Missouri Venture Forum - Enterprise March 2012


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Missouri Venture Forum - Enterprise March 2012

  1. 1. March 2012 www.MissouriVentureForum.org From Translational Research to Technology TransferMarch A presentation by Kevin Clifford Whittington, Managing Director, Portfolio Partners LLCForum Facts: At the March meeting, Kevin C. Whittington be-Speaker: Whittington, Ph.D. will discuss the gan to investigateKevin Clifford Whittington path that led him from academia to technology trans-Managing Director entrepreneurship. He will discuss his fer, the process ofPortfolio Partners LLC experience of how entrepreneurs can taking an inven- launch start-up enterprises by being tion from its in-When: mediators of technology transfer and ception in a labo-Friday, March 2, 2012 working with both the faculty ratory to a com- researchers and universities. mercialized prod-Time: uct. His firm provides the new start-7:15 a.m.Registration & Networking Dr. Whittington is the Managing up enterprise with fundraising, senior7:40 a.m. Partner of Portfolio Partners LLC, a management, business strategy, legalBreakfast & Program St. Louis-Based Technology Transfer advising, sales and marketing, brand-9:00 a.m. Adjourn Firm™. The firm works with faculty ing, scientific consultation, intellec- researchers and the universitys tech- tual property strategy, coordinationWhere: nology transfer office to launch and of professional services (e.g., law,Greenbriar Country Club grow new enterprises. Portfolio Part- accounting, etc.), government and12655 Big Bend Rd. ners represents the interests of the public relations, networking, and de-St. Louis, MO 63122 faculty researcher and the university velopment of business culture and outside the institution. professionalism.Cost:Members — freeGuests — $49.00 per person His first brush with academia put Currently, Portfolio Partners LLC him on a career path of translational has partnered with a facultyGuests Must Prepay research or biomedical research researcher and the Office of Technol-(Visa, MasterCard, Discover and aimed at transforming scientific dis- ogy Management at WashingtonAmerican Express accepted) coveries into clinical applications to University School of Medicine to reduce the incidence, morbidity, and launch a drug discovery start-upRegister at: mortality of disease. company in St. Louis, Missouri.www.MissouriVentureForum.org With a B.A. in Biomedical Engineer- Whittington grew up in Creve CoeurOr call 314-241-2683 ing and Physics from Johns Hopkins and attended Ladue Horton Watkins University, and a Ph.D. in Neurosci- High School. Deadline—Noon ence from University of Maryland, Wednesday, February 29, 2012 (No refunds after the deadline) Members — A Chance to Win a Ticket to InvestMidwest MVF Members! Attend the Friday, March 2 Breakfast Meeting, put your card in the basket and you could win a complimentary registration to Invest- Midwest in St. Louis on April 4-5! For details on InvestMidwest, see page 10 of this newsletter.
  2. 2. President’s Column Off to a Great Start I couldn’t help but to be Chris also stated that he had learned to “embrace excited at our first 2012 his ignorance.” That is a great way to describe Breakfast Meeting. It was the dilemma most start-ups run into. In a new great to see so many familiar venture, what you don’t know can hurt you. As faces after the January hiatus. a matter of fact it can kill you. Impressive that There was a lot of buzz and the founder of a new venture knows that igno- Steve Thomas excitement in the room from rance is not bliss but a liability. Even more im-the time networking began until the networking pressive is when the guy with the idea roundsended, well after the presentation. MVF is out his team with people who possess the knowl-clearly a meeting place for those who wish to be edge or skills he needs. Hearing about the recentpart of the entrepreneurial marketplace in the Startup Weekend and the ongoing Third Thurs-region. days at ITEN are perfect examples of where en- trepreneurs with ideas can go to learn how toI listened closely to our speaker, Chris Sommers grow. There are many such venues for informa-from Pi Pizzeria as he described his path to suc- tion in our community.cess. I was impressed with his passion but alsowith how well Chris described some discoveries Lastly, I was impressed by Chris passion for histhat could be lessons to live by for every entre- venture. That same passion was true from ourpreneur. Whether he came to these thoughts by Two-Minute Forum presenters about their newdesign, through education or happenstance, they venture, Inclusion Sports. For Chris, this pas-rang very true. sion created new ideas and new opportunities such his new social media tool, Squid.Chris mentioned that we live in a “thank youeconomy.” This phrase he credited to author The February Breakfast Meeting really set theGary Vaynerchuck who published a book by that tone for what MVF promises for members andtitle (The Thank You Economy available on guests this year. Between the Membership Cof-Amazon). I plan to read it. Businesses today fees, Breakfast Meetings, Educational Eventsmust behave with the welfare of their customers and Invitation Events there will be something forin mind. The customers expect to be extremely everyone in our community. If you have an in-pleased, even thrilled in their interactions with terest in a particular topic, please let us know inyou and your products. People will stand for our survey following the meetings. I hope younothing less than that. Todays customers, happy all will continue to join us in sharing the pas-or mad, have a voice and the social media tools sion, excitement and information exchange thatto help or hurt you. Every successful entrepre- is MVF.neur knows that in his/her heart. Getting victo-ries and creating goodwill is especially essentialin a start-up. For example, having customers Steve Thomas, Presidentsell your products for you by telling others howgreat you are is part of the secret sauce behindlocal start-ups like Nawgan and Yurbuds. 2
  3. 3. March Organization Spotlight Board of Directors Officers ARCH Grants President: Steve Thomas Arch Grants was established in March 2011 as a 501(c)(3) entity The Net Impact to create a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in St. Vice-President: Louis. "We recognize that a critical mass of entrepreneurs is Bob Cockrell forming within the city and we believe that St. Louis offers Montgomery Bank advantages and amenities that no other city can offer, particu- Secretary:larly affordable space, powerful broadband capacity, access to support ser- Joe Soraghanvices and professional firms and a developing group of entrepreneurial com- Danna, McKitrick, P.C.panies." Treasurer: Marie CarlieOn its first round of non-equity funding, the organization will award at least Stone Carlie10 grants of $50,000 each at the beginning of May 2012 following a competi- Immediate Past President:tion starting on March 9. The grant recipients will also receive additional Bob Calcaterrasupport in the form of pro bono legal and accounting services, reduced rent on Start-Up Midwestoffice and residential space, business mentoring, collaboration with local uni-versities, and access to the St. Louis investor community. Directors Two Minute Chair:The business plan competition is open to all for-profit entities, across all in- Bill Ellis Branding for Resultsdustries. "If you’re committed to helping establish St. Louis as the place forentrepreneurs to be and if your venture aims to scale in terms of job creation Marketing/Communications Chair:and/or sales, we welcome you to apply." David Meyer Spoke Marketing, LLCInformation about the application process can be obtained by visiting Membership Chair:archgrants.org. Nicole Ursch Midwest BankCentre Outreach Chair: Vince Garozzo Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. Program Chair: Are You An Expert in Your Field? Anna Doyle Centric ConsultingAt MVF, we spend our time looking for that investor, supplier, account- Technology Chair & Newsletter Editor: Sorin Vaduvaant, attorney, future employee or partner that can help our endeavors ImRel, LLCmove forward. The conversations are colloquial and do not always giveyou the chance to tell how good you are in your own field. But I have a Directors At Largesolution for you: write an article in our newsletter and share your exper- Nick Akerstise and knowledge. All our members are eager to learn something new, Innoventor, Inc.find out what is going on in other industries, and see who their MVF Ken Harringtonpeers are. Washington University Tim McFaddenIf you have something to say in your field of expertise, write an article Armstrong Teasdale LLPand submit it for review to me at sorin@imrel.com or Judy Meador atJudy@missouriventureforum.org. Jim O’Donnell O’Donnell Capital Company, LLCSorin Vaduva, Newsletter Editor Frank Stokes Innovate St. Louis Chris Walsh InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum 3 Mark Witzling Citi
  4. 4. Education Committee MVF Education Upcoming EventsThe Education Committee has six events planned for plans for these events over the next two2012. By the time you read this, the first will have months. Watch this space for more details.occurred and was sold out. We presented“Alternative Sources of Funding” on February Our annual “Outlook for Capital21st, with panelists Darcia Betts, Rick Palank and 2013” event will also be at theJoy Ann Venverloh. Sheraton Clayton Plaza, on Thursday, November 15, 2012Our next Roundtable event, “Building A Profitable from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. PanelistsBusiness” is scheduled for March 22. The panelists and other details will be decidedwill be Judy Meador, Mitch Smith and George over the summer.Rosenthal. See below for location, time and otherdetails. Go to www.missouriventureforum.org/ to If you would like to help withregister. these events, the committee is al- Bob Cockrell ways looking for people. This is aPlease Save The Date for our next Education event, good opportunity to work closely with several tal-“Where’s The Cash?” scheduled for 4:00 to 7:00 ented business people in a collaborative effort, top.m., Thursday, May 17, 2012 at the Sheraton Clay- showcase your talents and skills, and to improveton Plaza, site of several recent MVF education your reputation in the entrepreneurial commu-events. The subject of the presentation will be a nity. You also would have the satisfaction of con-summary of the many sources of funding for entre- tributing to the continued success of the MVF Edu-preneurs. This event will be a panel discussion; cation program.three panelists will describe possible sources in sev-eral major categories: equity, such as micro-funding, The Missouri Venture Forum has been producingcrowd funding and angels; traditional bank financ- education events for 10 years, and we have achieveding; alternative financing such as mezzanine funds, some significant accomplishments in that time. Ourfactoring and grants; and a variety of other possible potential is even greater, and you could be a part ofsources. There will be a Q&A session, so if you that success. Call me, Bob Cockrell, or contact anyhave questions, come and find out if we have member of the committee for more information.answers! Bob Cockrell is Chair of the Education Committee andTwo more Roundtables are scheduled for July and can be reached at 314-579-4621.August. The Education Committee will be finalizing Register Now for the March 22 Roundtable—Attendance Limited to 25 When: Thursday, March 22, 4-6 p.m. Where: RubinBrown, One North Brentwood 11th floor, Clayton, MO What: Building A Profitable Business Cost: $15 per session—MVF Members Panelists: $20 for nonmembers Judy Meador, Former owner St. Louis Small Business Mitch Smith, Author & broker, Crane Insurance Register: www.MissouriVentureForum.org or George Rosenthal, President, Throttle Net call 314-241-2683 4
  5. 5. Two-Minute Forum Committee Powerful Branding in Three Words Your brand is your most valu- what isn’t currently working for you? I recommend able asset and needs to be to my clients that they engage in what I call a treated as such. If you don’t Branding Breakout (Brand audit) as a first step. manage your own brand, some- Think of this as a ‘balance sheet’ for your brand one else will. Needless to say, which begins to identify your assets and liabilities. not everyone has your best in- terests in mind and those that do Seek fresh perspective from people that you trust Bill Ellis may not have a truly accurate and that are knowledgeable about branding and understanding of your brand marketing. I often use the phrase ‘Move the Flash-and your goals. This becomes increasingly impor- light” which means to look at what’s ‘there’ in atant in situations which are time constrained, such different light or perspective. When we are used toas the MVF Two-Minute Forum presentations. seeing something one way it is very beneficial toBuilding a solid brand based on authenticity and review it in a different light, especially from aclarity is the best way to maximize both the short qualified expert. This is especially true with a newterm and long term results of your branding efforts. venture which is driven by an idea or an ideal. Of- ten times new businesses fail to be open to adaptingMy advice to anyone interested in branding their and adjusting to allow their idea, product or servicebusiness, or themselves, is to first make certain that to meet the needs of the market. If you’re attempt-they know what branding is (and isn’t), what it can ing to have the market fit your vision, you have a(and cannot) do for you and your business. A logo very low chance of success.is not a brand. A catchy saying is not a brand.Your brand is your value proposition, your promise Lastly, have patience. Branding is a process. Taketo the public, your reputation…in short your brand the time to make certain that the brand you areis the intangible sum of your attributes. Your brand building (or if re-branding that the changes you areshould result in an emotional connection with your looking to make) truly reflects what is best for yourcustomers. business. All too often businesses are reactiveIf you’re building a new brand (or re-branding an without taking a look at the long-term ramificationsexisting one) my very top line advice can be sum- of what it is they are proposing to build or change.marized in three words – Purpose, Perspective, and Branding is not a race. Rather it should be a me-Patience. thodical, intelligent approach to your business which will guarantee you more success as youWhat is the purpose of your branding? Know your move into the future.‘why’ and know your objective(s). Who do youserve – and how? What is the emotional connec-tion you’re attempting to achieve to establish that Bill Ellis is Chair of the Two-Minute Forumall important connection to your target customer? Committee and can be reached at 314-966-8889.If you are re-branding, focus on what is, as well as Learn more about how to apply to be a Two-Minute Forum presenter by going to www.MissouriVentureForum.org and click on “Two-Minute Forum” on the menu on the left side of the home page. 5
  6. 6. Two-Minute Forum Committee February Two-Minute Forum Presenter— INCLUSION SPORTSINCLUSION SPORTS is a St. Louis based company INCLUSION SPORTS has partnered with the Seniorthat has patented an innovative sport game called Olympics, YMCA, Rehabilitation Institute of Chi-BulletBall. For the first time, a non-adaptive all- cago, World Sports, and the Wounded Warriorsinclusive sport which allow persons with a disability Transition Unit.to play competitively on a level playing field againstanyone; disability or not! The company is seeking assistance with developing a marketing campaign, sponsorships for the SeniorBulletBall is also extraordinary because of its thera- Olympics and other sport venue commitments, legalpeutic benefits in providing a way for patients to expertise on Intellectual Property and company struc-have fun while improving their modality on the way ture, and other resources.to recovery. For additional information, contact Marc GriffinThe more people with disabilities can be integrated at mgriffin@inclusionsports.com or call 314-533-into society and be part of the workforce, the better it 2731 or visit www.inclusionsports.com.is for them and for the American economy. Bullet-Ball is a great way to break down barriers and is away to level the playing field not only in the confinesof the game itself, but in the way people regard theirown potential.The population of people with disabilities is increas-ing drastically and the challenge is, one, to integratedisabled people into mainstream society and two, toincrease opportunities for this population to experi-ence real and meaningful success. This sport is a steptoward both and the economic impact could be sig-nificant. (l-r) Charles and Marc Griffin, INCLUSION SPORTS MVF Membership Committee and Frontenac Bank Invite you to a FREE Networking Coffee Wednesday, March 28The first Networking Coffee for the New Year will be Wednesday, March 28 from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. TheCoffee is sponsored and hosted by Frontenac Bank at its location at 801 South Lindbergh. The bank islocated about 1/2 mile north of I-64 on the west side of Lindbergh at the Southwest corner of German Blvd.and Lindbergh.This is an opportunity to network with St. Louis area business leaders and learn more about Missouri VentureForum. The event is free but reservations are requested. Register at www.MissouriVentureForum.org. Sponsored by: 6
  7. 7. Membership Committee MVF Like Getting An Associate’s DegreeOver the last six years, I thought I had been exposed to A few days later, I called her to talkeverything the Missouri Venture Forum was “like.” It is more about her question. I asked herlike an inspiration when we have entrepreneurs such as why she was so surprised by my re-Chris Sommers from Pi Pizzeria come and tell us their sponse and discovered that she askedstories. It is like an education when you attend the the question because she was certainevents such as Getting Money From Angel Investors. It my answer would be yes, that sheis like a light bulb when you hear the Spotlight Organiza- should enroll in the two year pro-tion speakers talk about the different ways they are sup- gram. She further elaborated thatporting entrepreneurs. It is like a sigh of satisfaction since education is such a priority inwhen you hear Two-Minute presenters pitch their new my life and the life of my son, surely Nicole Urschidea. But I had no idea that the Missouri Venture Forum that would bleed over to the otherwas anything like an associate’s degree. And yet in one people in my life as well. I explained (as I forfeit thevery profound way, it is. chance of ever getting a job within the university system) that I don’t think traditional college is for everyone. InOver the holidays, my family had dinner with some close her instance, she has a career goal in mind that can befriends. The children were sufficiently fed, had opened accomplished in less time and for less expense if shetheir presents, and quickly departed to the basement to went through the accelerated program than if she wentplay. In these brief moments when the holiday gathering for her associate’s degree. I recommended she keepisn’t consumed by the barrage of “I need a snack, he isn’t looking to find an accelerated program that meets hersharing, and can you get this Lego out of my nose,” the needs. And much to the delight of both of us, she did.conversation is slightly more calm, light and mature.That is, until your friend throws a question at you that So how is the Missouri Venture Forum like getting anleaves you speechless. associate’s degree? Simply put, it’s not for everyone. We are a networking organization whose focus is bring-My friend, a nanny in her mid 40s, had enrolled in an ing together people who are genuinely interested in help-accelerated medical assisting program. She accepted a ing entrepreneurs. There is no prescribed way to do this,part time nanny position with a schedule that would al- but it should be at the forefront of all members’ mindslow her to attend classes, and they worked out her hus- and their main reason for being part of the organization.band’s work hours to accommodate her changing sched- All of us have a vested interest in the new businesses thatule. She talked to her small children about what it would find their home in the St. Louis area. These firms maymean for them and felt sufficiently satisfied that she had provide our next job, or those for our children or grand-tied it all up with a neat little bow and was ready to dive children. They may provide us with the inspiration toin. That is, until the school cancelled the classes. My finally get out there and do our own thing. As membersfriend begins to scramble. She is calling schools all over of the Missouri Venture Forum who don’t have the abil-town to see if they have similar programs only to find ity to yet call ourselves entrepreneurs, we need to belongone with comparable curriculum. The drawback for her because we want to do what we can to help make thoseis that it is a two year program resulting in an associate’s who have already taken the leap more successful. I hopedegree, meaning there will be core curriculum in addi- those of you that are already MVF members have ourtion to the classes focused on her chosen field. So she primary goal in the forefront of your mind, and those ofasks me, “Nicole, do you think I should go to college?” you thinking about becoming a member will do so be-I pause. I pause some more. I pause further, wishing my cause you have a passion for helping entrepreneurs suc-son would run up the stairs and tell me he wanted an- ceed.other cookie, so that I would have more time to thinkabout my answer and wouldn’t be forced to just blurt out Nicole Ursch is Chair of the Membership Committee andwhat I was truly thinking. But no such cookie request can be reached at 314-544-8585.came. I could pause no longer and finally told her, “No,I don’t think you should go to college” which was fol-lowed by wide eyes and then an exchange of blankstares. And then right on cue, someone came upstairswith a Barbie shoe lodged in her ear. 7
  8. 8. New MemberLee Crockett, CEO, Venture Advisors Inc.Venture Advisors creates, implements, and managesbusiness mentoring programs for municipalities, Have news about yourself? Received an award?economic development agencies, and small business Moved? Changed positions? Gotten a promotion,incubators. The programs provide tactical, business been a featured speaker? Send your information to:mentoring to start-up and small businesses to help Judy@MissouriVentureForum.orgthem launch, grow, and achieve sustainability.Introduced by Sam Hopmeier, Innovate VentureMentoring Service Olin Cup Competition Winners AnnouncedIn a move reflecting the wave of entrepreneurial activity happening in the region, at the Olin Cup Awards Cere-mony on February 1, an unprecedented three teams were selected to receive up to $50,000 each. Sponsored bythe Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, the annual Olin Cuptypically awards $70,000 in seed investment money to fund start-up businesses, and a $5,000 student prize. Thisyear, investments may total up to $150,000 for three teams: SoMoLend, a web-and mobile-based peer-to-peer lending company. Eyelten Therapeutics, a company designed to develop therapies to treat age-related macular degeneration Loadmaster ToolKit, a pocket computer with custom software to streamline loading and managing cargo on military airlifters.The $5,000 student prize was awarded to Ryan Rakestraw, a first-year MBA student at Olin Business Schooland a member of Freiezo, LLC, a company developing high-efficiency distributed wind energy systems. Thank you MVF Sponsors! www.charterbusiness.com www.stcpa.com www.stlouisarchangels.com www.evans-dixon.com www.advantagecap.com www.stlrcga CPAs, Business Consultants and Wealth Advisors www.carmodymacdonald.co www.stonecarlie.com 8
  9. 9. Events of InterestWednesday, February 29 Founder Institute’s "Ideation Bootcamp," designed to help you articulate your start-up businessideas, is from 6:00-9:00 .m. at T-Rex, 611 Olive St., 12th floor. The speaker is Peter Griess, Infrastructure Engineering withFacebook who previously worked at a start-up that was purchased by Yahoo. The event is free. There will be beer and pizza,and the best pitch will receive a $100 cash prize. Space is extremely limited, so register today at http://stl-startupideation.eventbrite.com/Friday, March 2 Missouri Venture Forum Breakfast Meeting from 7:15-9:00 a.m. at Greenbriar Hills Country Club. $49 fornonmembers. See front page for details. Register at www.MissouriVentureForum.org or call 314-241-2683.Friday, March 2 The Skandalaris Seminar Series: Developing Skills, Perspectives, and Relationships, is a free opportunityfor commercial and social entrepreneurs from the community and campuses of Washington University to explore possibilities,learn, and connect with each other. All events are free and open to the public. The event is from 1:00-4:00 p.m. The topic is“The Business Plan and Telling Your Story.” Please RSVP online at www.ideabounce.comThursday, March 8 ITEN 2nd Thursday from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Tavern of Fine Arts, 313 Belt Ave., 63112. Speaker: SarahSpear, Executive Director, Arch Grants. All are welcome to come and network with mentors, entrepreneurs, investors andothers.Thursday, March 22 MVF Entrepreneurial Roundtable from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Rubin Brown, One North Brentwood. Thetopic is “Building A Profitable Business.” See page 4 for details.Wednesday, March 28 MVF Membership Networking Coffee from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at Frontenac Bank, 801 South. Lind-bergh. No charge but please RSVP at www.MissouriVentureForum.org. See page 6 for details.Thursday, March 29 IdeaBounce® at 5:30 p.m. on the Washington University Danforth Campus in Steinberg Auditorium.IdeaBounce® is an opportunity for any entrepreneur or innovator to post their idea to the www.ideabounce.com. From the Ide-aBounce® site, the Skandalaris Center chooses 15-20 “bouncers” to give their 2-minute elevator pitch to a panel of judges andaudience of creators, inventors, investors, business people, service providers, customers, mentors, and others. Post your ideato www.ideabounce.com by Monday, March 26 at 9am to have your idea considered to be chosen to pitch. Or, attend theevent to hear ideas, participate in the “open mic” portion, and meet others in our concluding networking reception.April 4-5 InvestMidwest provides an opportunity to hear high growth companies from throughout the Midwest to present andnetwork with the audience of over 300 attendees including 60 -70 venture capital investors. See page 10 for details and visitwww.investmidwestforum.com or call 314-503-1019.Wednesday, April 4 Coffee with the Experts from 8:00-9:30 a.m. provides opportunities for startup social and commercialentrepreneurs to have a 10-minute private conversation (and a free cup of coffee) with panelists with various areas of exper-tise, including experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers. The only requirement to make an appointment is tohave an idea posted on www.ideabounce.com. Contact the Skandalaris Center at sces@wustl.edu or call 314-935-9134 toschedule an appointmentWednesday, April 4 Save the Date for Capital Innovators Demo Day. For more information go towww.CapitalInnovators.comFriday, April 6 Missouri Venture Forum Breakfast Meeting from 7:15-9:00 a.m. at Greenbriar Hills Country Club. $49 fornonmembers. Register at www.MissouriVentureForum.org or call 314-241-2683.Wednesday, April 11 Awards for the YouthBridge Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition include a keynote recep-tion, poster board session, and cocktail reception. RSVP online at www.ideabounce.comThursday, April 26 Gateway to Innovation Conference (G2I) will explore how IT drives growth in social media, mobility,the life sciences, manufacturing, finance, global commerce and industries yet to be discovered. Interactive break-out sessionswith regional executives and industry leaders will address the convergence of IT with other business imperatives. An eveninggala and awards program will recognize the efforts of local leaders and help foster the region’s most significant economiccluster. Apply now to have your early-stage venture featured in G2Is Entrepreneurial Showcase that gives a select number ofinnovative companies an opportunity to be seen by all of the conference attendees. Go to http://www.g2iconference.com/ fordetails. 9
  10. 10. Information for Entrepreneurs Register Now for the 2012 InvestMidwestThe 13th annual InvestMidwest is scheduled for April 4-5 and will be held at the Hilton St. Louis at theBallpark. The early bird registration rate of $350 is available through March 16. Missouri Venture Forumis an organizational sponsor of the event.InvestMidwest provides investors the opportunity to see presentations from the best high-growth compa-nies throughout the Midwest—43 companies representing 11 states will present in the three industry tracksof life sciences, IT/general business and clean energy/sustainability. These companies were selected fromover 100 applications by the 34 members of the InvestMidwest selection committee—the professionals thatvolunteered their time and expertise to this process are from 24 organizations representing five states.The event also provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors to network—the event attracts over300 attendees and includes 60-70 venture capital professionals and 25-30 angel investors.Recent research has confirmed the impact of the InvestMidwest program—companies that have presentedat InvestMidwest have raised over $850 million in funding and through acquisitions since presenting atInvestMidwest.For more information regarding the 2012 InvestMidwest,please contact Christine Walsh at cwalsh@stlrcga.org or 314-444-1151. Request for Applications St. Louis Regional i6 Project Third Round Applications Due – April 2, 2012The i6 Project provides $25,000 - $100,000 of funding to support commercialization of bioscience technolo-gies or business concepts from universities or other research institutions, entrepreneurs, or individualsthroughout the St. Louis region. It supports innovations in the broadly defined areas of bioscience includingbut not limited to: human health therapies, diagnostics, & devices; animal health; plant science; bio– andrenewable energy; and health care/bioscience service companies. The i6 program is intended to provide thefirst significant financing of new companies and is designed to support activities that will increase the prob-ability of obtaining follow on funding.Primary uses of the funds might include market assessments, lab experiments, and/or prototype develop-ment. Funded projects also receive the opportunity for additional support from the BioGenerator beyond thei6 Project funding. Such support may include access to the BioGenerator Accelerator Labs facility, manage-ment support, and fundraising assistance. Applications for this round will be due on April 2. More information can be found at http://www.biogenerator.org/i6 or by contacting Charlie Bolten of the BioGenerator at cbolten@biogenerator.org or (314) 615-6355. 10
  11. 11. Happening in St. Louis Startup Weekend January 27-29 Recapby Jay DeLongSt. Louis’ first Startup Weekend was an overwhelm- With teams pitching their final products on Sundaying success. Held at downtown incubator, T-REx, night, teams worked feverishly through Sunday.the event was sold out with over 100 attendees from Sunday night teams pitched to a packed audience,as far away as New Orleans, participating in a fast- and four judges. The judges ranged from an entre-paced business development competition. The first preneur, Mark Sawyier of Off Campus Media; to annight kicked off with Square co-founder and local investor, Brian Blanchard of Hypervize; to lawyers,entrepreneur, Jim McKelvey, discussing the impor- Brian Salmo and Chris Swenson of Polsinellitance of self-evaluation and objectivity when start- Shughart. The decision of the judges to name theing your own business. Mr. McKelvey was followed top three teams was difficult given the caliber andby Bob Lozano, founder of Appistry, who shared unique concepts of each team. However, at the endhis thoughts on the importance of balance and ca- of a 54-hour work-a-thon, AnalyticsJust.Us took themaraderie among teams in a startup. top spot. Presenting their winning application that uses proprietary programming to mine specific legalFollowing the speakers, over 40 attendees pitched data to predict outcomes, the AnalyticsJust.Us Teamtheir ideas for a concept they would like to develop received:over the weekend. Ideas ranged from a mobile app  $500 credit for office space at T-RExthat would convert a smart phone into a strobe light  Business & Technology feasibilityor glow stick to a program that would chart a child’s analysis from Hypervizechores or tasks and offer incentives via online retail-  Pro-bono incorporation services fromers. Participants were given 30 minutes to seek out Weiss & Associates, P.C.the ideas they would like to work on, and at the end  Lunch/Mentoring session with Halof the night, 12 teams were formed and starting Gentry, managing partner of Capitalworking. Innovators  Microsoft BizSpark ProgramSaturday was a workday for the teams, with lunch  $100 Downtown Gift Cardfrom Pi Pizzeria owner, Chris Sommers, who par-  The Lean Startup by Eric Riesticipated in a Q&A session with the teams over  Startup Weekend T-Shirtlunch and spoke to his lessons learned while startinghis own businesses, several of which are IT based. Second place went to Amppad, an immediate elec-To lend their expertise, five local entrepreneurs, tronic delivery service for political discourse, andDan Klotzer, Sultan Meghji, Gregg Smith, David third place went to Debt Dash, an online debt man-Strom and Chuck Vallurupalli spent the afternoon agement tool.mentoring each team, answering questions and help-ing teams refine their ideas. Jay DeLong is Vice President, New Ventures & Capital Formation, St. Louis RCGA. 11
  12. 12. Happening in St. Louis Recap of StartUp Missouri Launchby Jay DeLongStartup Missouri launched with 90 individuals, more than two-thirds entrepreneurs, and included service providers,incubators, policy influencers, and members of local media. The attendees heard from eleven entrepreneur speakersfrom across the state.Attendees developed mission and objectives of Startup Missouri, and a specific action items were identigfies thatshould be accomplished in Startup Missouri’s first year. Following lunch, the assembled crowd split into three discus-sion groups, whose outcomes are summarized below. The meeting concluded with identifying 4 central action itemsfor Startup Missouri to accomplish in the next year: 1. Create a central portal for the entrepreneurial community in Missouri (web-based). 2. A Pro-“MO” Campaign, to promote Missouri as a thriving entrepreneurial hub 3. Educating entrepreneurs and investors about the process of capital formation to promote “deal flow” in Mis- souri 4. Promote passage of angel investor tax credits (AVIA) and MOSIRA in MO state legislatureEntrepreneur Presenters:Ryan Bell, Gremln; Seth Burgett, Yurbuds; Beth Daniels, Around the Table Games; Justin Albright, NAB Automa-tion; Mike Brooks, Regional Economic Development, Inc. (REDI); Jamie Stephens, Book’d; Jim von der Heydt;Nawgan; Eric Gulve, BioGenerator; Marla Esser, HomeNav; Greg Kratofil, Google Fiber Project Kansas City; andAlex Eaton, MOBIO. The video address was by Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn.Discussion 1 - Resource Connections: Moderated by Brian Matthews, of River City Internet Group. The primary idea that emerged was the need to develop a centralized portal to connect the entrepreneurial organizations in different regions of the state Need to leverage existing resources by appointing region heads responsible for understanding what is going on in each affiliated region.Discussion 2 - Capital Formation: Moderated by Kyle Welborne, FinServ Tech Angels. Promote and/or provide education amongst both startups and potential investors about the process of investing Promote Missouri as a good place to begin a business (Pro “MO”)Discussion 3- Statewide Policy: Moderated by Greg Kratofil, Posinelli Shughart 1. Explain the utility of legislation to increase capital availability through such policy as:  Missouri Angel Investor Tax Credit  Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act  SBIR provisions, with the state matching federal funding 2. The purpose of Startup Missouri  To educate and disperse information to entrepreneurs  To promote needs of entrepreneurs to legislators in Jefferson City through first person entrepreneur testimony  Become a PR firm for entrepreneurs around Missouri, promoting strengths, possibilities and job creationJay DeLong is Vice President, New Ventures & Capital Formation, St. Louis RCGA. 12
  13. 13. Scenes From The February MVF Breakfast Meeting(l-r) Patti Harty, Sandler Training | Stark & Associ- (l-r) Gayle Jackson, Energy Global Inc.; Derek Weber,ates; Laura Dierberg Ayers, Attorney at Law; goBrandgo!; Darcella Craven, Veterans BusinessChuck McCloskey, Charles C. McCloskey, LLC Resource Center(l-r) Laurie Washington, Attorney at Law; Allison (l-r) Lee Crockett, Venture Advisors Inc.;Krepel, Saint Louis University Law School; Michael Mike Devereux, Emerging Business Resources Corp.Moberly, Knowledge Protection Strategies(l-r) Janet Katz, Katz and Associates, PC; February (l-r) Mike Minkler, CMIT Solutions of Clayton;speaker, Chris Sommers, Pi Pizzeria; Jim Brasunas, J.D. and Pierce Powers, Powers Insurance andIT Entrepreneur Network Benefits 13
  14. 14. From the Editor Onboarding a New Employeeby Susan Martin throughout the onboarding process the manager shouldFirst days on the job sometimes are handled so engage in conversation about:poorly that they’re enough to make any new hirerun home vowing never to return to their new digs.  Relationships—teach theBut it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it new employee how to buildshouldn’t be that way if companies want their new relationships with co-workers.employees to quickly become contributing mem-  Passion—discover whatbers of their team. the new hire is passionate about and help channel thoseMany companies are expanding or replacing tradi- Enterprise Newsletter passions at work. Editor Sorin Vaduvational employee orientation programs with  Challenge—learn what chal- can be reached at“onboarding,” the HR buzzword of the millen- lenges will keep the new person Sorin@imrel.comnium. The difference between employee orienta- excited to grow and stay withtion and onboarding is the amount of time spent the company.connecting the new employee to the job, to the  Focus—help the new employee understand theteam and to the company’s values. The payoff of company’s vision and how they can contribute.the onboarding process is better retention and a  Balance—understand what’s important in themore fully engaged, assimilated employee. new hire’s life outside of the workplace and sup- port a healthy work/life balance.Orientation is what happens the first day or the  Intention—both the manager and the new hirefirst week that a new hire is at the company. It should determine the lessons learned fromusually consists of completing required forms, un- these conversations.derstanding benefits and policies, etc. Orientationleads into the lengthier onboarding process, which Effective onboarding makes new employees feelshould last at least six to 12 months. During this connected to the company and its purpose. Andtime, the employee’s manager has the opportunity the odds are that a new employee will stay with theto connect with the new hire—to get to know the company and will be more productive in a shorternew person and what they want from the job and amount of time if the company invests in a goodwhat they can contribute. job of onboarding.New employees usually start a job excited, like acharged battery. However, usually around the Susan Martin is with AAIM Employers’ Associa-three-month mark, that excitement either continues tion and can be reached at 314-754-0203.or begins to wane. To keep a new hire charged up, Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/moventureforum and on Facebook by searching Missouri Venture Forum. 14
  15. 15. Missouri Venture Forum Committees Entrepreneur Education Purpose is to educate and guide entrepreneurs by developing and presenting educational programs.Chair: Bob Cockrell — Montgomery BankRon Ameln — St. Louis Small Business Monthly Pete Peters — InnovateVMSPatrick Clarkin — Charles L. Crane Agency Bill Prenatt — Simply Successful LLCCathy Davis — Davis Creative Chuck Reitter — CA Reitter Consulting, LLCBill Ellis — Branding for Results Brian Rogers — Evans & Dixon, L.L.C.Jan Hendrickson — Senniger Powers LLP Joe Soraghan — Danna McKitrick, P.C.Margaret Kenyon — AAIM Employers’ Association Joy Ann Venverloh — Lexx Funding, Inc. Marketing/Communications Purpose is to promote the Missouri Venture Forum and partner organizations and write and edit the Enterprise newsletter. Chair: David Meyer — Spoke Marketing, LLC Newsletter Editor: Sorin Vaduva — ImRel, LLC Barry Gleeson — The Alternative Board (TAB) Cathy Davis — Davis Creative Ann Marie Mayuga, AMM Communications Membership Develop and implement programs, activities and events that will foster and support the recruitment and retention of members and also provide a benefit to the members, as well as carry out the mission of the Forum. Chair: Nicole Ursch — Midwest BankCentre Nick Akers — Innoventor, Inc.. Margaret Kenyon — AAIM Employers’ Association Andy Bourey — Vistage (TEC) St. Louis Doug Kolker — Mueller Prost PC Millie Cain — First State Bank Tim McFadden — Armstrong Teasdale LLP Rochelle Freeman — New York Life Steve Thomas — The Net Impact Dale Furtwengler — Furtwengler & Associates, P.C. Sorin Vaduva — ImRel, LLC Barry Gleeson — The Alternative Board (TAB) Mark Witzling — Citi Hal Hardin — Insperity Interested in joining a Committee? Call the Committee Chair: Education Bob Cockrell 314-579-4621 Marketing David Meyer 314-517-8459 Membership Nicole Ursch 314-544-8585 15
  16. 16. Missouri Venture Forum Committees Two-Minute Forum Purpose of the program is to help entrepreneurs succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors by providing exposure to the Forum’s membership and the entrepreneurial community. Chair: Bill Ellis — Branding for Results Jim Brasunas — IT Entrepreneur Network Alan Ludmer  — The Voyager Group Jay Logsdon  — The Logsdon Group Brian Peterson — UHY Advisors OutreachPurpose is to encourage collaboration between MVF and other organizations that support the region’s entrepreneurial community. Chair: Vince Garozzo — Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. David Butler — Heartland Innovations, LLC Chris Walsh — InvestMidwest ProgramIdentify and arrange for topics and speakers for the monthly meetings and determine other events with different meeting formats that would be of value to members. Chair: Anna Doyle — Centric Consulting Bob Calcaterra — StartUp Midwest Jim von der Heydt — Nawgan Technology Purpose is to develop, enhance and maintain the Forum’s technology infrastructure. Chair: Sorin Vaduva — ImRel, LLC Ken Bentlage — Bentlage Marketing Joe Furlong — Washington University Interested in joining a Committee? Call the Committee Chair: Two-Minute Forum Bill Ellis 314-966-8889 Outreach Vince Garozzo 314-516-2624 Program Anna Doyle 314-265-4233 Technology Sorin Vaduva 314-600-0709 Questions? Call the MVF Office at 314-241-2683 or visit www.MissouriVentureForum.org 16