Save the dates: NOVEMBER 8-12, 2021

What is stl startup week?

Join us for 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 2021 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

Vice President of Partnerships and Program Development, Cortex Innovation Community

Phyllis 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.

Sponsorship & Donations Committee Lead:

Cate Redfern

Principal, Nonprofit & Community InvStrategist, Adansonia, LLC

Cate helps nonprofit leaders and business leaders solve social challenges. She helps nonprofit leaders grow their organizations to be sustainable, resilient, collaborative and dependable centers of success for their communities through effective stakeholder engagement, focused mission-centered planning, impactful program design, and success-oriented, collaborative leadership development. She helps business leaders develop scalable community-focused philanthropic programs to create impactful change that is in alignment with corporate strategic objectives and employee and customer values.

Session Recruitment & Application Review Committee Lead:

Christopher Holt

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, TechArtista

Chris helped found TechArtista in the Central West End, initially to build the supportive and creative network he had access to while at Washington University in St. Louis. Being raised overseas in Hong Kong, Christopher realized the value of a strong community and sought to emulate that within the space. TechArtista pulls it’s inspiration from world-wide projects and artists, and seeks to create a diverse open-minded space within St. Louis, that has both a local and global impact.

Marketing & Promotion Committee Lead:

Dan Mills

Co-Founder, IABDROB, LLC

Dan Mills is an artist who works in a variety of media. With a conceptual approach, Mills tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way, likes to involve the viewer in a way that is sometimes physical and believes in the idea of function following form in a work.

Week of Operations & Execution Committee Lead:

Erik Lutenegger

Founder, Tenacity

Erik is the founder of Tenacity, creator of Bourbon Fridays, and the curator of Innovate Giving. Erik helps companies reduce site load time and maximize the results of their digital efforts.

The Big Idea Committee Lead:

Hayley Johnston

Community Manager, Spark St. Louis

Hayley has been immersed in the St. Louis Innovation Ecosystem working for several Entrepreneur Support Organizations. Having the experience of starting several businesses herself and growing up with entrepreneurial parents she understands first-hand what is needed to grow and succeed when launching a new venture.

Outcomes & Follow-up Committee Lead:

Kate Loar

Director of St. Louis & Kansas City, Venture For America

Kate is an avid relationship builder with deep experience in non-profit fundraising and management, entrepreneur support, and talent development.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Lead:

Lindsey Harrison

Program Manager, BioSTL

Lindsey has over 10-years of experience working with diversity organizations in academic, corporate, and community environments. She is an innovative problem-solver and skilled in project management to help organizations reach strategic goals and drive change. She aspires to bring a positive energy to others.

Swag Committee Lead:

Matt Menietti

Executive Director, Conflux Co-Learning

Matt is an avid champion and advocate for the St. Louis startup community, having organized several volunteer-led hackathons, meetups, and events. Most recently, Matt served as the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the St. Louis Regional Chamber, a membership-based organization driving economic development in the bi-state area. His work at the Chamber centered around strengthening capacity and connectivity within the region’s emerging startup ecosystem. Prior to his position at the Chamber, Matt spent 4+ years as the inaugural Executive Director of a local tech-focused nonprofit called GlobalHack, which organizes civic-focused software competitions and youth coding programs. In June of 2012, he was named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 Under 30 list of up-and-coming young professionals and, more recently, was named to their 2017 list of Diverse Business Leaders. He is an aspiring triathlete, amateur photographer, and Star Wars trivia night competitor.

Startup Connection Committee Co-Lead:

Melissa Grizzle

Director, Entrepreneur Development, ITEN

At ITEN Melissa manages startup programs and services, as well as their external entrepreneurship education events. She also helps tech startups navigate resources in the broader community--it takes an ecosystem to raise an entrepreneur and ITEN has a great map for that!

Student Engagement Committee Lead:

Tim Luecke

Director, St. Louis CAPS

Tim provides leadership, management, and coordination of the nationally recognized STL CAPS programs, which allows area high school students to fast forward into their future. Students are fully immersed in a professional culture, solving real-world problems, using industry-standard tools and are mentored by actual employers, all while receiving high school and college credit.

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