6 Things to Know About Startup Voodoo, the Tech Conference Taking Over Ballpark Village

Could Startup Voodoo, a conference focused on Midwest entrepreneurship and startups that is scheduled for Sept. 25, eventually do for St. Louis what the acclaimed South By Southwest event has done for Austin, Texas?

That is, could it become so successful that the term “Startup Voodoo” becomes virtually synonymous with St. Louis?

“We sure hope so,” Voodoo co-founder Aaron Perlut said. “We’re starting small with just a one-day event, but we hope to have Startup Voodoo expand and grow as we take in feedback from attendees and speakers.”

Here are six things to know about Startup Voodoo from Perlut.

Why Voodoo?

There’s a certain special sauce that consistently runs in the bloodlines of every successful startup. It can vary in terms of the success factors, but there’s a drive and a pattern to most of the real success stories. And since Startup Special Sauce sounded a bit, well, silly, the sense of that voodoo magic behind the success seemed appropriate.

Why the Midwest and not strictly St. Louis?

One of the aspects that has consistently held St. Louis back from achieving the level of success it should has been the region’s insular history that’s been plagued by a parochial defense of turf. The reality is that broader, interconnected ecosystems succeed. It’s not just about us, but about how we fit into a bigger picture. And the interconnection of the entire Midwest — with St. Louis being at the center of that activity — is important to our growth.

What is the Most Promising Midwest Startup contest?

We’re looking for very early-stage startups from across various Midwest cities to nominate themselves and make a case as to why they are a promising enterprise. We’ll take the top nominations and let the crowd decide by voting. Then, at Startup Voodoo, we’ll announce the city-by-city Most Promising and let a panel of judges hear short pitches from the top three we choose out of the entire lot. The winner takes home a prize package worth $10,000.

Who’s the target audience for Voodoo?

Anyone who’s in the ecosystem – startup entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, economic development folks or even people inside of large companies looking to craft a more entrepreneurial spirit in their organizations.

Why Ballpark Village?

It’s a shining example of an entrepreneurial idea in the center of our region that’s flourishing. Plus they have a ginormous video screen!

What will attendees leave with?

We wanted to bring together a dynamic group of people who’ve made significant impacts in the startup space so that we can all learn from both successes and failures of our colleagues across the country. We want people leaving and feeling like it was a day well spent and that they learned something that will help them grow professionally.

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