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For over two years, Venture Cafe has been a mainstay of St. Louis’ innovation community. Its centerpiece, the Thursday Weekly Gathering, is an event that takes place every Thursday at Cortex’s CIC@4240 and allows innovators from a variety of business sectors to connect and share ideas. In 2017, it’s expanding.
In an effort to support additional innovators, Venture Café announced it will broaden its reach by adding two satellite programs: “Venture Café Night: 39 North” and “Venture Café Night: Forward Through Resilience,”; each will be held once per month in 2017.
The two satellite programs will take place on the second and third Tuesdays each month and will include the same programming found at the Weekly Gathering. The events are free and open to anyone interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.
“We look at the Weekly Gathering as the core operating system of Venture Cafe, but like technology has taught us, the best desktop applications also have a strong mobile application,” said Travis Sheridan, president of the CIC Venture Cafe Global Institute. “That is what we are doing with these satellite programs. We are taking our proven core operations to new audiences.”
Venture Café Night: Forward Through Resilience will be held on the second Tuesday of the month from 3-8pm at the LaunchCode Mentor Center on Delmar, beginning on February 14 and will focus on applying innovation to civic and social issues. Programming will specifically be curated to address the goals and efforts of the Promise Zone, Forward Through Ferguson, and 100 Resilient Cities. Its programming will be built around the 189 calls to action from the Ferguson Commission report,the six key goals of the Promise Zone, and the four resilience challenges identified as part of 100 Resilient Cities. Venture Café Night: Forward through Resilience is supported by the St. Louis Development Corporation.
“Venture Cafe has made a name for itself for bringing together thought leaders and change makers to solve problems at a grassroots level. Its new Forward through Resilience project will broaden the conversation to a more diverse community to tap into new and different ideas to advance our region,” says Mayor Francis Slay.
Venture Café Night: 39 North will be held on the third Tuesday of the month from 3-8pm at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center within the 39 North Innovation District, beginning on February 21, 2017. It will focus on innovations in plant science and agricultural technology and is sponsored by Monsanto and supported by the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center with additional consideration provided by Wexford Science + Technology and Christner.
“Venture Cafe has the proven ability to bring together smart and talented workers at its networking events,” said St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. “These new sessions add to the already substantial appeal of 39 North as an innovative, collaborative work environment that fits with the culture of cutting edge AgTech companies from around the world.”
Each Venture Café Night is free to attend and will curate programming from a variety of sectors. “Ag-tech can include corporate engagement, but it also explores issues of food insecurity, sustainability and machine learning,” said Sheridan. “Resiliency might look at better ways for public agencies to share data or creative solutions to youth violence. When multiple minds are engaged, the opportunities are endless. We just want to stimulate innovation and solve some big problems.”