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As the St. Louis startup community continues to grow, the voices and concerns of its founders, grass roots organizers and support organizations need to be heard, perhaps now more than ever. What does St. Louis need to do now to support its startups? Where is it succeeding? We gathered community members to talk to us about our region’s current challenges and possible solutions. Dan Lohman is CEO and Co-founder of Pushup Social. 

DanLohman
Dan Lohman is the CEO & Co-founder of PushUp Social | Photo courtesy of Dan Lohman

What are three issues, gaps or improvements that St. Louis’ startup ecosystem needs to address?

Increase in seed and series A capital availabilty; increase in supply of developer/tech talent; St. Louis region becoming a foundationally innovative city.

Which one would you focus on first?

To reach full potential, St. Louis needs to be–and be seen by the world–as a foundationally innovative city.

What approach would you take to solving that?

Merge City and County to help fix foundational problems; call on government to support innovation and remove archaic regulators. St. Louis must lead in innovation.

What is your hope for St. Louis’ startup future?

I hope that within the next three years, we have a billion dollar exit from a St. Louis-based tech startup. A substantial exit is crucial for the ecosystem.

What do you love about the current state of STL’s startup scene?

Something new I love is the fact that corporations now want to connect with startups. They want to internalize innovation, connect, invest and buy from startups. This is game-changing for young startups.

This article was published in EQ print issue 1, Fall 2015.