St. Louis Startup Scene: Square’s McKelvey Launches Launch Code, Showtime Signs On With LockerDome

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Jim McKelvey announces solution to Tech Gap in StL.
Jim McKelvey announces Launch Code. Photo courtesy Cultivation Capital.

McKelvey’s Launch Code Prepares For Lift-Off
In a recent interview with ALIVE, Jim McKelvey stated he had a “game-changing” plan in the works that would alleviate the “profound” talent shortage in the city. Last week, McKelvey announced Launch Code, which pairs beginner programmers with professionals at 100 of St. Louis’ largest and most promising companies to gain three months practical experience, after which they might be hired. At the press conference, McKelvey posited that if Launch Code is successful, “St. Louis will have the only talent surplus in the country, and companies will move here (because of it).” McKelvey will speak at Saint Louis University on TrepStart Day, Sept. 23, to more than 1,000 high school students looking to dive into the entrepreneurial pond.

BioGenerator Puts Four on the Floor
Four new “entrepreneurs in residence” have joined BioGenerator—the not-for-profit venture development arm of BioSTL—to help drive the organization’s efforts guiding new early-stage bioscience companies. That brings the number of entrepreneurs  who work with more than 100 bio-science startups to 12.

Eateria Takes a Big Bite
Eateria has inked a deal to partner with Food Services for America (FSA), giving them access to more than 26,000 restaurants and potential clients. In the deal, FSA sales people will sell the Eateria platform (which offers digital loyalty marketing tools for restaurants and other businesses), and Eateria pays them $15 for each account secured.

LockerDome Expands Playing Field
Seeing an opportunity to help broadcasting companies better engage their live TV audiences, Gabe Lozano has announced that LockerDome will be partnering with networks and their on-air talent. Showtime has already signed on and will test various concepts like quizzes, contests, and polls. The company is already working directly with several media companies, including Emmis Communications, Lee Enterprises and USA today.

Upheaval Arts Gets a Kick-Start
Upheaval Arts, a video game development company based in St. Louis, is developing a free-to-play science fiction web game, StarCraft Universe, and they’ve turned to crowdfunding website Kickstarter for financing. With 21 days to go, 820 backers have pledged $37,018 toward the $80,000 project. The company is currently based on a single mod for StarCraft II.

Arch Grants? There’s an App For That
Want to keep up with what Arch Grants has been up to lately? Arch Grants’ 2013 winner, Candy Lab, a St. Louis-based company that relocated from San Diego, has launched a new mobile app that connects users with news, events, videos and social media pages that are Arch Grants-centric. The app, for example, would hook you up with the story below.

Arch Grants Gala a Go-Go
The inaugural Arch Grants Gala, in celebration of the St. Louis entrepreneur community, will be held at Chase Park Plaza’s Khorassan Ballroom, Saturday, Oct. 12. The evening features a sit-down dinner, an award presentation to Maxine Clark, music and a short showcase of Arch Grants Winning Entrepreneurs. Networking is strongly encouraged. The evening starts with cocktails at 6pm.