SXSW Virgins: Columbia MO Startup Digital Talent Agents

Digital Talent Agents,St.Louis startup,Missouri startup,startup,startup interview,sxsw13This week starts our 12th South By Southwest, the last four have been spent as a tech journalist and before that I attended the music portion during my radio career. SXSW can be intimidating for a first timer, especially a first time startup, that’s why we’re featuring some great SXSW Virgins, seek them out, find out more about them and help them out if you can.

Digital Talent Agents, a startup based in Columbia Missouri has a rockstar team all working on an awesome goal, to help build credibility for experts through thought leadership and content marketing by getting them consistently published in online reputable publications.

In addition to being an agency for credible content the crew at DTA are passionate about startups and often write themselves on things that matter most to startups. In fact it was DTA’s John Hall, who called a “Must Attend” startup conference at

Kelsey Meyer, the company’s Senior Vice President, offered these tips on promoting your startup.

DTA is making their way across the country and networking with startups of all kinds every chance they get. They were in Memphis for and several events in between then and SXSW. This is their first time at SXSW.

1) What is you startup? Digital Talent Agents is an agency that builds your credibility through thought leadership and content marketing.

2) Where are you based? We’re headquartered out of Columbia, Missouri but have remote locations in St.Louis, Mo and Dallas, Tx.

3) What do you do? We help clients leverage their expertise by getting consistent content placed in reputable online publications through by-lined articles and interviews to build thought leadership and credibility for the client and the companies their representing.

4) Is this your first time to SXSW? Yes, its our first time.

5) What are your plans at SXSW? It’s always exciting to see what other startups, brands and varied artists are doing. It’ll be a great place for us to network, create relationships and see what cool things companies are doing. I can’t forget to mention the amazing parties and concerts that are being held at SXSW that I’m sure you’ll see several of our team members. :)

6) How can people connect:

Twitter: @DTAgents

Natalie Stezovsky (Vice President):

We’ve got even more SXSW13 coverage here at the voice of startups everywhere else.

Kansas City Startup: PhonyInvoices Founded By Barnett Helzberg Jr

(photo: Kansas City Business Journal)

Kanas City entrepreneur Barnett Helzberg Jr has gone from the diamond industry where he used his keen eye to spot beautiful diamonds and jewelry, to a new startup spotting phony invoices. This time around he doesn’t need to use his fine eye though.

PhonyInvoices is a startup designed for businesses to stop getting scammed out of paying phony invoices. Small businesses and large businesses alike know to well the invoice scam. Fake phone book companies, service companies and even law firms have been known to target businesses with fake invoices. The perpetrators are hoping that the person in accounts receivable doesn’t spot the fake invoice and sends a check the company’s way.

Helzberg formed the startup in February after decades of spotting fake invoices at his family owned and operated jewelry chain, Helzberg Diamonds.

“It obviously makes me a little angry — as hard as it was to make a profit — with businesses being defrauded every day,” Helzberg told the Kansas City Business Journal. “It only took me about 46 years to realize someone needed to be out there fighting this.”

PhonyInvoices tests a company’s internal controls and runs invoices against a database of known invoice scams. PhonyInvoices has already caught several questionable invoices that some of their member companies paid before joining the service.

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St.Louis Startup: Busy Event Is A Complete Event Management Solution Designed By Industry Veterans

Let’s face it at this point in time event apps are a dime a dozen. There are good established event apps like Eventbrite and there are some new comers to the space that may prove to be disruptive. On the other side of the spectrum it seems that anyone who’s hosted a birthday party for their three year old has come up with an event app. BusyEvent is actually neither.

The St.Louis startup was founded by Brian Slawin and David Schenberg two St.Louis area event industry veterans with over 40 years of experience. There complete approach to events works off the idea that you need to do more than sell tickets and check people into the door in order to have a great event. BusyEvent is part of the Microsoft BizSpark program. They are more than just an event app. Slawin tells

“BusyEvent is a live events technology company.  We have developed a mobile web app for event producers that helps make their events easier to manage and more profitable to produce.  Our premier product,, puts an entire tradeshow into your phone, making it easier to find and connect with the people, products and information event participants are interested in.”

We got a chance to interview Slawin about BusyEvent and here’s what he told us:

Who are the founders of BusyEvent and what are your backgrounds?

Brian Slawin: Since the mid-90s, Brian has been working in the events industry, designing, building and managing tradeshow programs and technology products for dozens of Fortune 1000 clients like Domino’s Pizza, HP, Ameriprise and H&R Block, Toyota AirSports and many others. A strong operational leader with a clear communication style, he has successfully managed cross-functional teams, has a demonstrated aptitude as a hands-on software engineer and managing the use of numerous technologies.

David Schenberg: David is a veteran of the events industry with 20 years of experience designing, managing and selling technology that motivates people to meet and do business together. He has experience with major brands like AB, HP, M&M Mars, Domino’s Pizza, H&R Block, Ameriprise Financial, Marriott and Ritz Carlton. He leads the way in the use of emerging technology and his clients trust him to help navigate the ever changing landscape.

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Kansas City Startup: Zippido Achieve Your Goals And Tasks With The Help Of Your Social Network

Most people, whether they want to admit it or not, find that achieving goals or getting tasks completed is easier with a buddy, friend or family member either cheering them on, rooting for them or actually helping out. Think about the last time you told your wife before you went to bed “hey honey remind me to call the care dealer tomorrow” or any other “reminder”. It’s this simple notion which led to the creation of Zippido.

Zippido founder, Ray Haynes describes Zippido to as “ZippiDo! is a platform that brings the energy of your social network into your goals and tasks. Users of ZippiDo! can easily find, create and track goals – while sharing and discussing them with their friends.”

So think about something like organizing the community yard sale. If you’ve ever tried to organize one of these things it’s a daunting task. With Zippido you could create a task “community yard sale” and then from your social network get the help of your neighbors. You would know who’s making the signs, who’s advertising on craigslist, who’s advertising in the paper and who’s getting breakfast. With Zippido all the tasks are there for whoever you invite into them.

Although Haynes came up with the idea himself, and it’s got an awesome intuitive UI, Zippido reminds us a lot of what Google Wave would have been like if it was on Facebook. The downside to Google Wave was that you couldn’t bring the collaborators in as easy as you could with Facebook. This sets Zippido apart in it’s own right. Trust me, comparing Zippido in this way is a compliment.

We got a chance to catch up with Haynes, who is extremely busy with multiple startup projects. Here’s the rest of the interview:

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

I came up with the concept for ZippiDo! about two years ago.  ZippiDo! is an Invenitas company, which consists of myself, Jon Stutzman (Creative Director), Paul Santulli (IT Project Manager and COO), and Bert Weidt (CTO).  I am the chief development, and vision leader.  Invenitas is also involved with other startups such as 11Mhz Media which recently launched

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