one obstacle that’s restricting people from enjoying the outdoors more.” Klymit specializes in portable mattresses for sleeping outside or away from your bed. “Many people carry a big bulky pad that’s not even comfortable,” says Tholl. “No wonder they don’t love sleeping outdoors. We saw that as an opportunity.” So Klymit set out to produce something that’s ultralightweight. “Something that can fit in your back pocket,” says Tholl, “while not sacrificing comfort.” Why focus on this problem? Tholl says it feels good to assist others in enjoying the outdoors. “Being outdoors is good for the soul,” he says. “It gets you away from the world of electronics, from the hustle and bustle of life.” 291


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Klymit works with all facets of the outdoor experience—boating, camping, hiking, hunting, and more, and aims to solve the problem of outdoor sleeping for everyone. Tholl cites first time campers as a group he particularly wants to help. “It pains me when first time campers go out and take really poor equipment, hate camping because their equipment was poor, and then never want to go camping again.” “It’s such a missed opportunity.” Klymit wants to change the mindsets of as many people as they can, so they make every effort to set their products at price points that make that possible. “A family with five kids can now actually afford to go out camping with real equipment and have a good experience outdoors.” Though sleeping mats are where Klymit first found success, they now offer a wide range of

other outdoor products, from sleeping bags, pillows, and tents, to backpacks, dinghies, blankets, and beds for your dog. What all these products have in common is that they’re custom designed and precisionmade using a CNC welding machine invented by the engineers at Klymit itself. “We needed a process that allowed us to prototype inflatable products with accuracy and quality,” says Tholl. They now use this CNC welding machine to create computerdesigned prototypes “really quickly, inhouse.” According to Tholl, this allows Klymit to think outside the box in terms of the products they can imagine.

they’ve operated out of, from Ogden to Clearfield, and now Kaysville. “Utah is just a really great place to do business,” says Tholl. “So many organizations and local governments have tools in place to help you be successful, and it feels like—on an individual level—people want to see you succeed.”

Utah, says Tholl, has also been instrumental in Klymit’s success. Fifteen minutes away from the mountains and with outdoor venues for skiing, camping, boating, hiking and hunting literally in their back yard, Tholl says at Klymit they’re inspired by their surroundings. Utah natives started the company, and most employees grew up there as well. “The outdoors are in our blood,” says Tholl. But it’s not just the physical climate that has aided Klymit. Especially in the early days, they received much-appreciated support from the angel investing network in Utah, and have been welcomed by every city 292

For more information on Klymit, visit klymit.com 457 Deseret Dr., Kaysville, UT 84037 +1-801-310-7235


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ROUTE ELEVATOR PITCH Route is a one-click premium shopping experience for online ordering and the only way to view all of your online orders, from any merchant, visually in one place. Online shoppers can insure and visually track everything they order online in one centralized app. E-commerce merchants can add Route to their online store by enabling one-click solutions for their customers for shipping insurance, visual package tracking, and one-click claim handling.

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OUR STORY Route CEO and Founder Evan Walker recognized the inconvenience of tracking shipments while traveling through Italy one summer. While out roaming the markets of Florence, he bought a few rare antiques he wanted to ship home but was concerned about not having visibility of the shipments. Realizing how little transparency there is around shipping packages and how difficult it can be when something goes wrong, the idea for Route was born. With how complicated the process of tracking down your packages is when it’s lost or having to jump through hoops if it’s damaged or stolen, the opportunity seemed enormous. “Our goal with Route is to simplify—making order tracking modern and visual, handling shipping issues with one click, and creating a better online shopping experience for consumers.’’ —Evan Walker, Founder/CEO of Route.

Additionally, the company offers Route Plus, which gives merchant partners the option for their customers to fully insure their packages for 1% of the cart value. “Route Plus merchants see on average an 8–12% conversion increase due to higher shipping confidence. A better experience means more repeat customers and a higher ROI,” says Walker. Once the shopper adds Route Plus at checkout, it enables one-click refunds and reorders for any packages that are damaged, lost, or stolen within the Route app. Route Plus is backed by 330 years of experience in insurance with LLOYDS, the world’s leading insurance company. What started out as a simple solution to a major pain-point has quickly escalated into a sweeping customer experience platform, with game-changing solutions and features. Since their January 2019 launch, Route has raised millions in VC funding, assembled a team that has built 5 billion dollar+ companies, and have quickly become one of Utah’s fastest growing startups. The Route HQ is located in Silicon Slopes, Utah, with an additional office in Los Angeles, California. therouteapp route-app routeapp route.com 294


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T A M P A

B A Y ,

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PIKMYKID WAS FOUNDED WITH THE VISION TO SIMPLIFY THE STUDENT DISMISSAL PROCESS, INCREASE SAFETY, AND SECURITY, EASE TRAFFIC, AND REDUCE THE CHAOS IN SCHOOLS AND NEIGHBORHOODS. PikMyKid is the only company in the United States that provides a comprehensive dismissal solution that addresses all of the dismissal needs of a school without the need to purchase, install, or support ANY additional hardware. As a true “Software as a Service” platform, teachers and staff are able to use their existing devices to manage PikMyKid. PikMyKid has partnered with Florida Department of Transportation to use predictive congestion planning to ease traffic around schools with traffic bottleneck around dismissal times. PikMyKid also uses machine learning to influence driver behavior in order to lower peak traffic loads in a very cost effective manner. With PikMyKid’s rapid adoption among schools, we are increasingly being used as the de facto channel for communication by schools for reaching out to their parent community through push notifications. We are quickly evolving from being a standalone solution for a single problem to becoming a platform where other products and services are offered to our impassioned community. This is possible due to rapid adoption from the parent community averaging over 85% in every school with a very high end user engagement on our platform on a daily basis. 295


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for teachers

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for parents

B A Y ,

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for districts

PikMyKid system is sold as an Annual Site License to single schools, school districts, after school programs, YMCAs, etc. Our highly qualified in-house development team is constantly working to improve the PikMyKid program using cutting edge innovations regularly. As a part of the Annual Site License, each client also receives all of the future product enhancements and innovation.

2

for administrators

PikMyKid Schools regularly see 85% to 95% parent adoption within four weeks of launch. PikMyKid also includes an integrated Parent Notification System. Every successful student dismissal prompts a push notification automatically to each parent. Schools are also able to send custom notifications for any reason; late bus, emergencies, cancellations and any other reason.

Set-up, Training and Support is included in the Annual Site License for Staff & Parents. PikMyKid has a team of 100% USA based support reps ready to help. Support is 24 hours a day, seven days a week 365 days a year for our schools and families. PikMyKid Platform was designed with a simple idea: provide a safer dismissal process using the school’s existing devices and infrastructure, eliminating any need for costly expenditures on hardware, scanners, servers, ID cards and other consumables. PikMyKid is able to effectively manage all the above without tracking students using biometrics, scanning cards/codes or any form of additional hardware requirements. 296


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J A C K S O N V I L L E

SORBOTICS is a market-leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) software technology startup. They have developed the industry’s 1st AI operating system IIoT software platform that solves industrial enterprises’ biggest pain points.

SORBA is the world’s most advanced enterprise industrial IoT platform that enables engineers, data scientists, operators, and maintenance teams to build their own machinelearning solutions for OT & IT digitalization applications. SORBA is built on open-source technologies that streamline our everyday lives. The unique market differentiator behind the technology is all the automation under the hood, allowing for users to build AI solutions with no data science or academic experience required. With measurable ROI, SORBA gives industrial sectors the following sustainable unique capabilities: • • • • •

Improves Asset Utilization Rates & Efficiency Eliminates Unplanned Downtime with Predictive Analytics Reduces Operating Expenses by 20–45% Increases process optimization metrics by 3–10% Decreases poor quality production & waste defects

SORBOTICS in its current state goes to market through channel partners and industrial system integrators that understand their customers’ business problems. AI and predictive analytics is a booming industry with a $14 trillion market-share opportunity to capitalize on and provide value. The SORBA software platform continues to position and differentiate itself amongst the IBMs, Siemens, and General Electrics of the world by focusing on delivering operational impact and economic value through:

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Yandy Perez serves as the President & CEO of  SORBOTICS, LLC. He’s recognized by  IEEE  as one of the most influential and forward-thinking data scientists in the world. His thought leadership has drawn awareness on how to combine the world of industrial automation with cutting edge predictive analytics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence technologies. His extensive background and skills are in Machine Learning, Big Data, industrial automation, and AI. Yandy is a strong research professional with BSEE in Electrical Engineering, MS in Automation Control & Computer Systems, and in the last stretch of receiving his PhD in Machine Learning, all from Cuba’s globally renowned Central University of Las Villas.

• • •

End-to-End solutions: That Access, Aggregate and Analyze Data, Seamlessly, to Deliver Operational Efficiency Improvements Open platform: Interoperable Architecture/APIs for Improved Flexible Business System Integration Intelligence On The Edge: For the creation of Real-Time Machine Learning Models deployed to the edge, onto Assets, as a Virtual Operator to Prevent Mission Critical Downtime that allows equipment/ processes to self-diagnose themselves. Own The Data: AI Automation Tool Used by SMEs to Build their OWN Models to MAKE Failure Predictions.

• •

Optimize Costs: The software requires no data scientist or coding experience. Companies can reduce Costly Resource Intensive academia teams. Built for Engineers, Maintenance, and Operations Personnel to Derive VALUE from their DATA. Industrial platform: Industrial Automations 1st Big Data End-To-End Solution for AI/IIoT EDGE Asset Intelligence. Unique Capability: Innovation Company Capable of Combining Sensor Data with Image Process Data to Build CONFIDENT Failure Prediction Models.

The SORBA technology has allowed us to capture a portion of a 9-figure-dollar opportunity in solving equipment reliability and process optimization issues over a multitude of use cases. GeorgiaPacific is achieving 5-6-figure ROI wins leveraging the SORBA technology in predicting a multitude of asset component level failures that can be replicated throughout our entire cellulose division of manufacturing. We now have the ability to enable our OT/IT infrastructure as AI IIoT ready enterprise and rapidly scale the SORBA technology over 33 plants here in North America within Koch Industries’ Georgia-Pacific Portfolio. sales@sorbasoft.com sorbotics.com

—Roshan Shah, Director of CSC Operations & Advanced Analytics

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ELEVATOR PITCH Urban SDK streamlines government and IoT data to automate performance measures and discover insights in real-time, helping to transform cities’ mobility, transportation, and safety operations.

Urban SDK additionally provides a data exchange to connect transportation systems with a collaborative data platform of 140+ real-time datasets for end-to-end integration and advanced analytics.

OUR STORY Established in 2018 by Justin Dennis and Drew Messer, Urban SDK is a digital government intelligence platform combining real-time location data with predictive analytics. It provides software-as-a-service (SaaS) to combine real-time location data, predictive analytics, and a data marketplace to automate performance indicator dashboards to track performance, predict needs, and visualize big data at the street level to increase productivity and decision-making. Transportation, transit, law enforcement, and government organizations gain intelligence and data management to predict mobility and safety patterns such as traffic, parking, pedestrian movement, and safety incidents.

“Public officials and transportation engineers struggle with manual research, data requests, and inconsistent data to measure and plan their mobility system,” Partner Justin Dennis said in a statement. “Urban SDK provides data management and predictive intelligence software for transportation engineers and transit engineers much like navigation apps for drivers of connected vehicles. ” By collecting disparate data, connecting devices and systems, and then analyzing and interpreting that data, Urban SDK can automate responses

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and also predict outcomes, making an asset of IoT data. Streamlining data streams in this way gives cities the tools they need to improve all facets of transportation. In Jacksonville, Urban SDK’s platform is being used to develop a Congestion and Transportation Data Dashboard, enabling the North Florida TPO to manage congestion and transportation planning more effectively and to report on its commitment to improving the region’s services.

Finally, their solutions help cities to track and ultimately meet their climate goals by predicting impacts on emissions, fuel consumption, and air quality. “Urban SDK provides us visibility, analytics, and predictive intelligence on our local and regional roadways through sensors, traffic systems, and vendor technology deployments,” says Jeff Sheffield, Executive Director of North Florida TPO. “This allows us to configure and analyze disparate data for road safety and better transportation services.”

Urban SDK’s systems help reduce congestion by going beyond data gathered from sensors and cameras and incorporating emerging mobility technology and data from connected vehicles. They improve safety by using location intelligence to analyze traffic incidents and response times, in addition to pedestrian walking patterns, in order to enable better routing and safety technology deployment. And by connecting public and third-party consumer transportation data, Urban SDK can analyze and plan equitable access to sustainable transportation.

Urban SDK’s efforts and solutions have garnered significant and muchdeserved support and attention. The company was a finalist in the California Technology Council “Smart Cities Week” Pitch Fest and helped North Florida to be named a finalist in an exclusive Smart Regions competition. Urban SDK is also part of the 2019 Startup in Residence (STIR) cohort, which pairs startups with cities across the country to solve civic challenges. Urban SDK collaborated with other innovators to foster innovation in IoT and smart city technologies, and the company has partnered with the City of Memphis and MATA to build a data management platform for transit planners.

“We believe the future city is connected digitally and physically,” Justin Dennis said. “Our mission is to connect community assets, services, and systems with digital intelligence to impact quality of life.” 25 North Market Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 | +1-904-859-7896 UrbanSDK | Urban SDK | UrbanSDK.com

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SNAP! ORLANDO PRESENTS

CITY unseen

A New [AR]t Experience

Snap! Orlando presents ‘CITY unseen,’ an ongoing public art project with site specific installations across Orlando. This project opens artistic borders by launching the city into Augmented Reality [ AR ] experiences, with fusions of works by internationally renowned artists and cutting-edge AR technology. Experiences include murals coming to life, a projection mapping finding permanence into the virtual world, and a teleport bringing the viewer into a 360 degree visit of an artist’s studio in Los Angeles. City Unseen is designed to push the artistic boundaries of this new medium to connect Orlando to a global conversation about how to use emerging technology to create higher forms of art and educational experiences. The project enhances viewers’ perspectives on art, dimensional reality, and perception, adding another layer of cultural significance to the Downtown, and Central Florida region. City Unseen initially takes root in Downtown Orlando with a number of public installations and murals around the city that are enhanced with embedded augmented reality components which can be viewed with the CITY Unseen app.

Experiences include murals coming to life, a projection mapping finding permanence into the virtual world, and a teleport bringing the viewer into a  360 degree visit of an artist’s studio in Los Angeles. Featured artists are Miami multi disciplinary artists Felice Grodin, Ivan Toth Depena, Turkish digital artist  Can Büyükberber, Los Angeles artists Nancy Baker Cahill, Matthew Swenson, German street artist  Mark Gmehling, Australian artist Marc-o-Matic, Central Florida installation artists  Mark Gerstein, Synthestruct, Matt Roberts, and Dengke Chen, and JR’s Inside Out/ Dreamers project.

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City Unseen positions Orlando as a pioneer with a new vision for the fusion of art and technology in the 21st century and serves as a platform for discussion about social, cultural, and environmental issues affecting those around us. Snap! Orlando is a leading Florida contemporary art organization with the mission to boldly increase the visibility and appreciation of the photographic arts and digital medium as a significant cultural art form. Snap! has captured the interest and respect of artists, enthusiasts, and critics around the world. Snap! founders Patrick and Holly Kahn were named in Orlando Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful in 2018.

Press: Orlando Sentinel:   ‘CITY unseen’ is a new [AR] installation, merging traditional art forms with modern augmented reality technology to create a public, always-accessible installation throughout Orlando.’  Calendar front page:  https://www.orlandosentinel.com/ entertainment/os-et-s4-snap-orlando-arexhibit-city-unseen-20181106-story.html NPR: ’The idea of using augmented reality has spilled over into the art world, and now Orlando residents can experience it for themselves at a new exhibit called City Unseen at SNAP! Orlando on Colonial Drive.’  Interview:  https://www. wmfe.org/intersection-city-unseen/92939 Orlando Weekly:  ’We have two predictions for City Unseen: It’s going to look cool as hell, and it’s going to be really difficult to describe in writing.’ Link:  https://m.orlandoweekly.com/ Blogs/archives/2018/10/05/snap-kicksoff-new-ar-enhanced-cityscape-exhibitwith-projection-mapping-on-a-downtownlandmark

Orlando Magazine: ‘Do not be alarmed if you find yourself wandering through downtown Orlando next month among buildings whose walls are wobbling with multicolored figures and designs. You did not just wake up from a bender. Your experience has been professionally curated by Patrick and Holly Kahn, owners of Snap! art galleries, who are orchestrating a series of augmented-reality creations to be virtually superimposed on landmarks and building facades beginning Oct. 3. The images— created by artists such as Nancy Baker Cahill, Can  Bukukberber  and Mark  Gerstein—will be visible via an app on your cell phone. Other works will materialize, or seem to, in the Mills 50 district and at The Mall at  Millenia, one of the sponsors of the project, which is called “City Unseen.” The Kahns envision their enterprise as an ongoing digital open-air art gallery, minus the uproar that usually precedes public-spaces beautification of the brick-and-mortar variety. No grousing about the cost to taxpayers. No construction delays. No sidewalk superintendents dissing the designs. And best of all, no pigeons.’ 

CITY unseen 2018 installations: NANCY BAKER CAHILL “Hollow Point 101” located on the lawn of UCF / CREATIVE VILLAGE, 425 W. Livingston St, Orlando, 32801 “Hollow Point 101” located on sidewalk, adjacent to CANVAS INTERIORS STORE, 784 N. Orange Ave, Winter Park, 32789 “ Virtual Studio” located at the front lawn  of SAM FLAX ART STORE, 1800 E. Colonial Dr, Orlando, 32803 “Virtual Studio” located at THE MALL AT MILLENIA, 4200 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32839. Inquire at Concierge. INSIDE OUT PROJECT “Dreamers” located at the parking of JES BAUMAN SALON, 1043 N. Mills, Orlando, 32803 MARK GMEHLING “Turbo Oops” located at the back alley of SNAP! SPACE GALLERY, 710 Thornton Ave, Orlando, 32803 CAN BÜYÜKBERBER “Ray:Trace” located at the lawn of SEASIDE BANK, 32 W. Robinson Orlando, 32801 MATTHEW SWENSON “Silv[AR] Clouds” located at the lawn of LAKE EOLA PARK, 227 N. Eola Dr, Orlando, 32801 FELICE GRODIN “Below Sea Level” located at the front lawn of DR. PHILLIPS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 445 S. Magnolia Ave, Orlando, 32801.

CITY unseen app is available on the App Store & Google Play List of compatible devices: cityunseen.us/download cityunseen.us   | snaporlando.com 302


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ELEVATOR PITCH The world’s largest manufacturer of miniature cinder blocks creates all of its products by hand, using the same processes as the products’ lifesize counterparts but on a tiny scale.

OUR STORY In 2015, graphic designer Mat Hofma solved a tiny problem. Why wasn’t there a market for realistic miniatures? Within three months, Erik

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Polumbo, a college buddy and businessman, was on board, and Mini Materials was born where so many genius projects are: in a garage. Mini Materials’ products are construction materials created by hand on a tiny scale—on five tiny scales, to be exact: 1:24 (that of a toy car); 1:18 (that of die-cast models); 1:12 (like dollhouses); 1:6 (like Barbie); and 1:4 (the scale for radio-controlled and modeling cars). Unlike so many manufacturers of similar items—Legos is their biggest competitor—Mini Materials makes nothing from plastic and they outsource no labor; everything is produced in the U.S. Even their cinder blocks’ concrete is mixed,


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poured, and removed from palm-sized silicon molds by hand. (“Arthritis is real,” Erik adds with a smile.)

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supply catalog in the Midwest, while architecture schools already use Mini Materials to build out their blueprints. The team is eager to see how far they can go in both of these directions, and in any case, they are certain there is more to their market than simply construction miniatures.

Mini Materials’ innovation lies in its disruption; instead of creating specific products for niche markets, the company can cast a wide net of novelty, because their products are, in their perfection and scale, just that irresistible. And instead of searching the world over for the cheapest chain of supply, Mini Materials has taken their production into their own hands—often literally. The result is a throwback to bespoke manufacturing combined with an aesthetic that is modern and playful.

A bit like its products, the Mini Materials team is powerfully small. There’s really just Mat, Erik, and Alli Goldwag, who manages the company’s entrancing social media presence. Because each team member has vastly different skillsets, it’s easy for everyone to “stay in their own lanes,” Erik says; no labor is lost to overlapping duties or tasks. When everything is going so well under a team of three, it’s tempting to imagine what a company double their size might accomplish. But that line of thinking—that bigger is always better—is exactly the concept Mini Materials has defied, and to great success.

But Mini Materials’ novelty is “novelty with a purpose,” Erik says. Recently, they have moved into branding—imagine tiny cinder blocks painted with a company’s logo—and also into education, with a special focus on supporting STEM disciplines. This year, their products made it into the pages of a school-

erik@minimaterials.com minimaterials minimaterials.com 304


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A U S T I N

PENPAL SCHOOLS

HELPING TEACHERS CONNECT THEIR STUDENTS TO LEARN WITH PENPALS AROUND THE WORLD AND FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS.

PenPal Schools is the world’s largest projectbased learning community, with over a quarter million students in 150 countries. Students collaborate through online projects ranging from human rights and the environment to fake news and robotics, all while practicing literacy, technology and social-emotional skills. PenPal Schools was recognized by President Obama and selected by Common Sense Education for the Best Edtech of 2017. PenPal Schools projects are designed for students ages 8-18 and are aligned to a wide variety of academic standards. All projects are inquirybased and are offered at multiple difficulty levels, which can be differentiated based on student ability. Some projects are designed specifically to accommodate English-language learners. 305


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Students work in groups with classmates to create original videos, presentations, service projects, art, poems, and more. Students then share their creations with peers, teachers, and parents from around the world in the PenPal Schools Showcase. As students collaborate with their classmates to create projects they practice a variety of social and emotional skills. Students must work together to combine their various talents, accommodate multiple opinions, and combine their efforts into one cohesive project. To help students create their projects, they log in to complete a series of lessons. Each lesson includes a video, non-fiction text, and discussion question. Once students answer the discussion question they gain access to a forum of thousands of students from around the world who have answered the same question. Students must then interact with peers from around the world to gather diverse perspectives to include in their projects. Students must develop empathy and respect for other cultures and perspectives, while learning how to collaborate productively with peers with different working and communication styles. PenPal Schools makes global project-based learning easy for teachers by providing premade, self-guided projects. However, teachers still play an active role. Teachers can review student projects in the Showcase, and can review every message that students send and receive in the lesson forums. Teachers can provide students with private written feedback and can grade student work across a wide

A U S T I N

variety of reading comprehension, writing, digital citizenship, and social & emotional skills. Assessment criteria are customizable and are aligned to Common Core standards. In addition to teacher assessment, students must reflect on their own performance and learning, and are encouraged to provide feedback to classmates and peers around the world. In addition to reviewing and grading student work, teachers can access supplemental offline class activities as well as a wide variety of professional development resources related to social-emotional learning, project-based and inquiry-based learning. Teachers can also connect with teachers worldwide through educator forums, and can invite teachers from the PenPal Schools community to join them in projects. Teachers can search by country, subject, student age, and other factors to find classrooms around the world to invite to projects. As part of our professional development opportunities, PenPal Schools provides educators with opportunities to discuss concepts related to project-based learning with colleagues around the world. Our teacher forums are very active with educators and experts who share tips, resources, and examples of success from their classrooms. Today, parents are able to log in to view their students’ work in the Showcase. There is also a parent mobile app, and parents and administrators can analyze extremely details and holistic student-learning data and access recommendations to address learning gaps.

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Joe Troyen, Founder, PenPal Schools

Join the world’s largest collaborative learning community—PenPals Schools makes projectbased learning easy, loved by students and teachers in 150 countries! penpalschools.com


“Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.” —Bob Burg & John David Mann, The Go-Giver


AFTERWORD


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S T .

L O U I S

… the concept of giving to give.

So I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the team at Global Village for its innovation in publishing; Scott for thinking of me when this shiny object crossed his path; all the participants for sharing their stories, photos, and videos; and all the members of this tribe who are demonstrating how giving to give can change their businesses and an ecosystem.

For more than 40 years, I’ve been a passionate advocate for honesty and high ethical standards in sales. This passion was sparked in my youth as Dad taught me: “It’s just the right way to behave, Son.” Then as I proceeded through my entrepreneurial career, I learned that it’s not only the right way to behave, it’s the surest way to achieve phenomenal sales results, because at the core of honest selling is the most magnetic force in humanity …

And I’d like to invite you all to help me take that concept to a larger ecosystem. I am hereby announcing a new book in the Innovate® series—Innovate® Society. This book will tell the stories of 50 regional nonprofits (one from each of the United States) that are innovating not only society itself, but how nonprofits function, raise money, and succeed.

… the concept of giving to give. Humans are a tribal species. Birds of a feather flock together. Givers attract givers and repel takers. So salespeople who put the interests of buyers above their own will inevitably become members of a very large, very giving tribe.

We will give each nonprofit four full pages in the book, all the design work, and even the writing absolutely free, so they can share their inspirational stories with all the other “cool kids” in our Global Village.

And in that tribe, everyone always wins. So when Scott Levine approached me about the Innovate® St. Louis project, informed me I’d be working for nine months for zero pay, mentioned there was no guarantee I’d ever see a dime, and told me Global Village would give all participants in the book their pages as a gift with zero obligation to buy a single book, I, of course, replied: “I’m in!”

Adding my own innovative twist: We won’t ask any of them to buy books! By the time Innovate® Society is published, it will contain the combined energy of thousands of givers across this country. And when we direct that energy outward, it will change the world.

The aspect of these Innovate® books that excites me the most is that people who don’t yet understand the value of giving to give can witness its magnetic power firsthand. And when they do, our tribe will grow, and more people will win.

Are you in?

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Gill Wagner is a true Renaissance man and sales expert, with 40+ years of advocacy for the elimination of deceit and dishonesty from the profession he loves. His peers have named him the “Father of Honest Selling,” the “Best Business Connector in St. Louis” and one of the “Top 100 St. Louisans to Know” to succeed in business. His passion is identifying the win-win connections others don’t see, and his preferred model of doing business is on straight commission.

+1-314-416-1440 innovatesociety@gillwagner.com in.gillwagner.com gillwagner.com 310


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S T .

L O U I S

PARTICIPATORS INDEX (ware)HOUSE 153

Geniecast 91

Myself Belts

183

AB Biotek

65

GiftAMeal 173

Nestlé Purina PetCare

119

AB Mauri

63

GlobalHack 163

Nvsted 57

113

goBRANDgo! 219

Open Bionics

Advocado 97

Harris-Stowe State University

129

OPO Startups

AEGIS Law

257

Heartwork Videos

67

PenPal Schools

Affton School District

133

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

253

PikMyKid 295

Angad Arts Hotel

205

icon Mechanical

83

Polsinelli 273

Influence & Co.

227

Acropolis Investment Management

Arch Grants Assocatied General Contractors of Missouri

23, 159 81

iSelect Fund

43

277 31 305

Provider Pool

69

Purpose First Advisors

271

Babyation 181

ITEN 247

RISE Collaborative Workspace

BARx Adaptive Training

James Thomas Productions

Route 293

197

239

BDO 261

Jay King (Simploy)

11

S&B Candy & Toy

Bellatrix 285

Jennah Purk (Purk & Associates)

22

Saint Louis Bank

Benjamin Ola Akanda (Washington University

Jerry Schlichter (Schlichter Bogard & Denton)

19

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

35

185 9, 107 151

in St. Louis)

13

John G. Gatewood (Gatewood Wealth Solutions)

15

Shift 267

Benson Hill Biosystems

71

Josh Turner (LinkedSelling)

18

SIMPLOY 259

BioGenerator 53

Judy Sindecuse (Capital Innovators)

17

SixThirty 55

BioSTL 51

Kaleidoscope Management Group

223

Small Business Monthly 235

Black Dress Circle

Klymit 291

Brandon Dempsey (goBRANDgo!) Bridge Bread

265 14

Label Insight

103

Snap! Orlando

301

Soozie’s Doozies

209

171

Landish 283

SORBA 297

47

LaunchCode 137

Spoke Marketing

Caribu 289

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

St. Louis Mosaic Project

Carter Williams (iSelect Fund)

Lelander 99

St. Louis Sports Commission: The Musial Awards

193

CEdge 263

Less Annoying CRM

St. Louis Surge

195

Claim Academy

LettUs Grow

Capital Innovators

21

141

167

95 281

215 37

STLMade 233

Cohen Architectural Woodworking

85

Concordance Academy of Leadership

157

LinkedSelling

Connections to Success

165

LockerDome 101

Swip Systems

Logan University

SwipeSum 115

Construction Forum STL Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

77 149

Lewis & Clark Ventures

45 18, 139

131

LUZCO Technologies

Stryker Construction

75

Sweetology 211

79

The Brown School at Washington University in

12

St. Louis

93

Cortex 27

Marie Carlie (BDO)

Covo 33

Maritz

CRADL 287

Mary McKay (Brown School at Washington

Dena Ladd (Missouri Cures Education Foundation) 20

University in St. Louis)

Dick Fleming (Community Development Ventures) 16

mastHERclass 145

Tremendousness 221

Eckert’s

24, 121

The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel The Yield Lab

10

Travis Liebig (Saint Louis Bank)

10, 127 201 49 9

207

MediBeacon 61

Urban SDK

299

Elasticity 225

Metaphase 179

Varsity Tutors

143

Emily Lohse-Busch (Arch Grants)

23

Mini Materials

Warehouse of Fixtures

189

Entrepreneurs’ Organization STL

245

Welcome Neighbor STL

169

303

Missouri Cures Education Foundation

EQ 231

Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association

Experience on Demand

Missouri Partnership

269

Filament 241

20, 249 251 39

Mobility for U®

175 311

Wisper Internet

89

Xplor 237 Zarak Khan (Maritz)

24


I N N O V A T E

S T .

L O U I S

InnovationsoftheWorld.com

SHOWCASING THE BEST OF THE WORLD – CONNECTING MINDS – BUILDING COMMUNITIES

The Innovate® series is a 300+ page in-depth study and AR video series that showcases the people and companies that are leading the race within the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems of each city and industry. A book with augmented reality videos, an online platform and a global network with a common goal of ensuring the brightest minds of the world connect and succeed.

IT’S A KIND OF MAGIC... DOWNLOAD THE GLOBALVILLAGE AR APP TO VIEW 100 AUGMENTED REALITY VIDEOS IN THIS BOOK!

To experience the future of print, download the Global Village AR App from the IOS or Android App stores. Open the App and hold it about 30cm above any page that contains an image with the “play” Icon.

Make sure your back camera is pointing at the page. Click the Play button that appears onscreen and immerse yourself in the latest updated content with reference to that page. 312


Copyright © GlobalVillage Partnerships ISBN: 978-1-949677-08-9

Profile for Sven Boermeester

INNOVATE® St. Louis  

It’s difficult for a city to improve on a reputation for great baseball and delicious beer, but St. Louis does just that. With its thriving,...

INNOVATE® St. Louis  

It’s difficult for a city to improve on a reputation for great baseball and delicious beer, but St. Louis does just that. With its thriving,...

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