Your Guide to STL’s Biggest Fall 2016 Innovation Events

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Fall in St. Louis brings a respite from the scorching summer temps before winter hits. This year, it also offers a packed schedule for anyone interested in innovation, tech and creativity (We figure that’s you.)

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 18, 2015 - This is St. Louis Startup Connection hosted by Washington University's Olin Business School in Bauer and Knight halls. Startup Connection gives St. Louis’s top startups the opportunity to present their companies to a packed house of entrepreneurs, investors, and other members of the innovation community. The event combines a startup showcase, resource fair, and is topped off with fast-paced pitch session. ©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.
St. Louis Startup Connection 2015. Hosted by Washington University’s Olin Business School in Bauer and Knight halls. 
©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr. courtesy of Startup Connection.

A bevy of can’t-miss conferences, events and festivals are coming our way this season, so we wanted to break it down for you. Grab your calendar and buckle up—it’s going to be a busy next few months with weeklong-celebrations of design, hackathons and the happy hours in between.


Ag Innovation Showcase
When: September 12-14
Where: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
The brightest entrepreneurs and innovators in AgTech come together with influential investors and t
he biggest names in agriculture during this three-day event. Globally renown speakers will cover emerging innovation and of-the-moment topics and startups will have the chance to present their companies. For AgTech founders, investors and enthusiasts, this is the one event you cannot miss.
Learn more here

CATTEC IX: Catalyzing Tech Transfer and Startup Financing
When: September 15
Where: CIC@4240
Hosted by Washington University in St. Louis, CATTEC brings together regional talent, ideas and capital in a showcase of emerging high-tech startups from leading Midwest universities and seed incubators. Entrepreneurs, university tech transfer professionals and investors engage as startup facilitators, meet and develop connections that strengthen the Midwest’s new venture innovation network.
Learn more here

4101 Laclede Block Party
When: September 15
Where: North Sarah Avenue between Laclede and West Pine
As the Cortex Innovation Community continues to grow, it makes sense for residential options in the Central West End to grow right along with it. Come out to this free and open-to-the-public Block Party on N. Sarah to learn more about the latest residential development while you enjoy food and drinks from CWE favorites like Scarlett’s Wine Bar, Juniper and Retreat Gastro Pub. Live music and a DJ will also be on hand.
Learn more here

Strange Loop
When: September 15-17
Where: The Peabody Opera House
Created in 2009 by software developer Alex Miller and now run by a team of St. Louis-based friends and developers, Strange Loop is a three-day opportunity to connect with the best developers and thinkers around the country on emerging languages, alternative databases, concurrency, distributed systems, security and the web. Also, CoderGirl, in conjunction with Blacks in Technology and AIGA St. Louis, are throwing a Diversity in Tech Happy Hour as an unofficial tie-in to the event.
Learn more here

Vision STL
When: September 21
Where: St. Louis Community College—Forest Park
Vision STL is a regional symposium aimed at building a wholly inclusive, diverse innovation community. Anyone looking to learn more about opportunities in bioscience, IT and advanced manufacturing is welcome! Learn about the numerous opportunities in these growing industries and find your fit here. Vision STL will feature diverse professionals, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial resource support organizations, startup organizations and corporations in a multi-track format, along with keynote speaker Ainissa Ramirez, one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators and a networking reception.
Learn more here

A Night of Good
When: September 21
Where: Industrious
Industrious and Good Street STL are partnering for a happy hour celebrating all of the ‘good’. Admission is free, but a suggested $5 donation is suggested. Learn more about the missions of Good Street STL and EarthDance Organic Farm School, the beneficiaries of the happy hour. Connect with fellow do-gooder STL residents as you sip on 4 Hands beer and snack on Whisk treats and Pi Pizza.
Learn more here

Murmuration Festival
September 23-25
Where: Cortex Innovation District
This one is big, people. The first-ever three-day event created by Cortex’s Dennis Lower and the founder of Loufest Brian Cohen, Murmuration Festival will celebrate the convergence of art, science, technology and music. If you have a remote interest in any of those areas, you cannot miss this experience. Look for STL leaders and innovators who will be showcasing their talent as well as national leaders in each sector who are coming for the event. Still need convincing? We made a list of more reasons to snag tickets here. 
Learn more here

Innovation by Design 2016
September 27-28
Where: St. Louis Union Station
Whether you work at a startup, a larger corporation or are just looking to be inspired, Innovation by Design is the place to be Sept. 27-28. Hosted by Maritz, the inaugural event is open to the public and will feature unique programming including “brain dates” an “innovation safari,” amazing speakers (Think: Steve Wozniak, among other national leaders) and more.
Learn more here

Missouri Manufacturing Trade Show
September 28
Where: The Chase Park Plaza
Now in its 13th year, this three-day event aims to provide opportunities with manufacturing professionals, as well as an avenue for people to promote and showcase their products, wares, services. It’s also a place to showcase workforce development opportunities; interested individuals have the chance to meet with representatives and apply for positions.
Learn more here

Billicon Valley
When: September 29
Where: Atrium of the John Cook School of Business
Billicon Valley is the SLU Entrepreneurs’ Club’s flagship event that serves to introduce its students to entrepreneurship at SLU and in St. Louis, engage them with the brightest entrepreneurial minds in the city, and inspire them to become entrepreneurs in each of their respective fields. It’s an evening of workshops and networking (and free food).
Learn more here


St. Louis Design Week
October 3-9
Where: Various locations including the St. Louis Public Library, West Elm, TechArtista and more.
St. Louis Design Week is a seven-day celebration of St. Louis’ local design community. Throughout the week there will be a variety of panel discussions, workshops, presentations, open houses and other community growth-oriented events. Look for an Etsy Pop-up shop at West Elm, a Here to There creative conference, studio tours of local agencies and design studios including Toky, Atomicdust, Studio X, Tiny Little Monster and more.
Learn more here

Craft Beer and Conversations: What is Tech-Enabled Office Space? 
October 5
Where: 2351 Market Street
Sometimes you need more than just a building. Green Street St. Louis’ vision for tech-enabled office space addresses the needs of startups and businesses in 2016. Come learn about what makes their buildings different over craft beer and conversation.
Learn more here

Social Enterprise & Innovation Competition + Workshop Series Kickoff
When: October 7
Where: Brown Lounge, Brown Hall, Washington University in St. Louis
Learn about the Social Enterprise & Innovation Competition (SEIC) as well as the WU-Startup Training Lab workshop series that can help you prepare for the SEIC. The free and open-to-the-public workshop series for the fall will focus on developing an MVP (most viable product/program); then the workshop will use the spring to polish the MVP and get it ready for competitions. These workshops are being co-led by Skandalaris, Brown School, and Mission Center, L3C staff.
Learn more here

#SMCSTL Half-Day Summit
October 11
Where: Moulin Events and Meetings
The Social Media Club of St. Louis know it’s a busy season, so their social media summit only takes up half a day for you. Register for a keynote panel of digital and social media at leading St. Louis organizations, who will share their perspective on social strategy, leadership and management as well as lunch an free parking. Social media impacts almost every indsutry and sector—take a little time to stay abreast of what’s happening.
Learn more here

GlobalHack VI
October 21-23
Where: Chaifetz Arena
GlobalHack’s sixth hackathon will bring together software developers, graphic designers, technologists and entrepreneurs from around the world to solve a civic technology problem centered around homelessness. Participants divided into youth, collegiate and pro divisions will work in teams building solutions over the course of the weekend for a chance to win $1 million in cash prizes. GlobalHack VI is the biggest hackathon yet for the organization—learn more about why you need be there from the GlobalHack team themselves. 

Learn more here

Midwest Women Business Owners Conference
October 28
Where: The Ritz Carlton St. Louis
An educational, interactive event bringing powerful female business owners together to discuss relevant, provocative business topics crowdsourced from women, the Midwest Women Business Owners Conference will feature informative panel discussions, best practices for overcoming obstacles and addressing new trends and a chance to connect with like-minded women from the region.
Learn more here


When: November 4-6
Where: Washington University—Bauer Hall
ArchHacks is WashU’s premier hackathon, for students of all backgrounds and from all over the country with a passion for technology, design and building things. During the 48-hour competition students will be able to connect, collaborate and solve a problem within the theme of HealthTech while gaining access to resources they would otherwise not be able to harness.
Learn more here

Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition 
When: November 10
Where: The Majorette
This fashion-meets-Shark-Tank-style competition allows five St. Louis-based fashion designers and makers to present their brands and vie for a $10,000 prize. Also on the schedule are interactive fashion presentations, innovative designs inspired by Caleres shoes, video presentations and live pitches from the finalists.
Learn more here

Startup Connection 2016
When: November 16
Where: Washington University—Bauer Hall/Knight Hall
Startup Connection is an opportunity for the top startups in St. Louis to present their companies to entrepreneurs, investors and other members of the innovation community. The event includes a startup showcase, a resource fair and a fast-pace pitch session with monetary prizes handed out to close out the evening.
Learn more here

And those are just the big ones. There are events happening every week, from the every-Thursday Venture Cafe series and weekly 1 Million Cups events and more. Stay tuned for our weekly updates and rest up for a busy fall!

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Mary writes for EQ and previously contributed to ALIVE Magazine and worked in the digital marketing field as an account manager. A central Illinois native, she got her news-editorial journalism degree from the University of Illinois and then moved to St. Louis so she wouldn’t have to be around as many Cubs fans. Then she married one.