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Random Thoughts On Why You Should Join Us at STL Startup Week
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STL Startup Week is that week when many mentors and members of the entrepreneur support ecosystem get to fail fast and fail forward in exactly the way that we evangelize every entrepreneur should.
Along with everyone else, this past week, I have been seemingly endlessly absorbed in watching two red and blue numbers counting up to 270. With that in mind, I hope you can forgive the fact that I have neglected to communicate any of the cool things happening at St. Louis Startup Week —of which there are many— so let me correct that now!
For The People By The People
The reason why STL Startup Week is cool and you should get involved is because it’s a “for the people by the people” weeklong event. You might call it a virtual conference, but I prefer to think of it as an online festival hosted entirely by volunteer individuals, drawn from dozens of organizations that make up the St. Louis Startup Ecosystem.
Really love @eqstl's motto of "STL means Stand Together and Lead."
— Maggie Crane (@newsformaggie) November 4, 2020
It’s a tiny point of differentiation but, to my mind, “festival” better speaks to the informal and experimental spirit of the week. In many ways, whilst all the groups represented are immersed in “entrepreneurship” on a daily basis, STL Startup Week is when individual members from those organizations get to flex their side hustles, and are literally given “carte blanche” to try stuff out.
- Julie Maurer & Lindsay Van Quaetham are launching a livestream show. These two basically run social media for the startup scene in St. Louis, so it’s almost inevitable they’d try out a livestream (which I’m excited to syndicate to EQ’s TV channel).
- Erik Lutenegger is hosting the after party for Startup Week for a second year in a row. Hopefully you’ll already recognize Erik for producing The Bourbon Friday Show livestream for years now, but what you may not know is that for a much longer period, he’s been unshakably committed to hosting FREE Coworking Community Happy Hour events, many of which have become the source of long lasting friendships. So go and show your support by registering for this year’s unique at-home closing party happy hour (and get a cocktail delivered by STL Barkeep).
- Erin Joy is hosting a 90-min virtual networking event for Female Founders on How to Level Up and Scale. Every speaker listed is a great reason to attend, but if you’ve not been to an event organized by Erin before, honestly you’ve just got to go to see how it’s done.
- EQ, CORTEX and Startup Connection have teamed up into a to host a daily news event, hosted by Matt Menietti called the Daily Espresso. It’s the ideal agenda setter for the rest of the days events, and we’ll be breaking news and diving a bit deeper into some recent announcements too.
- EQ is hosting a daily roundtable called Ecosystem Labs between 10am-11am. Every day, we’ll be spotlighting a different industry that plays a significant role in our startup ecosystem. From exploring how your Pet might literally be your next smart device, to how we can drive equity through the entire business ecosystem, these conversations are going to be like stumbling into an amazing mind-expanding dinner party during your coffee break (so register now to join interactively).
People Power Places
I urge you to check it out, as there’s so many more events on the Startup Week Schedule that I’ve not got time to mention here. But, with the move to online in 2020, what surprises and delights me about this year’s agenda is that the experimental spirit of a festival really has emerged in force.
It’s reflected in so many of the events which represent a genuine personal passion and commitment from the presenters. From Sarah Shlafly talking about healthy meals for busy entrepreneurs, GV Freeman on mental health for tech founders and product managers, or Kristie Jones identifying your ideal customer profile, you’re literally hearing about their “thing”; the thing they’re totally dedicated to.
So, while the name STL Startup Week describes a time and a place, what this festival is really about is how people power places. And all these people are volunteering their time, passion and gifts to share and celebrate a week when we’re able to stand together and lead ourselves.