Lead a session during STL Startup Week

Share your expertise

Startup Week events are inspiring, engaging, and enlightening because of our incredible speakers. If you have something to share with our community, we want to hear from you. Don't let imposter syndrome stand in your way!

2024 Session Submission Guidelines

Launched in 2019, STL Startup Week (STLSW) has become the city’s premier event series built by and for the region’s entrepreneurship community. Drawing from St. Louis’s diverse and vibrant startup ecosystem, STLSW convenes thousands of founders, supporters, students, and professionals. This five-day conference is designed to spark new ideas, foster meaningful connections, celebrate wins (big and small!), and promote shared learning and experiences.

We strive to create spaces where attendees can connect, learn, and grow — regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, economic status and other diverse backgrounds.

STL Startup Week 2024 takes place November 11-15, 2024 in-person in St. Louis, Missouri.

About the Event

We are excited to offer a diverse array of presentations to attendees with several speakers lined up each day of the week. We are currently seeking applications to fill ~20 different sessions, each up to one-hour long, that can be delivered in a variety of formats including presentations, demos, panels, or workshops. All sessions will be presented live during Startup Week at one of our official venues.

What's new this year?

Responding to community feedback, we're introducing daily topic tracks to enhance participant engagement. The five daily tracks  are: Marketing & Branding, People & Culture, Product & Design, Capital, and Growth.

Important Dates:

  • Application Window Opens - Monday, June 17
  • Application LIVE Q&A- Tuesday, July 23 (Register HERE)
  • Application Deadline - Friday, August 9
  • Speaker Selections - Friday, August 30

Submission Do's

  • Submit aspirational and compelling presentations! We are looking for engaging sessions that provide unique insights in the STL startup community.
  • Have clear learning objectives!
  • Highlight your experience and expertise in the relevant field.

Submission Don'ts

  • No sales pitches or self-promotion.
  • Don’t submit an incomplete application.
  • Don’t exaggerate or over promise on the impact of your presentation.

Selection Process and Grading Criteria

Once the application period closes, a group of STLSW committee members and community partners will gather to evaluate each application and make final decisions on the speakers for this year’s STLSW. All applications will be assessed on the following criteria using a Likert scale:

  • Engagement and Presentation Skills
  • Expertise and Experience
  • Originality and Innovation
  • Actionable Takeaways
  • Alignment with Theme
  • Audience Appeal

Additionally, the committee will consider the representation of St. Louis's racial and cultural diversity to ensure an inclusive range of perspectives, although this factor will not be assigned a numerical score.

A full breakdown of the rubric can be found HERE.

Speaker Application Webinar

Join us on July 23rd for the Speaker Application Webinar, where you will gain valuable insights into the speaker application process for STL Startup Week. This session will cover everything you need to know as a potential speaker, the application process, and selection criteria. Our team will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have, giving you the confidence you need to submit a quality application.
Register Now

Frequently asked questions

When is STL Startup Week?

STL Startup week begins on November 11 and runs through November 15, 2024.  

What will STL Startup Week look like?

STL Startup Week will be hosted at a different venue each day (Monday-Friday). Applicants will be selected to fill approximately four (4) 1-hour sessions per day delivered live from each official location.

What kind of ideas have the best chance of being selected?

All ideas for sessions are welcome! Ideas focused on transferring knowledge to the community have the best chance of being selected, and we will give particular consideration to those that are unique, new or different, as well as those that showcase equity and diversity of our community. Pitches for a product or service will not be accepted.
Don’t fall into one of these buckets and still find yourself intrigued by startups, entrepreneurship, and small business? Don’t be shy, join us! Part of STL Startup Week is welcoming new faces into the local ecosystem, regardless of your background, experience, or skill level.

Can I charge the audience for my presentation?

All STL Startup Week activities are free-of-charge to participants. Speakers are not allowed to charge for their presentations.

Who can I contact with questions?

Please contact Ben Molina at bmolina@cortexstl.org

Join us as a speaker

Applications are now open!