Leaders shine light on strengths, shortcomings of St. Louis startup community

Leaders shine light on strengths, shortcomings of St. Louis startup community

On May 11, leaders in the St. Louis startup community participated in a thought-provoking panel discussion at the Venture Café ThursdayGathering.

The panel, which included Scott Bernstein, principal at Lewis & Clark Ventures; David Dresner, founder of Sleeve a Message; Ginger Imster, vice president of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership; Jerry Schlichter, founder and managing partner of Schlichter Bogard and Denton and founder and chairman of Arch Grants; and Dr. Cheryl Watkins-Moore, director of bioscience and entrepreneurial inclusion at BioSTL.

The group provided perspectives on the findings from the second St. Louis startup community survey conducted by Brown Smith Wallace.

Funding remains top of mind

For the second year, startup and startup support community survey respondents (investors, educators, accelerators, incubators, consultants and others) said the number one way the St. Louis startup community can be strengthened or enhanced is by having more local funding.

In order to incentivize our funding organizations to invest solely or primarily in the St. Louis region “you have to show opportunity here,” said Bernstein. “Nobody is going to invest if their risk/reward profile is weaker here than the other opportunities in their pipeline.”

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