Meet the 6 Startups Hosting UMSL’s First-ever DEI Accelerator Demo Day
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Six St. Louis-based startups are graduating from the first University of Missouri-St. Louis Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Accelerator after receiving a $50,000 equity-free capital investment and eight weeks of hands-on sessions offering mentorship, development, and strategy insights. On March 25, they will present to potential investors, customers, community, and media during a virtual Demo Day.
Six St. Louis startups will showcase their innovative products, services, and technology to virtual attendees at a Demo Day organized by the UMSL Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Accelerator to celebrate their inaugural cohort.
Monique Bynum, Managing Director of the UMSL Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Accelerator explained Demo Day as an effort to connect minority founders with prospective resources and clientele, saying, “Demo Day gives potential investors, business partners, and customers access to up-and-coming entrepreneurial talent. Attendees will hear from destined-for-success founders and learn more about what’s next and how they utilized the Accelerator to position their businesses for growth.”
Meet the Winners:
DEMIblue (St. Louis, MO) – Provides Vegan friendly nail polish that has eliminated 10 commonly used toxins and all animal derived ingredients through production. The Founder, Michelle Robinson, was motivated by her mothers cancer diagnosis and her desire to provide toxic free access to beauty products for her. Now DEMIblue can be found in 6 cities across the United States and on the Walmart marketplace. DEMIblue provides a healthier you at your fingertips.
The Fattened Caf (St. Louis, MO) – Recognized by Feast Magazine as one of 2021’s Rising Stars, The Fattened Caf is a smoked meats and Filipino BBQ pop up restaurant. In partnership with Schnucks grocery stores in Missouri and Illinois they’ve sold thousands of their famous Filipino Breakfast Sausages called Longganisa.For just over a year now, The Fattened Caf has had residency at Earthbound Beer on Cherokee Street where they sell out of Filipino BBQ about 3x per month, selling over 300 plates in just two hours.
Flipstik (St. Louis, MO) – “The Flipstik” is a customizable kickstand that attaches to your phone cover and allows you to stick your phone to nearly any flat surface for hands-free use by utilizing their trademarked “Synthetic Setae” adhesive! Plus it’s reusable and washable 1000s of times! This enables hands-free selfies, zoom conferences, hands-free Youtube or Netflix viewing on planes and trains, and hands-free GPS use while in any vehicle. Flipstik has showcased onShark Tank garnering several partnerships in retail and has sold over 35,000 units and counting!
Hire Henry (St. Louis, MO) – At the intersection of lawn care service and technology is Hire Henry’s heavy duty robotic lawnmower. The mission is to disrupt the lawn care industry by allowing entrepreneurs to start and scale their own lawn care business through Hire Henry’s patented technology. Through a fully functional prototype, the Hire Henry team is conducting beta tests with a target launch in Q2, 2021.
Heru Urban Farming (St. Louis, MO) – Transforming St. Louis’s food desert to a food Oasis, Heru Urban Farming provides communities with healthy food options and medicinal herbs to those who need it the most. In just two years Heru Urban Farming has grown from a small plot to farms spanning over 3 football fields! Providing over 15 types of crops and 12-Week subscription programs, Heru Urban Farming has emerged as a healthy solution to those in need.
Assembly On Demand (St. Louis, MO) – A residential and commercial furniture assembly and fixture installation company. Along with assembly service, we also offer our services to moving companies as a third party where we crate valuables such as TVs and fine art, assemble and disassemble pool tables, as well as connect and disconnect appliances. In 2020, we serviced roughly 500 customers and grew our revenue by 10 times. If it needs to be assembled, St. Louis Assembly Pro’s will take care of it!
About the Event
The schedule includes a 40-minute virtual program featuring a documentary-style look at the first year produced by Cami Cruz Thomas. Immediately following, Bynum will host a 20-minute live discussion with sponsor representatives Gwen Mizell, Vice President of Sustainability and Electrification and Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Ameren, and Zachary Goodman, M.D., Director of Clinical Innovation for Express Scripts.
The event culminates in an afternoon of pitches and conversations highlighting each startup. Performing artist Lydia Caesar will entertain guests during a noon intermission. UMSL Accelerate Executive Director Dan Lauer will provide closing remarks at 1:10pm.