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It’s no secret that St. Louis’ size allows for unique collaborations. Startups are able to gain access to corporate leadership and big businesses can feed off of the growing energy in the innovation space. We asked leaders in the startup space, corporate space and community to speak on what each sector can learn from one another and about what’s happening right now in our region.

Suzanne Magee is co-founder & CEO of Bandura.

suzanne magee
Photo provided by the Suzanne Magee

What are some things that startups need support on that larger enterprises can provide? What are challenges that larger enterprises have that startups can help solve?

Startups need advice on product positioning, R&D direction, investment funds, assistance with product scale, manufacturing, distribution and infrastructure.
What are three ways corporate-startup collaborations benefit the region?

Collaborations attract and retain talent, encourage startups to locate in the region and give large enterprises a competitive advantage globally.

How has your organization or company created or facilitated corporate-startup partnerships?

Bandura started the Cyber Security Meetup to provide a venue
for cyber startups to demonstrate their capability to enterprise in the region.

What’s one challenge in creating these partnerships?

Building trust—accelerator programs, like Prosper, SixThirty and Capital Innovators shortcut that and provide enterprises introductions to vetted startups.

In the future, what are some levels of engagement you’d like to see happen at your organization, in terms of startup-corporate relationships?

Enterprise investment–collaboration on next-gen cyber capabilities.

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Kelly is Cofounder/Managing Partner of EQ and Cofounder of ALIVE Media Group. After earning an M.A. in literature at Washington University in St. Louis, Kelly cofounded ALIVE in 2002. He believes becoming an entrepreneur can change not only the life of that entrepreneur, but also his/her community and the world, and that being able to tell stories of transformation like that is the best job one could have.