Rev Your Start-Up Engines

 In Culture, Feature

St. Louis is in the midst of a startup boom, with competitions, incubators, co-working facilities and investor groups popping up all over the city. Many of them target tech companies that promise huge returns on hefty investments, but Derek Weber, co-founder of goBRANDgo!, is more interested in the little guy—small companies that aim to stay and thrive in STL. "They're the ones that grow our local economy," he says. To help, Weber has created go!-Celerator, a start-up competition for young entrepreneurs (under 30) who don't need a large investment—just a leg up.

The inaugural winning team consits of Massachusetts resident Quinn Worden (23), SLU student Nathan Johnson (21) and St. Louisan Nick Turner (23). Their company, HCP United, is an e-commerce platform that allows healthcare providers to offer over-the-counter medical products on their websites. On June 3, the team begins with an office at goBRANDgo!, mentors in several key areas and free housing in a Benton Park apartment building. To extend the go!-Celerator incubator concept, Weber is also looking to create The Conflux, a co-working facility complete with offices, an auditorium and a snack bar. Shepard Elementary and Lemp Brewery are currently under consideration as locations. For more info, visit or call 314.754.8712.

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