St. Louis Startup Scene: Guerilla Marketing, R&D money and a Beta

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Bar Crawl

โ€œThe great thing about being a startup isโ€ฆ it creates challenges,โ€ EDURain CEO Bryon Pierson told the 4thEst8 as he explained how a โ€˜bar crawlโ€™ became his first guerilla marketing campaign. โ€œOne thing we had in our bag was we knew a bunch of bar owners.โ€

More than 30 prospective customers came out to a half dozen bars for the event, wearing hats and t-shirts emblazoned with their college logos on a weekend that many schools are having students move in for the start of the semester. EDURain is a fintech platform aimed at helping prospective college students with many financial services, including bridge loans to get into off-campus housing.

R&D Money

Preemie Pacer LLC landed a $1.73 million Phase II SBIR grant to further develop a device that can be used in a clinical setting to help premature infants coordinate the task of feeding and breathing โ€“ without choking.

โ€œThe goal is to reduce that infant fatigue and physiological stress,โ€ founder Tom Oleksy told the 4thEst8. โ€œBut also make sure they are fed up to eight times a day.โ€

The device is being tested out at Cardinal Glennon Childrenโ€™s Hospital in St. Louis.

Approach Beta

Approach Dating raised $45,000 in debt financing in July, after it launched a Beta of its app in the Google Play Store and the Apple App store in June. The startup founder says she can get people in front of each other faster than other dating apps by partnering with local businesses where they can meet.

โ€œAny place you would have a first date with somebody, we are integrating those into the app so they can offer a safe place for our users to connect,โ€ CEO Allison Cousins told the 4thEst8, adding that in a version expected this fall Approach will be able to tell partner businesses how many people are being sent to their business (and how many are not, but are nearby).

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Paul Riat is just this guy, trying to figure things out. A fan of Max Weber, he generally gets a kick out of the triangle between economy, society and liberty. His focus on technology startups and venture capital fits because early stage tech startups are the most dynamic and impactful to local economies: improving liberty and society like a rising tide. Paul publishers 4thEst8 (pronounced โ€˜fourth estateโ€™) is an independent news publication covering early stage tech startups in and around Missouri. These startups are a dynamic, high-growth economic engine that can supercharge economies, yet only the most mature ones get regular coverage from traditional media.

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