Weekly Update

Pitch The St. Louis Blues Your Startup

By May 11, 2021 No Comments

Welcome to the Venture Café St Louis weekly update covering opportunities to discover, start, and grow your ideas. Do you want to get your company in front of 20,000 subscribers? Sponsor our newsletter!

This week

  • Learn how to do customer discovery 
  • Chris Ho shares how he built Drug Design Methodologies
  • The St. Louis Blues want to partner with startups

Last week

  • How to raise money
  • Start a social venture startup
  • New funding opportunities
  • We added a meet founder section at the end of this newsletter (reply to this email to be featured)

Are you building a company? Let us know how we can help you through Connect.

Community Opportunities

Let us know if we can help you with feedback or introductions through Connect. We can help you privately or feature your request in this newsletter that reaches 20,000 people.

New Opportunities:

  • St. Louis Blues VP of innovation, Matt Gardner wants to work with companies from the Venture cafe. See Matt’s video above to hear what he’s looking for and Connect.
  • Vivian Chen, founder of Rise, an HR tech platform that helps companies hire candidates via 1 DM, is finishing a preseed round. Connect
  • Sujeesh, CEO of Kinnami, is looking for a Sr. back-end engineer. Kinnami provides resilient data fabric for the connected world. Apply.
  • Feng Hou, Founder of Pistis.io, is hiring a business development executive. Pistis.io verifies credentials with blockchain. Connect
  • Han Ko, founder of Sahara Street, needs marketing support. Sahara Street is making real estate investment with bitcoin possible. Connect.
  • Jacob Agne is creating a start-up for the XPrize Competition in the form of a Carbon Refinery transforming waste and exhaust into useful products. Are you interested in helping? Connect.
  • Boat Planet is seeking funding. They are cash flow positive and have 30,000 unique visitors per month. Reach out to the founder, Michael Keil.
  • We’re looking for founders, makers, and creators to share during Work In Progress. Let us know if you’re interested.

Open Opportunities

  • Allison Cousins, founder of Approach, is looking for funding. Approach is a dating app that helps you “Find your person, in-person”. Connect.
  • Did you know Sam Parr, founder of The Hustle, which sold to HubSpot, is a St Louisan? Neither did we. Sam shouted out Imo’s and South City. Connect with Sam.
  • Eli is a high-school founder who is building a mental health app for students. He needs beta testers and connections to mental health professionals. Reach out.
  • Danny built mytodue.com, a to-do list with superpowers. Tell him what you think.
  • Terry needs resources and support for creating and developing an exploratory computer lab for children grades 3-5. Connect.
  • Need marketing and growth help for your startup? Reach out to Jamie FalquezConnect.
  • Sarah Hill, Founder of Healium is looking for support in the app store. Download the app and leave a review.
  • Micheal Naber, Co-founder of Simerse, is looking for help with SEO. Simerse enhances AI models with synthetic data. Connect.
  • EDUrain is looking for a CTO. Connect.
  • Rare Pizzas St Louis is looking for crypto and NFT enthusiasts to join the St Louis version of the global NFT pizza party. (3 connections made.) Connect. 

Looking for more? Check our startup directory.

Funding Opportunities

Do you need money for your idea? We can connect you with investors and funding opportunities. Do you have an opportunity to share? Send us your information and we will add your opportunity below.

  • 💰   Capital Innovators Fall Accelerator Applications are open until May 14th.$50K in seed funding, co-working space, and mentorship available. Learn more.
  • 💰   FedTech applications are openingApply now
  • 💰   New Schools Venture Fund is investing up to $1.5 million in innovators advancing racial equity in education.  Learn more.
  • The American Farm Bureau will award $165,000 to startups at their upcoming innovation competitionApply
  • 💰   New Geo-Seed Grant Program from T-REX. Up to $20K to support geospatial R&D. Applications due May 15th. Apply here.
  • 💰   USDA offers $1 million in grants through one-to-one dollar matches for new market opportunities in U.S. food and agricultural products and encourages research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system. Applications are due May 24th. Learn more and apply.
  • 💰 Visible Hands applications are open for underrepresented founders for $200K. Learn More


may, 2021

Office Hours

Office Hours: A Conversation To Start Your Cash Flow Planning During COVID-19

In Case You Missed It

Replay Previous Learning labs

In Other News

  • Do you have a sports startup? STL Blues are partnering with companies like yours. Read more or Watch Matt Gardner, VP of Innovation, tell the Venture Cafe community what he’s looking for.
  • Healium (opportunities above) landed a contract with the Airforce. Healium is a VR/AR company working on mental health. Read more.
  • St. Louis Ag-Tech company Benson Hill Biosystems is going public via SPAC. Read more.
  • St. Louis produce distributor Vaccaro & Sons acquired by San Francisco food tech startup. Read more.

Meet Founders from Work In Progress

Vivian Chen is building Rise, a HR tech platform that helps companies hire their ideal candidate via 1 DM. Companies like Gemini, Lattice, Coda, Postscript, Flatiron Health, and more use Rise to revolutionize how they recruit, nurture and hire coveted talent.

Status: Raising a pre-seed after achieving 48% MoM growth since Jan 2021.


What’s one thing you wish you would’ve known before becoming an entrepreneur
Building a company is as much about building the business itself as it is about building yourself up as an entrepreneur. There’s something to learn every day, so much of it is getting outside of your own comfort zone and do things that are scary and unnatural. The learning curve is steep every single day, once you’ve mastered one thing, there’s always something new you have to master next. You don’t love cold-calling customers? Better get used to it! It’s not just the hard skills but the soft skills too. The hard skills are Googlable, but the soft skills are often learned through mistakes.


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