Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

It’s no secret that St. Louis’ size allows for unique collaborations. Startups are able to gain access to corporate leadership and big businesses can feed off of the growing energy in the innovation space. We asked leaders in the startup space, corporate space and community to speak on what each sector can learn from one another and about what’s happening right now in our region.

Natacha Alpert is innovation lead of Caleres.

natacha alpert
Natacha Alpert photo courtesy of Caleres

What are some things that startups need support on that larger enterprises can provide? What are challenges that larger enterprises have that startups can help solve?

Startups generally need help with the commercialization of projects, creating a viable business plan, having a demo that works and proof of concept.

What are three ways corporate-startup collaborations benefit the region?

Collaborations can foster new growth, local commerce and new ideas for a region with help of the experience of a large corporation.

How has your organization or company created or facilitated corporate-startup partnerships?

We’ve been partnering with new 3-D printing, scanning and design startups, as well as local universities for small enterprise startup programs.

What’s one challenge in creating these partnerships?

The challenge can be the startup’s ability to scale up to larger quantities of production.

In the future, what are some levels of engagement you’d like to see happen at your organization, in terms of startup-corporate relationships?

We locally support and sponsor the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator and emerging designers.