St. Lous Startup News: GlobalHack and Olin Cup Winners, Topsy Turvy Big Top Job Fair, Female Treps and more
The first quarterly GlobalHack has come and gone, where approximately 200 designers, developers and other business pros congregated in Union Station for 48 consecutive hours of competition coding, with the winning team walking away with a cool $50,000 in exchange for the code and property rights developed during the competition. The grand prize went to a team of Washington University students who collected the prize put up by Jim Eberlin, who used GlobalHack to help jump start his newest company, TopOPPS, which uses big data analytics to improve sales pipeline management, thereby helping sales teams forecast accurately.
Eberlin called the opportunity to have the country’s best developers from across the country working on your product during one, intense 48-hour period “priceless.’ He was so impressed, in fact, he awarded an impromptu second prize of $10,000 to a team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology and a St. Louis County software developer.
GlobalHack’s second quarter event hosted in conjunction with Arch Grants is up next. Following the four quarterly events, Global Hack will host an annual global technology conference right here in St. Louis, which will award in excess of $1 million dollars. The event, founded by LockerDome’s Gabe Lozano, is designed to draw top talent to St. Louis.
Staking Their Claim
The startup businesses in T-REx will be getting their keys and paperwork the week of Feb. 17, officially out of the Railway Exchange Building March 1, and on their way to their new digs at the Lammert building. That won’t leave the Railway Exchange short on business activity though. Claim Office sharing space is moving in. Touted as providing an ideal work environment for small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs, each office comes with private offices, desks and meeting or conference rooms. The brains and bucks behind Claim comes from Ola Ayeni, Founder and CEO of eateria and a 2013 Arch Grant winner. Ayeni—who is new to St. Louis—chose the name “Claim” from the days of the California Gold Rush, when St. Louis served as the launching point (and provider of tools and tack) for those starting on a new venture. Sign up for a tour of Claim.
Startups Want You
Want to work for one of St. Louis’ hot startups? Tonight (Thursday, Feb. 6), St. Louis-based tech publication Techli and partner Lab 1500, along with Chris Heivly, founder of MapQuest, are turning the traditional job fair on its head. The event will feature 10 of St. Louis’ hottest tech companies, each taking the stage and pitching themselves to jobseekers. Attendants will then have the opportunity for a brief visit with each company to give them a “table pitch” as to why they are the best candidate. Don’t bring a résumé. Don’t wear a suit. Do have a beer and some food, and don’t trip the stilt walker.
Heivly began the “Tech jobs under the Big Top” events in the Research Triangle of North Carolina in 2011 as part of his venture, The Startup Factory. The first five events were tremendously successful. This sixth event is the first in St. Louis. Companies participating include LockerDome, FoodEssentials, Daugherty Business Solutions, Monsanto, Pushup Social, Pixel Press, TDK Technologies, CrowdSource, RoverTown, and Coolfire. The event takes place at Lumen, 2201 Locust Street. If you’re interested in applying for a spot, go to the Big Top STL website.
Olin Cup Winners
Winner of the 2013 Olin Cup is Nanopore Diagnostics, a St. Louis-based startup that is helping physicians detect bacterial infections faster through a test, currently in development. As winners, they’ve been offered an investment from Washington University for $50,000. The company was founded by Tom Cohen, a Washington University student. The test will enable doctors to diagnose a bacterial infection with 100 percent accuracy withing 20 minutes of the first examination. The two main benefits of early diagnosis include helping seriously ill patients decide the best antibiotic treatment and cutting down on antibiotic resistance, which accounts for about $50 billion per year in costs to the health care industry. Genetix Fusion and SynerZ Medical were each offered $20,000 for their second and third place finishes.
In Step with Female Treps
There’s a big gender gap in entrepreneurial communities everywhere, and St. Louis is no exception. Prosper, led by Thompson Street Capital Partners vice president Jennifer Ehlen and other notable female business leaders, including Maxine Clark, Mary Jo Gorman and Martha Uhlhorn, will attack the gender discrepency in three ways: First, by cultivating, marketing and promoting young female entrepreneurs, holding monthly “Mastermind” groups, and by creating a female-oriented angel network. Applications are currently being accepted for the first Mastermind members through March 14.
Mock Angels in America
According to IT Entrepreneurs Network Executive Director Jim Brasunas, high-demand has spurred ITEN to expand its mock angel program with the hopes of doubling their graduates in 2014. In 2013 ITEN graduated more startups than ever before for a total of eight. They’re shooting for 16 in 2014. They’ve already graduated three so far this year, including Evtron, Pixel Press, and Rovertown.
Follow Christopher Reilly on Twitter @ChristoReilly