June 19, 2024

Announcing the Theme for STL Startup Week 2024: "Venture Boldly"

STL Startup Week 2024 is just around the corner, and we're thrilled to unveil this year’s theme: "Venture Boldly." 

As we continue to celebrate and support the vibrant entrepreneurial community in St. Louis, we believe this theme captures the essence of what it means to be a trailblazer in the world of startups. 

Here's a deeper look into why we chose this theme and how it will shape this year’s event.

Why introduce a theme this year?

In previous years, STL Startup Week has thrived on the diversity of its speakers and topics, offering something for everyone in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

This year, we wanted to introduce a unifying theme that ties the event together while still allowing for the individuality of each session and speaker.

Matt Menietti, Lead Organizer, provides insight into this decision:

"STL Startup Week has historically benefited from a huge variety of speakers and topics. One idea we had this year was to explore a narrative thread between talks. Something that loosely held all of our sessions together but also allowed for speakers and panelists to tell their own individual stories. We're constantly iterating our programming year to year so we're very excited to see how this new idea is received by our community!"

By having a central theme, we aim to create a more cohesive experience for our attendees. Whether it’s a keynote speech or a networking event, each session will resonate with the overarching message of boldness and innovation. 

"Venture Boldly" isn't just a slogan; it’s a guiding principle that will influence the content and atmosphere of the event.

Why Did We Choose "Venture Boldly"?

Choosing a theme that encapsulates the spirit of entrepreneurship was no easy task. We wanted something that speaks to the core of what it means to be an entrepreneur, especially in St. Louis. 

After much deliberation, we landed on "Venture Boldly" because it embodies the courage, risk-taking, and pioneering spirit essential to entrepreneurial success.

Matt Menietti elaborates on the inspiration behind our theme:

"I think at its core, entrepreneurship is counter-cultural. It's about taking risks, forging new paths, and doing things differently. In a state like Missouri, I often think that we wait for others to jump into the deep end before us. We're the 'Show Me State' after all! I've seen so many founders sit on the sideline waiting for the perfect moment to come along to launch their own business or take a big swing. I think the intention behind 'Venture Boldly' is a rallying cry to those of us sitting on the bench and an invitation to get in the game. Entrepreneurship takes guts, moxy, and often requires us to be bold if we ever want to start and move forward on a big idea."

St. Louis has a rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship, yet there is often a cultural hesitation to take the first step. 

"Venture Boldly" is a call to action, urging both new and seasoned entrepreneurs to break out of their comfort zones and make bold moves. It’s about embracing the uncertainty and potential of the entrepreneurial journey with confidence and determination.

How Will We Incorporate the Theme During the Event?

The theme "Venture Boldly" will be evident throughout STL Startup Week in various ways, from the selection of speakers to the structure of our programming. 

One of the primary ways we ensure the theme is integrated into the event is by requiring all speaker applicants to connect their sessions to the theme.

Matt Menietti discusses this integration:

"I think the biggest way the theme is showing up this year is in the speaker submissions. All of our speaker applicants will be required to state how their session relates or ties back to our 2024 theme. But, I also think it will show up in some of our new programming as well. We've introduced several new networking opportunities this year and whether it's meeting a small group of entrepreneurship-minded folks for coffee or engaging in a speed networking event, I think the concept of meeting and getting to know new people can be scary. It can be even scarier telling them about an idea or company that you've been working on - what if they don't like it or have some harsh criticism? Venture boldly can also speak to our own personal entrepreneurial journeys that require us to step out of our respective comfort zones whether we're selling an idea, building partnerships, or learning a new skill."

This thematic approach ensures that every session adds value to the overarching narrative of boldness in entrepreneurship. We are also introducing new networking formats designed to push participants out of their comfort zones and encourage meaningful connections. From intimate coffee meetups to rapid-fire networking events, these opportunities are crafted to foster bold conversations and collaborations.

Additionally, "Venture Boldly" will be a focal point in our promotional materials, stage designs, and interactive elements throughout the event. We want attendees to feel the energy and inspiration of this theme from the moment they register to the closing remarks of the week.

The Importance of "Venture Boldly" for Our Community

The theme resonates deeply with the entrepreneurial ethos of St. Louis. As a city with a burgeoning startup scene, St. Louis is home to many who have dared to dream big and take bold steps. 

However, it’s also a place where potential entrepreneurs might feel apprehensive about taking the plunge.

"Venture Boldly" aims to break down these barriers and encourage a culture of action and innovation. It’s about recognizing that the perfect moment may never come and that the time to act is now. 

By embracing this mindset, we hope to see a surge of new ideas, startups, and collaborations that will continue to strengthen our local ecosystem. APPLY TO BE A SPEAKER NOW!

Looking Forward to STL Startup Week 2024

As we countdown to November, we are incredibly excited to see how the theme "Venture Boldly" will unfold during STL Startup Week 2024. We believe this theme will not only inspire our attendees but also set the stage for transformative experiences and lasting connections.

Whether you’re an established entrepreneur, a newcomer with a fresh idea, or someone simply interested in the world of startups, we invite you to join us in this bold venture. Let’s come together to share, learn, and most importantly, take those daring steps that could lead to the next big breakthrough.

Stay tuned for more updates and get ready to "Venture Boldly" at STL Startup Week 2024. We can’t wait to see you there!