St. Louis Startup Scene: STL Gets National Attention, Plus Scene Tap & Qurate Have St. Louis Rollout

By Christopher Reilly
In Culture
Illustration of @4240 building in St. Louis' CORTEX District.

@4240 building in St. Louis’ CORTEX District.

A bi-weekly compendium of startup news in St. Louis.

St. Louis Startup Scene Getting Respect

The St. Louis startup scene continues to garner national attention. Couple that with the national attention our fashion and arts scenes are getting, and St. Louis is slowly but surely changing the perception of St. Louis as just another Midwestern fly-over city. The latest to impress the national press is St. Louis startup wunderkind Gabe Lozano, founder of Locker Dome. It’s no surprise that Forbes should take notice. The July 31 article, “The Facebook of Sports? Yes, Actually,” also highlights the exploding St. Louis startup scene.

Startup Qurate Talks the Talk, Walks the Walk

Qurate, an app that lets users combine their conversations with friends and their social media feeds into one place, is having a big day. The app becomes available to download from iTunes  and the Qurate team is competing for a cash prize on Dream Big America—a competition aired on the radio where three startups compete for seed money—both of which happen today. Qurate is a for-people, for-profit company that has pledged to give 50 percent of their annual net profits to Compassion Services International for disaster relief, humanitarian and medical aid, and education initiatives. Company founder Ryan O’Neil will compete for the chance to win seed money, mentorship and other contributions valued at more than $19,000. The show aired at 8:10am on Tuesday, but listeners can stream the recorded broadcast and vote until 1:00pm Wednesday at the Dream Big America website.

Wexford Science and Technology: Gone Fishin

Wexford Science and Technology will host PlugIn2STL, a networking event featuring hardhat tours of @4240 in the Cortex district—the region’s newest state-of-the-art, sustainable, multi-tenant laboratory and research facility—this Wednesday, Aug. 7. In a show of entrepreneurial spirit, the free event means to lure special guest Chris Heivly, co-founder of Mapquest, to open a St. Louis branch of his accelerator, Triangle Startup Factory, by showing him the strength and vitality of St. Louis’ local entrepreneurial community. Triangle Startup Factory is a North Carolina-based accelerator that runs a three-month program for early stage startups, which also includes $50,000 in seed capital as well as a convertible note worth up to $150,000 for those that complete the program. The event is free and you can register online.

Scene Tap: Tapping the Scene for Vitals

If you were heading out for a night on the town and knew in advance what the ratio of men to women were at a variety of nightclubs, right then and now, it would seriously affect your decision of where you would go to spend your weekend dough. That’s exactly what Scene Tap—an app that allows users to view age, gender ratio and crowd-density of bars in real time—does in major cities such as San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, as well as soon in St. Louis. Founded by St. Louisan Cole Harper, Scene Tap uses facial recognition software (which Harper has said is not a camera) which can tell how old a person is and their gender. The app is in use in over a dozen markets and boasts 350,000 users. The St. Louis rollout happens on August 23 with roughly 50 participating bars, including Bar Napoli, Llywelyn’s in Webster and Lotus. By the end of the year Harper expects as many as 80 bars to be available. Check out the complete list at the Scene Tap website.

 

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