STL Startup Week is back for another year, though its latest iteration will look a little different.
The weeklong event, scheduled for Nov. 14-18, is under new leadership this year and includes a new format its organizer says seeks to provide a more cohesive schedule of events.
First held in 2019, STL Startup Week highlights the region’s entrepreneurial sector through events focused on connecting the startup community and providing educational resources to local entrepreneurs. The 2022 version is slated to include more than 40 events across next week.
This year’s STL Startup Week marks a change in leadership for the annual event. It had previously been organized by Phyllis Ellison in her prior role as vice president of partnerships and program development at the Cortex Innovation Community. (Ellison departed Cortex earlier this year for a role at St. Louis Community College). This year’s STL Startup Week is being spearheaded by TechArtista Foundation, the nonprofit arm of local coworking space operator TechArtista.
Christopher Holt, founder and CEO of TechArista, has been involved in previous efforts to organize STL Startup Week and said the decision to run this year’s program fits into the mission of the TechArtista Foundation.
“It was a way to really just continue growing our community and then also to continue in the facilitatory role we see ourselves as a community organization,” he said.
As in previous years, the upcoming STL Startup Week will include a broad range of programming, but will have a new format for how the events are staged. In previous years, STL Startup Week has included events on the same day that were held at multiple venues. Holt said there’s been a focus this year on ensuring each day’s events, with some exceptions, are located at the same venue to make it easier to attend them. As part of that strategy, STL Startup Week will host its programming at the following venues:
Some of the key events included in this year’s STL Startup Week are a kickoff breakfast on Monday, Nov. 14; happy hours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and a closing party Friday, Nov. 18, at TechArtista Downtown. A full list of events can be found here.
The “signature event” of STL Startup Week will be its STL Startup Showcase, scheduled for 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at Cortex. The event is being put on in partnership with Venture Cafe St. Louis.
Holt said this year’s STL Startup Week, with events like the startup showcase, has placed a focus on in-person connection, something that’s been disrupted in recent years by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s going to be nice to have everyone back in one place in a way we haven’t been able to do,” he said.
Lead organizer of this year’s STL Startup Week is Matt Menietti, director of programs at Arch Grants. The event’s organizing committee includes Holt; Julie Maurer, community manager of Spark St. Louis; Hayley Johnston; program manager of Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Center for entrepreneurship; Kate Loar; vice president of engagement at Greater St. Louis Inc.; Erik Lutenegger; founder of Tenacity; and Tim Luecke; director of St. Louis CAPS. Sponsors of STL Startup Week include Saint Louis University, Husch Blackwell, Enterprise Bank & Trust and Anders CPAs + Advisors, among others.