GPS for STL Innovators

GPS for STL Innovators

If you haven’t noticed, there has been a TON of activity in the entrepreneurial space over the last couple of months, which I actually wrote about several weeks back saying it was A Great Time for St Louis Entrepreneurs (and there’s been even MORE great things since then!!!).  All of this activity is great, but some times it can be a little overwhelming for entrepreneurs to figure out where to go and who to talk to.

Malcolm Gladwell in his TED Talk on Spaghetti Sauce, said “there is no perfect spaghetti sauce, only perfect spaghetti sauces.”  He went on to explain is that in order to reach a critical mass of people, there has to be customized choices–basil & olive oil, roasted garlic & mushroom, 3 cheese, 7 cheese, marinara, etc, etc.  The same phenomenon has taken hold in most other consumer goods you see on the shelves of supermarkets and department stores.  Gladwell goes on to talk about how there is now over 100 varieties of Colgate toothpaste alone.  I know for me, it can sometimes be a little overwhelming standing in the aisle looking at all the different varieties and trying to decide which to go with.  Sometimes I wish I could just plug in my wants and needs into some magic little machine and then POOF!! out pops a customized, pared down list of 2 or 3 choices.

…and that is exactly why we were so excited when the team at the St Louis County Economic Council asked us to help them create a tool that would help do just this for entrepreneurs.  If you were at the SLCEC Annual Meeting on April 19th, then you got a sneak peak at what is to come…the solution: GPS for STL Innovators.

In short, the site will be an aggregator of tools and resources that will be organized in a “choose your own adventure” format.  Based on your current location and hopeful destination, multiple “routes” will be generated with the most effective and efficient way to arrive there being highlighted along with relevant points of interest.  It will be focused on helping entrepreneurs navigate the multitude of decisions and opportunities we face throughout all stages of growth in our businesses.

The site really has three main goals that we hope will show people both in and outside of St Louis see just how great of a region this is to start and grow a business:

  1. Create a guided tour leading entrepreneurs to the information, resources, and tools necessary based on their specific needs.
  2. Encourage the growth of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem by facilitating conversations and connections that strengthen the community.
  3. Elevate successful St Louis Entrepreneurs by creating awareness and building aspirational case studies.

In just two short weeks, we worked with the great SLCEC team of Denny Coleman, Katy Jamboretz, Corrie Hendrix, Ed Bryant, Rick Palank, Dennis Breite, Beth Noonan, and Jackie Wellington to develop the purpose, structure, brand direction, name, and splash page…probably record time for a public-private project, which is a true testament to the commitment of the SLCEC team to this cause.

We are super-excited to have had the chance to help get this initiative up and running and look forward to pitching for the opportunity to see this project all the way through with the collaboration of all the great people and organizations out there helping grow the St Louis Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.  So, go to to sign up to be kept up to date on all the great things happening in our entrepreneurial community and let us know what would help you grow your business.

…and for the record, I am a fan of chunky tomato and garlic spaghetti sauce.

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