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Formed with the purpose of empowering female entrepreneurs and closing the gender gap in the startup business scene, Prosper, led by Thompson Street Capital Partners vice president Jennifer Ehlen and other notable female business leaders, has announced they are partnering with Golden Seeds Angel Network, a female-focused angel investor network based in New York. The entity will now be known as Prosper Angel Network, and will invest in both women-owned and women-led businesses in St. Louis and elsewhere.
The group’s immediate goal is to sign on 15 founding angel members, each of whom will invest a minimum of $25,000 annually, giving Prosper Angel Network $375,000 to invest in the first year. Ultimately, the group hopes to recruit 50 angel members with $1.25 million invested each year. Both men and women can join. Those interested in joining can attend an informal session about the network; details are available on the Prosper website.
T-REX Nixes Little X
Rosa Mayer, community director at T-REX, has put out the word that T-REx will now be written as T-REX—without the little x. The change comes just as entrepreneurs, accelerators and investment groups associated with T-REX have all vacated their former premises in the Railway Exchange Building and occupied their new digs in the Lammert at 911 Washington. The former name played on the word Exchange in Railway Exchange Building—ergo the little x—which is no longer applicable. The treps are now located on the second, sixth, seventh and eighth floors, and the basement of the Lammert. The fifth floor will undergo renovation to include classroom space, co-working space, conference center, event space and a small communal coffee bar, and is expected to be finished by July.
RoverTown Roves Near and Far
RoverTown, called the fastest growing tech startup in St. Louis by the IT Entrepreneur Network (ITEN), is now operating at more than 100 colleges and universities in 30 states across the country, but mostly concentrated in the Midwest. RoverTown is a mobile app for iPhone and Android users that gives college students discounts and coupons at nearby retailers and restaurants. The app also tracks discount effectiveness for companies. With more than 50,000 downloads and more than 11,000 connected users already, RoverTown has its sights set on having more than 100,000 users in roughly 200 college campuses by the end of 2014.
Famous Educator Joining LaunchCode’s Local Launch
When LaunchCode hosts its first free computing coding class, CS50 Hackathon, one of the world’s most well-known computer science educators will be on hand to help out. David Malan, a Harvard senior lecturer teaches the same Computer Science 50 (CS50) course online at EdX.org for free. The class is being hailed as a great opportunity for local aspiring coders to kick-off or focus their training.
Local Treps Making the Rounds at SXSW
Local entrepreneurs are making a strong presence at SXSW this year, and for good reason; you never know what contacts will be made and who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn. There are surprises around every corner. Consider Edward Domain, founder of Techli, the St. Louis-based tech news site. Just last night (Tuesday), Domain and a group of friends were denied entry to a private party for SXSW Chicago. They weren’t on the guest list, it seems, when who should roll up but Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago. A woman in Domain’s group yelled out, “Hey Rahm, it’s Liz from Everpurse. We aren’t on the list.” That was Liz Salcedo, inventor and founder of Everpurse, the purse that recharges cell phones, and which Emanuel’s wife owns. Emanuel had also appointed Salcedo’s husband and Everpurse co-founder Daniel to Chicago’s first ever Technology Industry Diversity Council. Emanuel escorted the group past security. “The bouncers just glared as we rolled in,” Domain wrote on his Facebook page.
Hoping to repeat their success from last year, Anton Xavier, co-founder and CEO at FoodEssentials gave an interesting rundown of SXSW over the last week to Brian Feldt for St. Louis Business Journal.
Follow Christopher Reilly on Twitter @ChristoReilly