Pure Danger Tech


St. Louis tech startup event

15 Jul 2008

There was a nice article this past week about UMSL’s tech incubator. The article also talks about the downtown incubator TEC and the new ITEN group formed to support early stage tech companies.

I’ve recently become involved with ITEN through Bob Lozano. ITEN will be hosting a joint ITEN – TEC event for tech startups on August 22nd at TEC in downtown St. Louis.

The format of the event will be a fun competition to find the companies with the best pitches:

Round one

The first round will be open only to companies/groups that bring pitches. We will break into small groups and the members of each group will present a short elevator-style pitch (2-3 minutes) to each other. A mentor from ITEN will join each group to keep things on track. In the end, each member of the group will rank their favorite pitches and the rankings will be combined to compute a winner for each group.

Round two

The second round is open to all and the winners from each group will have an opportunity to present their pitch to everyone that attends. One or more winners will be selected from the second group.

This is an excellent opportunity for young startup companies to hone their pitch, meet their peers in the area, and get exposure for angel funding, mentoring from ITEN, and other local resources.

Personally, I’d be thrilled to see a more vibrant, connected St. Louis startup scene. I’m continually impressed by the level of talent you can find in St. Louis. Often times, that talent moves to the valley or other areas with a greater concentration of tech companies, but I would love for it to instead stay here and become a concentration instead.

The funny thing is that this is already happening, just under the radar. Jim Brasunas, the director of ITEN, has been searching and cataloging early-stage tech companies in the area and has already found over 50! To me, that’s tremendously exciting. We’re hoping this event (and ongoing similar events) will help to build a community where people within and without are aware of what’s happening here.

We’ll be posting a sign-up and more information soon, but I wanted to put this out there as a teaser at least.