What’s Next For St. Louis With Travis Sheridan

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. 

Travis Sheridan is the Founding Executive Director of Venture Cafe.

Travis Sheridan is the Founding Executive Director of Venture Cafe Foundation- STL.
Travis Sheridan is the Founding Executive Director of Venture Cafe Foundation- STL.

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

Stop trying to become the next <fill in perceived cool city here>. Knowing when a startup needs hospice. More mentors who are serial entrepreneurs.

Which one would you focus on first?

The constant external comparisons. Learn from the applicable best practices; however, we just need to strive to be a better STL tomorrow than today.

What approach would you take to solving that?

Celebrate small wins. Recognize incremental improvements toward success. Yesterday we only had x, but today we have 2x. Tomorrow we will have 2.5x.

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

In the next few years, I hope that our ecosystem is distinguished from others by our inviting, innovative, collaborative, diverse and inclusive community.

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

The ignorance of youth. We are still a young scene and we can make mistakes that are part of growing up. Tomorrow we’ll make better mistakes.

Mentioned in this Article

Before selling the publication in 2017, Kelly Hamilton co-founded EQ with the ALIVE Media Group (where he was a co-founder too). After earning an M.A. in literature at Washington University in St. Louis, Kelly cofounded ALIVE in 2002. He believes becoming an entrepreneur can change not only the life of that entrepreneur, but also his/her community and the world, and that being able to tell stories of transformation like that is the best job one could have.