Talent, ITEN Startup Tech Report

THE APPEAL OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EXTENDS BEYOND the satisfaction of owning a company or becoming a leader. It’s about seeing a problem as an opportunity to innovate. It’s a way of looking at the world.

This entrepreneurial perspective is fueling St. Louis’ tech startup ecosystem and is propelling our city to national (and arguably, international) attention.

Building the right team can mean the difference between success and failure.
At an early-stage company, the nature of work is always changing. The highest value employees are those who are comfortable with ambiguity and jump at the opportunity to add structure to chaos.

These “swiss army knives” or “full-stack employees” have the unique ability to sort and synthesize unyielding amounts of information into strategically executable tasks. Such candidates not only hold a deep understanding of their domain, but a “big picture” cognizance that enables them to dynamically deal with shifting priorities and expectations.

Some of the greatest success stories in business can be attributed to unplanned changes in strategic course, set about
by unexpected circumstances in market opportunity. The attitude of a successful employee parallels this pivot-ready approach.

In only a handful of years, St. Louis has positioned itself as a Midwestern mecca
for innovation. Our once empty buildings are now lled with the bustle of co-working entrepreneurs, freelancers and university students. From conference room to coffee station, the power of creative proximity is fueling collaboration. The energy is palpable, even intoxicating. In this environment, our embedded culture of growth and innovative spirit continues to breed new leadership.

St. Louis is establishing itself as an ideal testing ground for thought leadership in Cybersecurity, Digital Healthcare, Enterprise SaaS, Life Sciences, FinTech, AgTech, and civic-minded technology. With a strong ecosystem in place, aspiring entrepreneurs now have the perfect laboratory to test and launch their ideas.

St. Louis is becoming a hybrid economy, as symbiotic relationships between incumbent corporations and growth-stage startups are providing access to on-demand innovation, and the ability to scale these ideas beyond the region.

As we bridge the gap between old and new, the brands that St. Louis is known for are partnering with the next generation of entrepreneurs as they crack the code on a new tech-enabled economy.

Colleen Liebig
CEO, PluggedIN
Career Advisor, Industry Career Specialist - Entrepreneurship, Olin Business School
Former Head of Talent Acquisition, Cultivation Capital