The past few years in Saint Louis have been interesting to watch. When Craig and I started the parent company of Contegix as a software development and managed hosting company, there were very few entrepreneurs doing anything here, especially in the tech industry.
In fact, Gabe Lozano from LockerDome and I were chatting about this a few weeks back. Gabe has built an amazing company that continues to excel and grow. He also comes from an entrepreneurial family. His father started Paylinx, a company later acquired by Cybersource, and Appistry, a big data company that started when no one knew what that meant. As Gabe recently put it to me, “There were guys like my dad starting companies from his generation. Then, the younger guys like me began starting companies a few years ago. But almost nothing in your generation .”
With this said, it’s been absolutely incredible to see the proliferation of tech entrepreneurs pop up. Some of them have already exited and gone on to other things. Just as important is that the entrepreneurs are from every generation – Gabe’s, mine, and older. Here are a few that I think are worth spotlighting:
Description:LockerDome is a person’s sports identity. LockerDome is the only platform where professional athletes publish their content side-by-side with kids. LockerDome developed the first universal identification system for tracking youth sports content. With a LockerDome ID, an athlete’s sports memories are accessible in one place, forever.
Recent News:LockerDome recently completed a $750k round in December 2011 and added Jim McKelvey to the Board in January 2012.
Description:Gremln is a premiere social media marketing toolkit designed to help businesses take control of their social media messages and measure the impact those messages are having on potential customers. Gremln allows users to post messages to their major social networks and tracks the amount of social engagement these messages attract. Gremln users can create quick and easy charts, graphs, and reports to monitor their social progress while maintaining brand integrity across various digital channels.
Recent News: Gremln recently completed Capital Innovators and was in a ReadWriteWeb article.
Bonfyre / OffCampus Media (http://bonfyreapp.com):
Description:Bonfyre is a geo-location app and social media network strictly for college students. Users can only register with a valid school email address from an approved university.
Comment:One of the things I LOVE about Bonfyre is that it allows college students to socialize online without their parents or future employer sniffing around. We like enough to invest in it.
Recent News: Bonfyre raised $750k in capital funding. Newest version released this month.
Description:Aisle411 is a smartphone app that allows users to navigate inside stores and guides them to the exact location of a product. For example, a user can enter a grocery list and get a map that takes them to all of the products on the list in the most efficient way.
Recent News: Has raised over $5.5M and recently opened a San Francisco office.
Description:NorseCorp is an emerging provider of innovative Internet security intelligence for all industry verticals. Via our patent-pending IPViking platform, NorseCorp provide real-time intelligence about the most dangerous IP addresses operating in the world at any given time.
Recent News: In April 2012, Norse released it’s nGate Payment Gateway – article.
Description:Before cloud was even a word printed anywhere except textbooks and meteorological reports, Slicehost was serving up cloud servers to hungry developers and startups. Created by Jason Seats and Matt Tanase, Slicehost was an early and strong player in this community. Slicehost was acquired by Rackspace around October 2008. I think it’s still worth mentioning Slicehost as they were part of this renaissance and change here.
Recent News: Matt has gone on to build another startup, DevStructure.
And this is only the beginning. It also doesn’t acknowledge the companies, like World Wide Technology, which have been here all along.
The past few weeks, I have searching for Saint Louis enterpreneurs to attend a happy hour this Thursday. The event is being hosted by EO Accelerator to introduce the program. Accelerator is a great program sponsored by EO and Mercedes-Benz Financial. It is geared for businesses with revenue between $250k and $1m where the entrepreneur is under 35.
If anyone is interested, ping me at your convenience. The event is Thursday at ARAKA in Clayton.