Startup Resolutions: Here’s What You’re Chasing In 2018

Welcome back! Yep, 2018 has already started. Crack on!

Estimated reading time: 10 minute(s)

What’s Your Startup Resolution for the New Year and Why?

We invited members of the St Louis Startup Ecosystem to respond to that question. Their answers are below.

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Got your own answer? We’d love to hear from you! Let EQ know by sharing this post with your own resolution and tagging us on Facebook, Twitter or by dropping us a line. Our big-hairy-audacious-goal is to be the fastest growing business publication in St Louis in 2018 and build a national, hyper-locally engaged brand in 2019 that empowers entrepreneurship globally in 2020 – with your help, advice, support, sending and sharing, we can do it – let’s connect these cities together!

The Creatives

Brent Broadnax, NerdBox Corp, Chief Executive Officer
My startup resolution is…

Close more deals…

Faster!

Tyler J. Kelley, SLAM! AGENCY, Co-Founder & Chief Strategist
I’ve never been more excited about a New Year and new opportunity. The first four years of SLAM! have brought us to this very moment, and 2018 is our year to double-down. Double-down on our values. Double-down on our efforts. Double-down on our community involvement.

Last year, we set down the processes and systems that we would need to significantly increase our impact for our clients and our community, and I am confident we have laid a solid foundation. In 2018, we look forward to partnering with top brands and agencies and stepping on the gas of our content creation and distribution. These are exciting times indeed!

Nick Niehaus, Connect Marketing, Co-Founder
Over the past year, I’ve started to shift away from goals (resolutions) and toward building habits. It’s had a tremendous impact on both my health and business! This year, I’m working on the habit of creating video content EVERY DAY.

I plan to accomplish this by choosing a specific day of the week each month and committing to making one video on that day for the entire month and moving forward as well. The first of 2018 will be a Bourbon Fridays Facebook Live show (every Friday). I’ve already started making a weekly 1-minute marketing tip video on Mondays.

I’ll need 5 more months after that of building upon this habit to get to a video every day. Video marketing has already resulted in some great opportunities for our business so I’m excited to have a new video up on Facebook every day of the week by mid 2018!

Jason Sindel, Vidzu, Sr. Media Solutions Specialist
Meet more people…

Explore more possibilities…

Make more great things happen!

The Developers

Chris Erhardt, Tunedly, Co-Founder & CEO
Our main resolution for 2018 is to turn profitable.

We are raising some funds in the beginning of the year, however with that capital we plan to turn the corner and be profitable by fall 2018. That is the main goal we’re chasing in 2018.

The reason why: Being profitable makes us much less reliant on outside capital. It’s a no brainer of course, but we like being in control of our future. Having to raise funds continually to chase “unicorn” status makes you very vulnerable to things you can’t control.

Matt Fineberg, Pico.Buzz, Head of US Market
We at Pico have resolved for 2018 to help as many teams and brands as possible uncover the immense value of getting personal with their fans via one-on-one communication.

This is our company’s next step because we have has reached a stage where growth is key. It is made possible by successfully completing our 2017 resolution which was to improve and deploy the game changing platform that could accomplish such a goal.

Christina Hawatmeh, Scop.io, CEO
Streamline and automate our image search and licensing platform for existing customers and future ones. 2017 was a great year for pilots on Scopio.

This year, the goal is to automate buying a Scopio subscription and automating the software experience so that searching and licensing images is fun and it’s exciting to uncover any image under the sun. For example, ‘what is going on in Greenland?’ Find those pics and use them for your blog piece or email without blinking twice.

Getting to a Pure SaaS model is exciting and a challenge. We want people to have fun while finding great photos and videos to make their stories better.

Jonathan Herrick, Hatchbuck, CMO
In 2018, Hatchbuck is hyper-focused on reaching profitability. That means we’re heads down working on creative ways to drive revenue while reducing expenses.

We’re hoping to achieve this soon because I can’t shave my beard until then… and I’m going to inevitably start looking like Tom Hanks in Castaway.

Amit Kothari, Tallyfy, CEO
We have just launched the beta of our new product. Our aim is to grow signups like crazy.

In addition to inbound lead generation — which is growing exponentially — we aim to target collaborative workflows that we are uniquely able to serve. We’re already product and design-obsessed and we’re looking to double down on that during 2018.

Michael Lamb, nativeMsg, President & Co-Founder
Startup resolution for the year is to close more deals — like any other startup hopes to do 🙂

But also, increase exposure of nativeMsg across multiple verticals and continue to be the thought leader in the Messaging-as-an-Application space.

Ben Mizes, Clever Real Estate, CEO
This year our company is doing everything we can to focus on what our clients need.

We changed our business model once a couple months ago based on customer feedback and we’re not afraid to do it again, if it will improve our business. As a founder, it’s our job to build the best product that we can, but we have to be willing to accept the fact that what was set in stone yesterday might need to change if we want our company to keep growing.

Joe Pater, RebateBus, CEO
Rebate Bus has a 2018 resolution to add 100 Rebate Bus Pro Members by the end of the year.

We are focused on supporting our members by helping them grow their business with utility rebates.

The Engineers

Leon Doyle, WIFIPLUG, CEO
We are heading back to the USA for CES where we aim to demonstrate the first smart plug in the world that…

Actually pays for itself…

And saves the customer money!
Barnabas Helmy, SmashToast, CEO & Founder
Close our Series A round…

Rollout PUCK V2 and the PUCK Hub and…

…integrate Amazon Alexa and Google Home into the Puck ecosystem!
Adam Hoffman, CheckTheQ, CEO
Leave it all on the field and give my everything to this venture.

It’s a true privilege to be able to take the risks required for entrepreneurship, and thus I owe it to the company, my employees, and myself to hold nothing back in the pursuit of excellence.

The next year is make or break for CheckTheQ, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Bryan Sapot, SensorTrx, CEO
New years resolution – SELL MORE!

We spent the last 2 years building a great product, getting customer references and perfecting our messaging.

Now is the time to close deals and grow.
Killian Tobin, OmegaGrid, CEO
The Omega Grid startup resolution for 2018 is to share more of our vision with the world.

We operated in 2017 mostly in stealth and have been overwhelmed by the international response to our efforts after we removed our stealth cloak in St. Louis last October. Being open with the world has brought us more opportunities than we could hope for and we are excited to continue this approach next year.

The Fashionistas

Jessica Donovan, MakersValley, Lead Marketing Strategist
Our number one goal for this year is to build a community around the visible manufacturing experience.

We will also work to become more data centric and to streamline our customer experience.


MakersValley Co-Founders, Tiffany Chimal and Alessio Iadicicco, recorded a video! (Thanks guys!)


The Foodies

James Crains, GrabMe, Founder
Come hell or high water – release GrabMe in the first quarter of 2018.

That means by April, the St. Louis area will have a new choice when they need their dry cleaning picked up, an extra gallon of milk, another box of screws, or a hot lunch from that deli down the street.

Ellen Prinzi, OlioCity, Founder & CEO
Our resolution for 2018 is to keep pushing Olio City to be more fun, more engaging, and more useful.

Also, to sell the company for $1 billion dollars, hopefully before June. We’d like to have more free time to spend by the pool (that we don’t own yet).

The Healers

Jaye Connolly-LaBelle, RippleNami, President & CEO
RippleNami’s New Year Resolution is to win, win, win and win more contracts to achieve our goal of connecting 5 billion unconnected people.

In addition, we are trying to get African-based speakerships for FREE just because it’s ridiculous we have to pay to tell our very cool story and mission. It’s easier to sign contracts and get crazy diseases in a developing nation than a free speakership these days!

Ross Donaldson, SunstationUSA.com, Founder & CEO
We believe that healthy communities equal better communities! That’s why our 2018 Startup Resolution is to successfully launch our national sunscreen dispenser pilot program to provide 125 communities with free sunscreen dispensers.

We are committed to sunscreen access and awareness. By providing these communities with sunscreen dispensers, we can begin to truly prevent skin cancer which is the #1 diagnosed cancer in the US.

Jim Howard, SentiAR, CEO
Secure the first FDA approval for our augmented reality (AR) surgical platform by end-of-year and continue to invest in our people.

Recruiting the best talent, in a nascent space, to be the best place to work in St. Louis. Working with cutting-edge technology like AR to help patients certainly helps.

Dana A. Marshall, BacterioScan, President & CEO
Our Resolution: Sell, Sell and Sell!!

BacterioScan is an in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) company that is changing the way infectious disease is diagnosed and treated by providing rapid, reliable, automated, and accessible microbiology instruments. We are expecting FDA clearance for our first platform application, Rapid Detection of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) any day now.

With that clearance in hand, our team will be feverishly focused on selling the 216Dx for rapid UTI detection to hospital clinical microbiology labs across the country. Our UTI application provides clinicians with results in three hours, giving them answers before antibiotics are prescribed. The emergence of drug-resistant bacteria is a serious, worsening global health threat, and the overuse and misuse of antibiotics is the single greatest contributor to antibiotic resistance. Our 2017 clinical studies showed our instrument performs better than the “gold” standard methods, which means better accuracy, improved laboratory efficiency, and ultimately, better patient care.

We will also be working to raise capital during 2018. We will be “selling” our corporate story as we engage potential new investors and closing a Series B investment round later this year.

Darryl Palmer, Janus Choice, CTO
Janus Choice’s Startup Resolution is to win federal NIH Research grants to improve minority health disparities of stroke patients.

We want to increase African American stroke patients understanding and nationwide utilization of post-acute care providers. African-Americans have the highest incidence of strokes and are more likely to be disabled, or otherwise experience difficulties in their daily lives, than any other minority group.

Janus Choice’s platform positively impacts the decision-making behavior of African American stroke patients in choosing post-acute care and leads to faster recoveries and better outcomes.

Samantha Rudolph, Babyation, Co-Founder & CEO
Identify new…

And innovate ways to…

Continue engaging with parents!

Agnes Scoville, Aggie MD, MD
In general I don’t make resolutions on a yearly basis, I make them at particularly critical moments, like, when I’ve just spent precious dollars on a marketing campaign that was an epic failure. What I do like to do, is to try to take a few moments to reflect at the highest level, the 35,000 foot altitude level, on what drives me, what drives the company, and what drives the world. Yes, really, what drives the world.

So call it a Startup Reflection, not a Startup Resolution. Here are my Startup Reflections:

  • On Team: My internal driver is to decrease suffering in babies and kids. I get much more gratification from reading 5 star reviews than looking at an excel spreadsheet that shows that yes! we are finally profitable. Of course, the latter is nice too, but the reason I keep slogging forward is my compassion for little kids. My business partner, on the other hand, likes to help babies, but the $$$ (“Did you see the P&L this quarter?!”) is his real driver. It’s a good ying-yang.
  • On Strategy: What is driving the company is that we’ve spent lots and lots of time and money on guerrilla marketing. We don’t follow any particular script, and we direct the social media because we know the space better than anyone. So I might push really hard one month on random videos placed strategically or reaching out to well-known characters in the baby space, and the next month doing targeted advertising for Target, Buy Buy Baby or Babies R Us customers. I consider the rhythms of parenthood through each season of the year, and adjust our marketing to those rhythms. Now is our high season because more kids get sick in the winter, so we spend more on advertising now.
  • On the Market:What’s driving our world right now. The economy is doing better and I’m certain that consumer confidence has helped our sales. But I also think that when there is political upheaval, people tend feel overwhelmed. They pull back from the governmental chaos to focus on what they can control, like making sure their home is safe and sound and their babies are happy and healthy. That translates into more sales of baby health products.

The Incubators

Patty Hagen, T-Rex, President & Executive Director
Finish a super renovation of T-REX’s first facility…

And pursue expanded opportunities for T-REX…

The home of St Louis tech innovation!

Dan Lauer, UMSL Accelerate, Founding Executive Director
For UMSL Accelerate, our resolution is threefold:
Educate: add a full degree program to our certificate program.
Innovate: scale our entrepreneur in residence (EIR) program and pilot two new experiential learning programs.
Collaborate: scale out “powered by” model (e.g. Ameren Acclerator) and pilot two new models.

Daniel Fogarty, LaunchCode, EIR
LaunchCode believes if you can do the job, you should get the job!

Going into 2018, our goal is simple: match more qualified technologists with companies seeking home-grown, diverse talent. We want to keep experimenting and coming up with new ways to best train our students to fit company hiring needs.

We don’t ever want to lose sight of our most important mission… to give everyone the access and opportunity to land a job in tech!

Rebecca Brian Pan, Covo, CEO & Co-Founder
My goal is to encourage radical self-care for myself and my team.

Valuing simplicity, tranquility, focus and balance as well as hard work and productivity. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and I want my team with me for the long haul. It’s so easy to get caught up with deliverables and taking on as much as you can fit on your plate.

And yes, everything needs to get done. But we can balance it across the team, across the months, across the years. Saying no to opportunities is hard, but it’s critical to a company’s health.

Jennifer Ehlen, Brazen Global, CEO & Co-Founder
To start my own peer advisory group.

Classic ‘cobbler’s children’ situation since I’m the CEO of a company that encourages women to get the support they need to be successful in their business. So this year, I’m going to listen to Brazen’s advice and start a Growth Group.

The Investors

Scott Bernstein, Lewis & Clark Ventures, Principal
Invest in…

2-4 transformational startups…

Based in the Midwest!

Cliff Holekamp, Cultivation Capital, Co-Founder & General Partner
My Startup Resolution for the New Year is to build on the momentum we have created in St. Louis.

Our region is among the fastest growing startup ecosystems in the world, but growth rates become more challenging as our scale increases. We have reached a respectable scale for a city our size, but I don’t want us to become complacent. In all of our roles around the ecosystem, we must be pushing to increase our capacity and output. I will be committing to do that in both capital invested and in the time I spend educating new talent.

Here’s to another 12 months of making new friends and connections, exploring new places, and finding your huSTLe.

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Got your own answer? Let EQ know by sharing this post with your own resolution and tagging us on Facebook, Twitter or by dropping us a line. Our startup resolution is to be the fastest growing publication in St Louis in 2018!