What’s Next For St. Louis With Chris LeBeau

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  • Published on November 17, 2015
  • Last Updated August 9, 2020
  • In Entrepreneur Quarterly

As the number of St. Louis startups continue to grow, the voices and concerns of its founders, grassroots organizers and support organizations need to be heard, perhaps now more than ever.

What does the St. Louis innovation community need to do now to support its startups? Where is it succeeding?

We gathered community members to talk to us about our region’s current challenges and possible solutions. 

Chris LeBeau is VP of Entrepreneur Services, Eagle Bank and Trust Co.


What are three issues, gaps or improvements that St. Louis’ startup ecosystem needs to address?

What traction looks like based on a business model; that entrepreneurship is more than tech and bioscience; candid and clear feedback channels to guide startups.

Which one would you focus on first?

Widening the startup business funnel would have a broad impact. Not everyone will be a scientist or developer but he or she can still create something valuable.

What approach would you take to solving that?

Storytelling: Warby Parker, TOMS, Urban Chestnut, Lululemon, etc. A startup community that is exclusive to high-tech, high-growth, is the wrong play.

What is your hope for St. Louis’ startup future?

In the coming years, I hope fervor about our startup culture remains and the broader community takes it more seriously. We all need to be all in.

What do you love about the current state of STL’s startup scene?

Our giving nature. The willingness of everyone to meet entrepreneurs and help however they can.

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