HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Midwest

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2012, 2:59 AM
Arch City's Avatar
Arch City Arch City is offline
Proud Homer!
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,866
St. Louis: Tech and Economic News

Startup Founders Say 'Meet Me in St. Louis'
By Kate Rogers
Published June 11, 2012
FOXBusiness



Mark Sawyier and Raymond Gobberg of Bonfyre.

For proof that a successful technology venture can grow somewhere other than Silicon Valley, 29-year-old entrepreneur Gabe Lozano says he had to look no further than his own father, who in 1996 founded PaylinX in their hometown of St. Louis, Mo., and later sold it for $138 million.

“I knew it could be done in St. Louis—if my dad could do it here, I knew I could do it here,” Lozano said. “There is a lot of pressure to move toward the coast, but there is a determinable excitement here.”

And he should know—his company, LockerDome is rapidly expanding. According to Lozano, the social networking site for sports, which connects fans and athletes, has grown 25% week-over-week for 24 weeks straight.

The company raised $2 million after over-subscribing on a $1 million funding round, he said, and plans to raise between $5 million and $10 million in the next year.

Lozano is part of a growing network of technology innovators choosing to call St. Louis home. Thanks to a strong commitment from local colleges, private investors and public support, the startup community is growing and thriving.

The founders of Off Campus Media, Mark Sawyier, 27, and Raymond Gobberg, 25, started their tech company while studying as undergrads at Washington University in St. Louis. The company aims to help students better manage their lives through the site and its mobile application Bonfyre, as well as through its national ambassador program network that reaches 125 campuses in the U.S.

Sawyier and Gobberg just closed a $750,000 funding round to support the Bonfyre app, and said they have received a tremendous amount of support from the local community. The level of collaboration seen in St. Louis is just one of the many things keeping their company planted in the city.

“With Bonfyre, which is a location-based app exclusively for college students, we’re not one out of five million mobile apps trying to make it in San Francisco,” Sawyier said. “And the cost of the mistakes that young companies inevitably make is a lot less.”

Brad Pittenger, founder of XIOLINK, a managed infrastructure, hosting, collocation and cloud computing provider, started his company in 1999 and today is focused on fostering the city’s newest innovators though organizations like Arch Grants. He also independently invests in home-based startups through an angel organization in the city.

“Building more technology in St. Louis is good for all of us,” Pittenger said. “Some of the things that have really attracted us to stay here are the great educational institutions, talent of employees and the tech companies.”

The area is prime real estate for recruiting, he said, due to the city’s power infrastructure and fiber optic network of skilled workers. Pittenger said that while the Midwest is obviously less competitive than its East and WestCoast counterparts, once startups see the value in the area, staying is a no-brainer.

(Read more)
__________________
Debating some people on the Internet is like debating dead people - it makes you look crazy so why bother? #BYE
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2012, 12:28 PM
MolsonExport's Avatar
MolsonExport MolsonExport is offline
The Vomit Bag.
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Liver & Onions
Posts: 25,432
Is there a discussion question?
__________________
Skepticism is all about critical examination, evidence-based scientific inquiry, and the use of reason in examining controversial claims. Those who flatly deny the results of climate science do not partake in any of the above. They base their conclusions on a priori convictions. Theirs is an ideological conviction—the opposite of skepticism. (L. Krauss)
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2012, 2:58 PM
IWant2BeInSTL IWant2BeInSTL is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Boulder, CO now (but STL still = home)
Posts: 431
^ i don't think it's a requirement. lots of other posts in this category are just articles without posed questions.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2012, 7:52 PM
East7thStreet's Avatar
East7thStreet East7thStreet is offline
Central East Austin
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Austin
Posts: 267
I think "Arch City" is either Mark Sawyier or Raymond Gobberg.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2012, 10:24 PM
IWant2BeInSTL IWant2BeInSTL is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Boulder, CO now (but STL still = home)
Posts: 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by East7thStreet View Post
I think "Arch City" is either Mark Sawyier or Raymond Gobberg.
he's neither. god forbid anybody post anything positive about the business climate in saint louis.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 1:26 AM
Arch City's Avatar
Arch City Arch City is offline
Proud Homer!
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by IWant2BeInSTL View Post
he's neither. god forbid anybody post anything positive about the business climate in saint louis.
Thanks for holding it down until I could get back. I wouldn't worry about them. Instead of posting something positive or nothing at all they took the low road.

Anyway.....one should be able to deduce from the posting that the "discussion question" questions and validates St. Louis' emergence as a viable (or alternative) technology center.

If the entire article had been read by clicking the link provided, there wouldn't have been a need to ask such a question.

The end of the article says a lot.....


Quote:
"Edward Domain, CEO and founder of Techli.com, came to St. Louis after being awarded a $50,000 grant from Arch this past year. Domain previously lived in San Francisco, and said he wanted to bring a tech publication in the vein of TechCrunch to the Midwest.

“In [San Francisco] it’s like the rest of the country is a bunch of tech hillbillies,” he said. “It’s so boom or bust in San Francisco. Here, the Midwest mentality is alive and well… people want to help you.”

LockerDome’s Lozano agrees, and said he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
“The goal is to do the deal here,” he said.

“If you were to ask me today I would say the better deal is to do LockerDome here, rather than on the coast.”'
The tech (bio and IT) community in St. Louis has gotten a lot of press lately because all of the venture capital and incubator efforts that have spawned tech companies that are making national waves. There have been tech firms actually relocating to St. Louis or opening labs in St. Louis because of local efforts.

This is just one more positive piece written by Fox Business News.

There's a thread, '15 Tech Scenes In Places You'd Never Think To Look'. It is similar to this thread.
__________________
Debating some people on the Internet is like debating dead people - it makes you look crazy so why bother? #BYE
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 8:48 AM
Arch City's Avatar
Arch City Arch City is offline
Proud Homer!
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,866
Forbes Article

Here's another article - including a video - that was published in Forbes magazine earlier this month..............
__________________________________

Million Dollar Carrot Dangled As St. Louis Redefines Itself In Tech Start-Up Space
Aaron Perlut
06/14/2012 @ 10:50AM



Square Founder and St. Louis Native Jim McKelvey

When you think of technology start-ups, a small cluster of cities comes to mind – Silicon Valley, Seattle, Austin and Charlotte.

But St. Louis? The old-line, union-heavy town built around a river economy?

Indeed, it would seem an unlikely spot for consumer technology start-ups. But, under the radar, the red bricks and mortar town has been working to redefine itself, making a major push to redefine itself as a tech center.

Excerpts from the article:

Quote:
"Consider these developments:

Arch Grants, advised by Square co-founder Jim McKelvey, just awarded $750,000 in grants to 15 tech start-ups that agreed to move operations to St. Louis. The 15 companies were chosen from over 400 applicants from around the world; one of the winning companies is relocating from Costa Rica (here’s a great video about the program).

Capital Innovators, a tech accelerator, has graduated its first group of start-ups and is seeing results in companies like web security firm Norse Corp.; Lockerdome, which has gone on to raise $2.1 million; and SaaS software firm JBara Software.

And, most recently, Capital Innovators got a major shot in the arm in the form of a promise of $1 million from early stage VC fund Cultivation Capital that will go to the most promising companies of the next two graduating classes."
Quote:
"All the while, St. Louis looks to remarket itself and redefine an image. All it takes is a couple of locally based home runs to begin the process of restyling the city that already has a major nest of bioscience companies, but has not yet struck gold with consumer tech start-ups."
Quote:
"This pooling of resources is having an impact in the region. After placing 49th of 50 just two years ago, the Kaufman Foundation ranked Missouri the sixth best state for entrepreneurial activity (with St. Louis responsible for about 70 percent of the activity) and Kiplinger placed St. Louis in the top ten among U.S. cities for start-ups.

Redefining indeed."
(Source)
__________________
Debating some people on the Internet is like debating dead people - it makes you look crazy so why bother? #BYE

Last edited by Arch City; Dec 19, 2015 at 10:53 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 6:59 PM
goat314's Avatar
goat314 goat314 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: St. Louie
Posts: 379
Arch Grants sound great, but the state of Missouri has done nothing to support St. Louis economic development historically. That's really are biggest downfall, that and local fragmentation.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 5:21 PM
Arch City's Avatar
Arch City Arch City is offline
Proud Homer!
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,866


LockerDome is ‘Facebook on steroids’

Commentary: Social networking sports site eyeing growth
February 01, 2013|Jon Friedman, MarketWatch


Gabe Lozano is concentrating on LockerDomes growth strategy and has no

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — When Baltimore Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw plays in the Super Bowl on Sunday, football fans will recognize him at once. But he isn’t quite a household name just yet.

That’s where fast-growing LockerDome, a sports-centric, social media website, comes in. It offers an online platform for about 1,475 professional athletes, brands, media personalities and other sports properties that use LockerDome as a hub to amplify their social media strategy.

“For an athlete, a LockerDome network is like a Facebook fan page on steroids.” said Gabe Lozano, LockerDome’s 30-year-old co-founder and chief executive.

And it’s paying off, too, for LockerDome. The company was founded in 2008 as a youth-oriented sports site. For its first four years, it made scant progress, with under 100,000 average monthly users. Then, sparked by Lozano’s meeting with Jim McKelvey , a fellow St. Louis resident who had founded mobile payments company Square, a light bulb went off and the company re-invented itself as a sports site featuring professional athletes.

In the past 13 months, LockerDome has exploded to reach an average of 8 million monthly unique visitors with more growth to come, executives say. They estimate that the company could boast 20 million monthly unique visitors a year from now. See 10 of the most unlikely Super Bowl icons.

How fast has the company grown? Consider that the St. Louis Business Journal published a piece in December, saying that LockerDome had hit the 3 million mark in monthly visitors. Two weeks later, the publication updated the results by noting that LockerDome had reached 4 million.

“Fifteen times this year,” the St. Louis Business Journal pointed out, “LockerDome has set a new single week growth record. Each week, the startup’s user base grows about 14%.”

Like Twitter in its early days

Advertising-reliant LockerDome is Madison Avenue’s ideal, too. The core audience for its free accounts is comprised of 18-to-34 year-old affluent males, the very demographic that makes advertisers drool.

Regarding its financial footing, LockerDome announced that it has raised $3 million and Lozano said he expects to have added an additional $5 million by March 31 for a total of $8 million.

Clearly, Lozano thinks big. “I see LockerDome now like Twitter was in 2008, when it started to explode and come on the national radar,” Lozano told me.
__________________
Debating some people on the Internet is like debating dead people - it makes you look crazy so why bother? #BYE
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 5:22 PM
babybackribs2314 babybackribs2314 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: UWS, Manhattan
Posts: 1,728
I think NYC is the only city to have made major inroads with start-ups in recent years; Chelsea and Flatiron have emerged as the equivalent to Silicon Valley.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 5:26 PM
Arch City's Avatar
Arch City Arch City is offline
Proud Homer!
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,866
Feb 4, 2013, 10:57am CST
LockerDome forms partnership with USA Today Sports


Lockerdome employees creative director Rasheed Sulaiman (front left) CEO Gabe Lozano (right) talk about solutions to improve a part of the site in the company's Washington Avenue office space in downtown St. Louis on Monday, May 14, 2012.

Social networking startup LockerDome today announced a strategic partnership with the USA Today, the first major step the company has taken to monetize its quickly growing traffic.

As of last week, the St. Louis-based startup had an average of 8 million monthly unique users.

LockerDome CEO Gabe Lozano said he did not expect to be in a partnership with a major media brand this early. Last year his team was projecting that the site would reach 5 million monthly unique users by the middle of 2013.
But when traffic started growing exponentially toward the end of 2012, Lozano said they looked for the right media partner and came up with USA Today. The dialogue started with a text message.

"We sent a text message that said 'Are you interested in 5 million monthly uniques.' The response was 'What's the catch?'," Lozano said.

The advertising agreement is the first step in the partnership and was reached quickly over the last month. Lozano said that the startup spent 2012 focusing on creating a platform that athletes and brands could use to reach their audience.

"That was last year. 2013 for us is the year of the end-user and the year of monetization," he said.

Details of the agreement were not disclosed, but it is understood that the USA Today will be able to use its existing advertisers and sales people to tap into the growing traffic and prime advertising demographic at LockerDome. Lozano said the startup was growing at about 22,000 new monthly unique users each day in November. That number was up to 116,000 per day in January.

"We’re excited to welcome LockerDome to the USA TODAY Sports family,” said Clay Walker, vice president of Affiliate Relations for USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties. “LockerDome’s unique social media platform enables us to provide our advertisers with engaged, highly targeted audiences inside LockerDome’s vast—and growing-- ecosystem.”
__________________
Debating some people on the Internet is like debating dead people - it makes you look crazy so why bother? #BYE
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 5:46 PM
Arch City's Avatar
Arch City Arch City is offline
Proud Homer!
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by babybackribs2314 View Post
I think NYC is the only city to have made major inroads with start-ups in recent years; Chelsea and Flatiron have emerged as the equivalent to Silicon Valley.
Of course the coasts are attractive, but NYC as "the equivalent to Silicon Valley?" I highly doubt that. Inroads? Perhaps. Equivalent? I highly doubt it.

I think the middle of the country is emerging too and startups in St. Louis have been getting a lot of national buzz. Here's an infolog about some recent St. Louis start-up successes as well as advantages St. Louis might offer.

__________________
Debating some people on the Internet is like debating dead people - it makes you look crazy so why bother? #BYE
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 6:32 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is online now
The City
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Libertyville, IL
Posts: 11,771
Quote:
Originally Posted by babybackribs2314 View Post
I think NYC is the only city to have made major inroads with start-ups in recent years; Chelsea and Flatiron have emerged as the equivalent to Silicon Valley.
^ That's pretty delusional.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 6:39 PM
novawolverine novawolverine is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,942
Quote:
Originally Posted by babybackribs2314 View Post
I think NYC is the only city to have made major inroads with start-ups in recent years; Chelsea and Flatiron have emerged as the equivalent to Silicon Valley.
The equivalent in what?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 8:32 PM
mhays mhays is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 14,171
New York has a PR machine boosting ideas like that.

It's funny how many "next silicon valleys" there have been. Just like biotech a decade ago, and green tech these days. Everyone thinks they have the answer. The cities with big booster organizations do a good job spinning moderate successes and potential, with the effort of using those to ratchet up higher. Can't blame em, but won't believe em.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 8:34 PM
babybackribs2314 babybackribs2314 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: UWS, Manhattan
Posts: 1,728
NYC does indeed have a stellar PR team when it comes to tech, but other factors also show the rise of the city's tech sector. Beyond the multitude of startups in the Midtown South neighborhood, look at what major tech companies are doing in the city. Microsoft just relocated to 11 Times Square, leasing a huge part of the tower. Google owns one of the largest buildings in the world, and continues leasing more space. NYC is the only comparable locale (in the US) to the Bay Area when it comes to technology, and this is a very recent development.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 8:40 PM
Evergrey's Avatar
Evergrey Evergrey is offline
Eurosceptic
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 24,095
Quote:
Originally Posted by babybackribs2314 View Post
NYC does indeed have a stellar PR team when it comes to tech, but other factors also show the rise of the city's tech sector. Beyond the multitude of startups in the Midtown South neighborhood, look at what major tech companies are doing in the city. Microsoft just relocated to 11 Times Square, leasing a huge part of the tower. Google owns one of the largest buildings in the world, and continues leasing more space. NYC is the only comparable locale (in the US) to the Bay Area when it comes to technology, and this is a very recent development.
What does any of this have to do with St. Louis?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 8:41 PM
mhays mhays is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 14,171
Says who, other than you and the PR firm?

First of all, you're talking about established companies. Second, even though those companies have a large presence in my city I don't make similar claims. Microsoft and Amazon have 15,000,000 sf of offices in the Seattle area, with Amazon adding million by million to come. Google, Facebook, Adobe, and Cisco must total way over a million sf of satellite offices total (wild guess 1.5m). Other local HQs like Expedia, F5, and T-Mobile have multiple buildings each.

Now do you want to talk about startups?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 8:46 PM
OhioGuy OhioGuy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: DC
Posts: 6,679
Quote:
Originally Posted by East7thStreet View Post
I think "Arch City" is either Mark Sawyier or Raymond Gobberg.
If Arch City is Raymond Gobberg, I want to meet him!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2013, 10:06 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is online now
The City
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Libertyville, IL
Posts: 11,771
Arch city if I were you I'd ask to have this thread moved to the Midwest forums to avoid idiotic trolling like that of babybackribs above
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Midwest
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 8:03 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.