7 Reasons to Attend Startup Connection

St. Louis' biggest startup event of the year happens November 18. Here's why you should be there.

Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 18 because you officially have plans: You’re joining us at Startup Connection 2015.

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Attendees at Startup Connection 2014. Photo courtesy of Startup Connection.

Presented by Accelerate St. Louis and serving as the premier event during Global Entrepreneurship Week, Startup Connection is kind of a big deal. Featuring a startup showcase, resource fair, a fast-paced pitch session, the announcement of over $120,000 in awards and a damn good party, it’s a not-to-miss. Here’s the scoop:

1/ It’s the startup event of the season in STL. Sorry, but we can’t stress this enough. Last year, more than 1,200 investors, startups, aspiring entrepreneurs, students and entrepreneur support organizations came together in a celebration of our growing community. This year they’re expecting more than 1,500 to attend. The event gives St. Louis startups the opportunity to present their companies to entrepreneurs, investors and other members of the innovation community.

2/ The event takes over the glorious Knight Hall at Wash U and turns it into a startup wonderland. This is the first time the event will be held in the 102,000-square-foot space at Olin Business School, and with many of the startups presenting having some Wash U in their DNA, it’s a pretty perfect fit.

3/ The Resource Fair Presented by Washington University. Not only will EQ have a booth there (hey, guys!) but this year’s Resource Fair will play host to more than 60 entrepreneur support organizations and companies. If you’re looking to jump into the STL startup pool, everything you need to know will be right at your fingertips. And because: Swag.

Kathleen Bauer of T-REX speaks with attendees. Photo courtesy of Startup Connection
Kathleen Bauer of T-REX speaks with attendees. Photo courtesy of Startup Connection

4/ The Venture Showcase sponsored by Simplify Commerce by MasterCard. Even if you feel like you know about the startup ecosystem, there’s still so much you can learn. You’ll be amazed at the breadth of early-stage innovation happening in St. Louis right now, and the Venture Showcase, sponsored by Simplify Commerce by MasterCard, gives you an opportunity to experience it all under one roof. Look for 75 companies representing consumer products, tech, bio tech, manufacturing, FinTech and education. 

5/ There is a lot of money on the line—$120,000 to be exact. Thanks to Accelerate St. Louis, Presenting Sponsor of Startup Connection, promising early-stage startups have the opportunity to win no-strings-attached cash, top-tier professional services and new office space with the top companies receiving awards at the end of the night. This year they’ve added application tracks in biosciences, education, financial technology, information technology, manufacturing and products/services as well as special awards for Bright Futures-Minority, Bright Futures-Woman, Bright Futures-Mosaic Immigrant and Bright Futures-Veteran.

Awards are presented at the end of Startup Connection 2014. Photo courtesy of Startup Connection.
Awards are presented at the end of Startup Connection 2014. Photo courtesy of Startup Connection.

6/ Shameless Plug Alert: You can pick up EQ’s first print issue! We are thrilled to debut EQ’s inaugural print edition during Global Entrepreneurship Week and will have free copies on hand at the Resource Fair. Stop by, say hi and pick up your copy!

7/ It only happens once a year. There’s always something going on in the startup scene, but an event this extensive only comes around each November. Register here with the code “take10” and get a $10 discount on the ticket price for the month of October. Doors open at 5pm – see you then!