Save the dates: NOVEMBER 1-9, 2019

What is stl startup week?

Join us for the first STL Startup Week to celebrate the St. Louis region’s entrepreneurs.

It’s on! Experience the programs, the spaces, and the biggest annual events of this vibrant startup community. Celebrate the successes of 2019 and learn about the resources available for powering your startup and growing your company.

Be inspired with programs and events including top speakers

Experience 20+ coworking spaces and all the services they offer

Build in-demand skills to work in the innovation community

Explore STEM opportunities for K-12 students and educators

The St. Louis entrepreneurship scene has an energy 20 years in the making. 

Come engage and connect with 5,000+ people from the St. Louis startup community at this celebration of all things entrepreneurial and uniquely St. Louis.

For questions or to add an event to the calendar, contact Phyllis Ellison at

Quick fact:

St. Louis' rank* in the Forbes top 10 list of rising cities for startups:

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Meet the team

STL Startup Week is produced by a dedicated volunteer coalition comprised of leaders, entrepreneurs, and community organizers.

Phyllis Ellison

Cortex Innovation Community - Vice President of Partnerships and Program Development

Phyllis Ellison has been working to grow the St. Louis entrepreneurship community since 2005, creating resources and events to support entrepreneurs. In addition to her role at Cortex, Phyllis manages Startup Connection and InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum, and is a community organizer for House of Genius and STL Startup Week.

Startup Resources Team:

Frank Hopper

Program Director, Capital Innovators

Frank is the Program Director at Capital Innovators. There he oversees the operations of the accelerator program as well as recruiting and sourcing deal flow, due diligence, mentor relations, investor relations, marketing, and innovation consulting. Frank has a passion for the Startup Ecosystem in St. Louis and believes that it has the potential to have an outstanding positive impact on the region.

Hayley Johnston

Program Coordinator, ITEN

Hayley has been immersed in the St. Louis Innovation Ecosystem as the Director of Gateway Venturing Mentoring Service and as the Administrator for the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Pro Bono Program helping a 5 state region of low income inventors secure pro bono patents. Having the experiences of starting several businesses herself and growing up with entrepreneurial parents she understands first-hand what is needed to succeed when launching a new venture. Hayley consults with local start-ups to help with branding, website design, and marketing strategy.

Ched Wagner

Ched has been involved in the STL startup environment since his move back to St. Louis in January 2018. Ched currently is a Portfolio Advisor for Acropolis Investment Management, and previously worked as the Manager for Nvsted, a funding platform specifically focused on St. Louis startups and entrepreneurs. Prior to Nvsted, Ched was a banker at Wells Fargo where he specialized as a Business Advocate, helping small businesses manage their finances.

Skill Building Team:

Ola Ayeni

Chief Idea Officer, Claim Academy

Ola Ayeni is dedicated to providing students with the tools to change their lives. He is an Arch Grant Award Winner, and he is the founder and Chief Idea Officer of Claim Academy, a Coding Bootcamp in St. Louis.

Tony Bryan

Executive Director, CyberUp

Tony is a veteran, lover of St. Louis, and a self-proclaimed "nonprofit nerd." He has served the regional nonprofit ecosystem for over 10 years in varying roles and currently serves as the Executive Director of CyberUp. The organization is committed to closing the cybersecurity skills gap by training the workforce of today and inspiring the workforce of tomorrow. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife Addie and their four children. He obsesses over football way too much and helps other nonprofits meet their goals through volunteering and board service.

STEM Team:

Sherita M. Haigler

Catalyst, St. Louis Regional STEM Learning Ecosystem

Sherita, a native of St. Louis, serves as the Director of STEMSTL, a non-profit STEM Learning Ecosystem that aims to ensure that all St. Louis area learners have equitable access to high-quality STEM learning and career opportunities. Sherita builds and maintains relationships, creates structures for collaboration, and manages the day-to-day operations of the Ecosystem to improve STEM learning and workforce outcomes. These activities include: establishing clear Ecosystem structure and plan execution, building awareness of STEMSTL within the St. Louis Region, and building stakeholder engagement across sectors.

PR, Storytelling & Social Team:

Julie Maurer

Competition Manager, Arch Grants

Julie Maurer is the Competition Manager at Arch Grants, a nonprofit organization that is building a new economy by providing $50,000 equity-free grants and pro bono support services to entrepreneurs who locate their early-stage businesses in St. Louis. She is responsible for the planning and execution of Arch Grants’ Global Startup Competition, with a focus on strategic marketing and outreach to local, national and international prospective applicants. She carries an enthusiasm for startups and community building and is dedicated to making St. Louis thrive.

Lindsay Van Quaethem

Principal & Founder

Lindsay A. Van Quaethem is the Principal & Founder of City Block. With more than 8 years of experience in communications, branding and community engagement, Lindsay launched City Block in 2017. Lindsay is a born and raised St. Louisan — prior to City Block, she spent 6 years as the Marketing Manager for Downtown STL, Inc., which allowed her to share the stories of St. Louis straight from the heartbeat of the region. Lindsay loves the narratives of her hometown and would be honored to tell your story! Connect with her at

View the full schedule.

The schedule is constantly being updated. Please check back frequently to make sure you don’t miss out!

view the schedule