Greetabl Makes Greeting Cards Fun–One Box at a Time


Most people send others cards or gifts for special occasions, birthdays, etc. Some people also use the adage of ‘thinking outside the box’ from time to time.

 One guy, Joe Fischer, thought outside the box and made a card that turned into a box. This box could, you guessed it, also hold small gifts or presents. In other words, he did it all, and he called it Greetabl.

The story begins as Fischer’s traveling back and forth between England and India for work. Upon taking some time off to recover from a shoulder surgery, he begins alternating between sitting around watching TV and sitting around trying to sleep upright in a reclining chair, at which point he realizes that he “just had so much time.” So he began tinkering.

“A couple good friends of mine were getting married at the time. I usually just wrote a handwritten card and sent them a check.”

But it wasn’t fun. It was cardboard, paper, and ink, a combination that, almost regardless of how you configure it, was essentially the same each and every time.

The aha moments came twice: the first with the concept and the second with the design.

“It’s a lot more fun to get a gift than just getting an envelope.” And so he created a prototype for his first Greetabl cube. Folded up and stamped, he sent it to his mother. That prototype soon arrived in his mom’s mailbox, complete with a note from the mailwoman simply saying, “Too cute! :)”

And that was it. Paired with reactions from friends and family and the postal worker’s praises, Fischer knew he had to go for it.

“If this ugly thing could garner that kind of a reaction from someone who took time out of their work day, what if it was really well designed, adorable-looking, and it came from somebody you love? What kind of impact could that have on that relationship?”

So he created more prototypes, most of which would make it quite difficult for the sender to actually write their message on the eventual card-turned-cube. But then the design struck.

“It was one of those times when I was basically just driving down the road and thought, ‘What if I did it like that?’ And I had to run home and try it. But it worked!”

The rest was history. If you haven’t seen Greetabls on shelves near you yet, keep an eye out. “Gifts are just more fun,” he says.

And I would agree. Be sure to visit to get your own Greetabl and break the monotony of sending cards you know end up being thrown in the recycling bin, and follow @greetabl on Twitter!

 Tyler Sondag is a startup connoisseur with a hand in anything and everything you could imagine. Hailing from the ever-developing Northwest Mississippi, an alum of Saint Louis University and currently a transplant to St. Louis, Missouri, one of his main missions in life is to get and keep young people engaged in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Follow him on Twitter: @MrSondag.

The “Must-Attend Conference for Entrepreneurs” Everywhere Else Tennessee is headed back to Memphis this Spring. We’ve released the early adopter tickets, and they’re going fast. Don’t miss your shot by signing up here!

Duck Dynasty, Getting Lost, & Startups

Duck Dynasty Placard 1Tyler Matthews, a twenty-something whose beard is worthy of its own spot on Duck Dynasty, and I first bonded over the fact that we shared the same first name.

The second thing we found we had in common, though, was that, on occasion, we both had an extremely difficult time trying to physically find or meet people we were trying to find or meet up with.

Say your friend says something like, “Yeah! Meet me ________ at 7:00pm” before she hangs up the phone, but you couldn’t make out what she said because of the motorcycle engines in the background.

Or what if, on a trip to New York City, you wander through Central Park to feed your new pet pigeons? You need your boyfriend, who’s halfway across the city in his hotel room, to come pick you up. But how do you tell him where to meet you?

Tyler and his brother-in-law Ian Zink got to thinking: “There’s gotta be an app for that.” But there wasn’t – or, at least, not one that could actually do what they wanted it to do well.

Yougy was born.

If there was an ‘aha moment’ for Tyler and Ian with Yougy, it happened at the St. Louis Zoo.

“All we were trying to do was meet up with each other’s families. We were in one part and they were in another, so we were trying to describe to each other where we were. It’s super hot outside and we’re sweating; I’m waving my hands in the air. We’re sharing screenshots and pictures of what’s in front of us. Nothing was working.”


Tyler, who was finishing his MBA at the time of the zoo episode, was presented with a bit of a fork in the road. Tyler and Ian both had full time jobs, so the question became: “Are we going to do this or are we not?”


They had talked about a location-sharing app before the zoo, but that half hour of trying to find each other cemented the question of venturing into the world of startups or not.

So they dove in headfirst. Did they really know what they were getting themselves into? “I had no idea there was a full-blown startup scene out there,” Matthews said. So he started meeting with anybody and everybody he could meet with.

From there, Matthews says the ‘aha moments’ happened fairly regularly.

“At first, we would see other startups coming out of places like San Francisco and think, ‘These guys are going to do exactly what we want to do or they’re going to do it better because they’re in the Valley.”

But that wasn’t the case. “Every time we see one of our competitors add some kind of new feature onto their existing product we know we’re on the right track. At first, we might have been a little scared, but now we see how complicated and bloated these other products are becoming. We’re simple. None of them are solving the problem the way we think it should be solved.”

Learn more about and sign up for Yougy online and follow them on Twitter: @yougyapp.

Tyler Sondag is a startup connoisseur with a hand in anything and everything you could imagine. Hailing from the ever-developing Northwest Mississippi, an alum of Saint Louis University and currently a transplant to St. Louis, Missouri, one of his main missions in life is to get and keep young people engaged in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Follow him on Twitter: @MrSondag.

Photo Credit

Pilot Jim McKelvey Continues Empowering People With An Individual Accelerator For Programmers

Jim McKelvey, LaunchCode, Startup, St. Louis startup

(img: Flickr)

How the death of a St. Louis Pizza Delivery Boy Sparked Jim McKelvey’s Latest Startup:

I got to spend a lot of quality time on a 1:1 phone interview with Square co-founder Jim McKelvey yesterday. After bumping into McKelvey at numerous events and talking startups or otherwise shooting the shit, I finally had time to dive in with one of St. Louis’ biggest startup community advocates.

We wasted no time during the interview call, so I went right for the “how does a glass blower get into startups, investing and now being a catalyst for the St. Louis startup community?” McKelvey explained that so many people are eager to give just one label to others, when in fact there are multiple labels for just about everyone. McKelvey is a professional, now hobbyist, glass blower. Blowing glass is something he enjoys when he can now, and he hasn’t been a professional glass blower since 1992.

McKelvey was formerly trained as an engineer and making things is something he’s great at. Over the years, one of his other hobbies, flying, has filled a lot of that time that he had for glass blowing, adding “pilot” to the list of labels attached to him.

We were supposed to talk about Six Thirty, the new St. Louis accelerator specifically for fintech (financial tech) startups. McKelvey is one of the co-founders of the Six Thirty accelerator. With companies like ScottTrade, MasterCard, and Wells Fargo (plus many more) based in St. Louis, a fintech accelerator is a natural fit. They even have a fintech fund in St.Louis called FinServe Tech Angels, which is headed by Kyle Wellborn.

McKelvey points to the launch of Square for the reason there was a need for a fintech accelerator

“We were able to build the technology for Square in 3 weeks. We were running transactions in no time. It took 18 months though to get legal,” McKelvey told me. He firmly believes that anyone with a great team, a good idea, and money behind them can launch a product to market. Launching a financial product is a whole other can of worms. Insurance regulations, PCI compliance, licensing and other legal hurdles stand in the way of a great startup just going for it with a financial product.

Through a cohort-based model, 4 companies will get the mentorship, training and connections they need to hopefully see their fintech startups get to market.

That was the quickest part of our talk, though. McKelvey is actually knee deep in two current working projects. One is Six Thirty; the other is still an “experiment,” but one that he is truly passionate about. LaunchCode is something that truly seems to fulfill McKelvey’s calling right now.

Jim loves teaching, and he loves empowering people. We briefly talked about how now you can walk the streets of Baltimore before a Ravens game or Cincinnati before a Reds game, and see the street vendors accepting credit cards through Square. “I love those kinds of stories” McKelvey said. Those stories show Square has been able to empower people to take their businesses to another level.

LaunchCode is another way people can get to another level.

“There’s only one industry I’ve ever seen where you can go from zero knowledge to a $100,000 salary in one year, and that’s programming,” McKelvey said. There are tens of thousands of folks out there who would absolutely agree.

You need to be driven, have a little bit of scientific or computer knowledge and want to learn, besides the technological tools like a computer. If you have those things you can learn to program.

Throughout his career McKelvey has seen all types of people learn to code and become legitimate programmers. Of course there are the high school computer science misfits, the college graduate engineers, and even people like a WalMart maintenance man who taught himself to code on the side. McKelvey knows that one personally. “He literally mops the floors at a local Walmart and he’s taught himself to code, and he’s good at it”.


Before diving into what LaunchCode is, it’s important to know how McKelvey, who’s admittedly been “rich” for decades, got started with this latest project.

This story begins with pizza, but not in the way you would think with startups.

A friend of McKelvey’s had brought his family over to the US for a better life from Russia. That dream turned tragic for that family in May of 2012 when their 22-year-old son Daniel Maksimenko was shot and killed delivering a pizza in St. Louis. The young man was shot and killed before he even got out of the car, “and for–what–maybe $60,” McKelvey said.

This story has been eating away at McKelvey for quite some time. He didn’t understand why anyone would do something like this. It’s not like the pizza guy carries a lot of cash, and there obviously wasn’t time for an argument.  McKelvey came to the realization that these people weren’t crazy. They did it because they thought they had no other hope.

In the same breath McKelvey points out that there are over 5,000 programming jobs available in St. Louis right this second, but the system is flawed and LaunchCode is changing that.

“When Boeing announces they are bringing 700 jobs to St. Louis, they aren’t bringing 700 jobs. They are bringing 700 job openings,” he points out.

LaunchCode doesn’t have an exact label just yet, and besides everything has multiple labels (see above). I likened LaunchCode to an individualized accelerator for programmers, and McKelvey liked that description.

LaunchCode is bridging the gap between the number of “job openings” and the talent pool. You see, most companies (and when we say most it’s most) require two years experience before hiring a programmer. Schools are churning out programmers left and right, and thousands of people are teaching themselves how to code through online courses and other study at home classes. So when these people are finished learning, they have nowhere to go because they don’t have that experience.

Through LaunchCode Mckelvey has teamed up with 100 businesses in St. Louis ranging from the city’s corporate flagships like ScottTrade, Energizer, and Entreprise, to St. Louis startups like aisle411.

“If you take those 100 startups, just two of them were hiring programmers with less than 2 years experience,” McKelvey said. The other 98% basically just swap employees around.

As an example, McKelvey explained “Say Boeing is working on a new plane and they need developers. They put out a call to their HR channel and recruiters recruit developers from Ralston Purina and Enterprise.” Then those companies hire away someone from another company and so on down the line. New people weren’t put to work; people were just moved around.

The problem has been apparent and glaring at people for decades, and now LaunchCode is fixing it.

McKelvey has convinced these 100 companies both big and small to take a crack at an experiment in peer programming that worked well for Square.

New programmers sign up for LaunchCode. Candidates need to have the basic skills, be eager to learn, take criticism well and a handful of other attributes outlined here. Nothing too hard, really.

While in the program, the new programmer will be paired with an experienced programmer, “mentor” on location with a participating company. During that time the programmer will make $15 per hour and gain a vast knowledge of programming in the real world.

“While we were paying double for one output at Square, we were getting a better quality product,” McKelvey said of peer programming. “When you pair an experienced programmer with a junior programmer, the junior programmer picks up quickly.”

Then you have two experienced programmers.

The program (like an accelerator) lasts 2-3 months. After that time the participating companies will evaluate the new programmer through a more equal lens and decide whether to hire them on full time. These companies all have programming openings, and the candidate will have then spent 2-3 months in their company, in their company culture, and with their company work flow. It seems that staying employed with the company will be pretty easy.

LaunchCode is disrupting the way talent is being hired. McKelvey reminded me several times that LaunchCode is still an experiment. He’s hoping with some success to evaluate LaunchCode to see if expansion vertically, horizontally or both is the next step. In the mean time many have their eyes on what’s going on in St. Louis.

Check out LaunchCode here.







Jim McKelvey image: Bob Lee, Flickr

St. Louis’ Six Thirty Accelerator Announces Inaugural Class

Six Thirty, Accelerator, FinTech, Jim McKelvey, St. Louis startup, Accelerator

The new fintech startup accelerator in St. Louis, backed by Cultivation Capital and Square’s Jim McKelvey, held an event on Wednesday evening to announce their first startup cohort. McKelvey is joined by Hal Gentry, serial entrepreneur and general partner at Capital Innovators, and Joe Reagan CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, as co-founders for the accelerator called Six Thirty which takes its name from the height and width of the St. Louis Arch.

They received over 100+ applications from all over the world from startups with a financial element. They successfully weeded out the group to just four. Here are the companies in the first session, which officially starts Monday.

Hedgeable, Matthew Kane and Michael Kane
Hedgeable is a next generation Vanguard, providing low cost, risk managed investment products in response to the Financial Crisis.

MiiCard, James Varga
Through a patented process, miiCard leverages access to online financial accounts to verify an individual’s identity beyond a photo ID through a simple process that occurs completely online in five to ten minutes.

Upside, Tom Kimberly
Upside uses innovative financial science and beautiful user interface to provide goal-based investment management to mass affluent young professionals.

XYverify, Elliot Klein
XYverify enables consumers, merchants and financial institutions to reduce costs and prevent fraud via a mobile authentication platform.

McKelvey is also spearheading another new startup related effort in St. Louis called Launch Code.


Bonfyre Is Back As The Official App For Everywhere Else Conference, And We’ve Got Two Tickets To SXSWi To Give Away

Bonfyre, St. Louis startup, Everywhere Else Cincinnati, startup conference, SXSWBonfyre, is back as the official app for the Everywhere Else Conference. Everywhere Else Cincinnati kicks off Sunday night with a welcome party open to the public.

St. Louis startup Bonfyre is a social engagement app that allows you to share thoughts, updates, information, and photos across a closed social network and then outward to your normal social channels including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

At Everywhere Else Memphis last February we used Bonfyre, and the attendees of the conference stayed in the Bonfyre and kept interacting well into the summer.

Bonfyre will allow entrepreneurs, startup founders, investors, panelists, and startup support to keep up with all the conference go-ers in the event’s own channel. In addition to Everywhere Else, Bonfyre was also been the official app for last year’s PowderKeg conference, OneSpark in Florida, and even for St. Louis Rams games.

Bonfyre keeps things going in an easy-to-understand and engaging platform. For Everywhere Else Cincinnati we’ll have two different Bonfyre’s. O will be limited to information about the conference, scheduling, maps, and important information from the conference staff. The other will be the Bonfyre the entire group will use. That’s where the fun begins.

Bonfyre and Nibletz have teamed up to give away a pair of SXSWi 2014 passes (passes only) for March 2014. The interactive passes will give you access to the entire interactive conference tract at SXSWi and many of the awesome parties. The passes have a value of over $1400! We will be looking for the most engaged and interactive Bonfyre user throughout the course of the conference.

So go download Bonfyre in the iTunes app store or the Google Play Store and then scan the QR Codes below to get into the Bonfyre’s. We’ll see you this weekend.

Use this QR code to get into the Info Bonfyre for Everywhere Else Cincinnati:


Use this QR code to get into the Engage Bonfyre for Everywhere Else Cincinnati:



St. Louis Startup Aisle411 Raises $6.3M Series A

Aisle411, startup news, funding, St. Louis startupThe St. Louis startup that’s changing the in-store experience for everyone has just closed a massive series A round. Aisle411 is an interactive indoor mapping startup for grocery stores and other places where you need to locate things on an indoor map.

The St. Louis based startup has raised $10M since its launch in 2008.

This latest round of funding came from Google’s Don Doge, Plug & Play Ventures of Silicon Valley, Cultivation Capital and St. Louis ArchAngels. In addition to the funding the company already has some big partnerships in place including one with Walgreens, Home Depot, Schnucks, and Stop and Save.

While people immediately recognize the need for Aisle411, the company is still working on aggressively building scale and going global.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in demand from the retail market for our services,” Nathan Pettyjohn, founder and CEO of aisle411, said in a statement. “The investment round allows us to aggressively scale to a growing list of global retail partners.”

You can check out Aisle411 here.;


Cory Booker And Terry McAuliffe Tap St.Louis Startup Givver For Campaign Fundraising

Givver, St.Louis startup, Cory Booker, Terry McAuliffe


We already know that Cory Booker, Newark NJ Mayor and Senate candidate, is one of the most socially connected and startup friendly civil servants. He ranks up there on the Nibletz’ list with DC Mayor Vincent Gray and Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel. To date Booker has over 1.4 million followers on Twitter and uses the social platform daily to keep up with his constituents.

Booker has been looked upon as the next Barack Obama. He’s well loved across New Jersey for his accessible approach to his citizens. He regularly responds to people on social media. It was well documented that during Hurricane Sandy, Booker invited residents into his home to wait out the storm.

Booker is now running for the US Senate in a race many say he has a good shot at winning. He is running for the seat left vacant when Frank Lautenberg died in office earlier this year.

givverBooker has reportedly raised $5 million dollars to date, and as with any campaign any donation big or small is always welcome. To make it easier, Booker was looking for a platform that would enable his Twitter followers to easily donate to his campaign via Twitter. The platform he chose for this mission was St. Louis startup Givver.

Givver allows Twitter users to donate by tweeting amounts to the service. Users must sign up for Givver first, but once they are signed up, donating via Givver is just as easy as donating to the Red Cross through a text message.

ABC News reports that Booker told his followers about Givver with a tweet on June 14th saying “Help me reach $100k goal by tomorrow. You can tweet to #give $5 to our Senate campaign – sign up at #Booker4Senate.”

“The folks at Givver reached out to us and helped us get set up just to see how it goes,” said Larry Huynh, a member of Booker’s digital team.

“When the idea and the platform was brought to our attention, we said, ‘For sure, let’s give it a go.’ With his huge presence on Twitter, it really made sense that we were providing folks who are supporters of Cory Booker any mechanism to support the campaign in any way they see fit,” Huynh added.

Booker isn’t alone though. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has also turned to Givver to let his constituents easily donate via Twitter as well.  While progressive with his social media strategy, the McAuliffe campaign pales in comparison to Booker’s. McAuliffe currently has 10,911 followers on his Twitter account.

“We’re honored to have Mayor Booker on because he’s such a … thought leader on social media,’” Givver founder Chris Sommers told ABC News. “The next generation of donors and givers … are not writing checks with frequency and obviously not with the dollar amounts that some older people are. But, at the same time, they’re actually looking for something in return.”







Cap Innovators Startup BidRazor Is Shaving The Time Off Contractor’s Bids…By A Lot

bidrazor2bWe ran into a handful of good St. Louis startups at Chicago TechWeek, including our friends at Bonfyre, a classified ads startup Ad Freeq, and BidRazor, a graduate of the most recent class at Capital Innovators.

Mike Pulley and his co-founder Cameron Larsen have developed a platform for contractors that shaves the time it takes to bid on a project down from 20 hours over 3 or 4 weeks to just 2-4 hours. The main ingredient in shaving the time is “standardization” Pulley told us in an interview. Basically the app takes into consideration historical data on previous projects along with other mitigating factors that allow the contractor to more easily bid out the job.

BidRazor is the first of the duo’s apps that they are developing to help the contracting industry. They are also working on a project management app to help contractors keep better track of every piece of data they need for a building project. That was actually their earlier idea, but then they figured that contractors have to win the job before they can manage it. So far that’s paying off.

Having just graduated from the accelerator, the company already has customers and revenue, and the response has been phenomenal. Cutting back on the time it takes to bid out a project is allowing contractors to spend more time on their current projects, and in some cases, spend more time with their families. It’s a win for everyone.

They also already have a major partnership with Magic Plan, an app that creates floor plans. Now contractors can have bids and floor planes right on their iPhones or iPads.

Check out our video interview below and for more info visit them at

We’ve got more startup coverage from Chicago TechWeek here.



Bad Ass Startup Chicks: Cara VonderBruegge With St Louis Startup Bonfyre [video][onespark]

Cara VonderBruegg,Bonfyre,Bad Ass Startup Chick,St.Louis startup,startup interview,OneSpark
The sunny skies of Hollywood California, celebrities, and power events, with a startup, that would be the ultimate goal for many people who love startups and working for them. Well for Cara VonderBruegge, who worked in that exact position at the Los Angeles office of Living Social, that wasn’t enough.

VonderBruegge (don’t even try and pronounce it), was looking for something more and wanted to move back to St. Louis, closer to her family. From a distance, off in Los Angeles, VonderBruegge saw the explosion of growth that St. Louis’ startup scene was having and she wanted to be there.

While the world knows that Living Social hasn’t been in the best financial place lately, after a series of layoffs it looked like VonderBruegge and her LA based position had survived, and it had. However in a by-chance meeting with Ray Gobberg, co-founder of Bonfyre, they struck up a good conversation. Gobberg explained that he worked at a startup in St. Louis and VonderBruegge told him that she worked for Living Social, itself still a startup.

By chance VonderBruegge called Gobberg just to catch up right when they had a project manager opening, and boom, the job was hers.  So she did the reverse, packed up her car and moved to St. Louis.

While an official events coordinator may be in the works down the road for BonFyre, VonderBruegge has her hands full with several other “top secret” projects for the BonFyre crew, and she’s instrumental on their events side too.

VonderBruegge has been on the job for about six weeks and we got a chance to catch up with her at OneSpark in Jacksonville. VonderBruegge knows her stuff, startups, events, networking and Bonfyre. Her bright personality is definitely a perk for the mostly male dominated Bonfyre team.

Check out our interview with our latest “Bad Ass Startup Chick” below, and check out Bonfyre here.

See more of our Bad Ass Startup Chicks here. 

St. Louis Arch Grants Sees 707 Applicants For 2013

Arch Grants, St. Louis startup, Edward Domain,TechliStartups who applied, and have made the finals for the St. Louis Arch Grants startup program, are waiting on pins and needles leading up to the final pitch offs and winner announcements.

Arch Grants is a program that kicked off last year in St. Louis. They provide startups with a $50,000 grant (disbursed quarterly over a year). Of course, being that it’s grant money, there is no equity exchanged. Startups selected for the program will relocate to St. Louis where they will enjoy deeply discounted residential and commercial rent, free legal, accounting, marketing, cloud computing and mentoring support, and access to the St. Louis angel investment network.

Arch Grants will award 20 such grants this year and plan on making the announcement early next month. All 20 startups will serve as spokespeople for the St. Louis entrepreneurial community and also be eligible for $100,000 follow on grant money (again no equity).

Our good friend Edward Domain, at media company Techli was one such winner last year. Domain had frequented the St. Louis startup scene from his base of operations, which was Chicago at the time. Once receiving the grant Techli moved to St. Louis and the T-Rex co-working, incubation space.

Domain just recently profiled three of the finalists for this years grants at

While many startups from across the country apply, and are more than willing to move to St. Louis for it’s rich, budding startup community, some local entrepreneurs have applied too.

Ron Story, a local St. Louis resident and founder of LeadWarmer, told Domain:

“As a resident of the St. Louis metro area, St. Louis is a no-brainer for me.  I’ve worked for a St. Louis based startup myself and now that I’ve launched my own venture and have some traction, I am more convinced than ever that St. Louis is exactly where I need to be to grow my business. Being an Arch Grants finalist is humbling and exciting all at once.  It makes me proud an East St. Louis entrepreneur can grow a great business here.”

Check out the rest of the story at

St.Louis has a great startup community, check out more St. Louis startup stories here.

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.

St. Louis Startup LockerDome Inks Deal With USA Today

LockerDome, St.Louis startup,startup,sports startup, USA TodayMonday our friends at St. Louis based sports social networking startup announced a new partnership with one of the most recognized sports brands in the world. USA Today Sports is now partnering with LockerDome by adding their content within the USA Today network and also partnering to sell advertising on the site that’s growing at a tremendous rate.  LockerDome is one of the hottest startups in St. Louis.

LockerDome has over 1450 networks of professional athletes, sports teams, brands and other sports properties. FL superstars Troy Polamalu, Larry Fitzgerald, Maurice Jones-Drew, Antonio Brown and Marshawn Lynch; MLB All-Star Felix Hernandez; baseball legends Pete Rose and Wade Boggs; and NBA stars Blake Griffin, Rudy Gay, David Lee and Stephen Curry, are just some of the professional sports players that have pages on LockerDome.

Since launch LockerDome, which is backed by Square co-founder Jim McKelvey and other major investors in the St. Louis community, has grown to over 8 million monthly unique visitors. They are currently growing at a rate of more than 100,000 uniques per day.

Under the partnership, effective immediately, USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties will begin selling advertising on LockerDome, and LockerDome’s traffic will now be included within the USA Today Sports Properties network. Additional 2013 strategic initiatives between the two properties are currently being planned.

“By delivering an innovative platform for publishers, LockerDome has quickly become the fastest growing sports website in the world,” said Gabe Lozano, co-founder and CEO, LockerDome. “USA TODAY Sports is a top-tier media brand that we’ve always had a great amount of respect for, and becoming an Official Partner of USA TODAY Sports is a fantastic marriage between two world-class companies that opens up a number of exciting growth opportunities across the board,”

“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.”

What sets LockerDome apart for publishers is its ability to reach a more engaged, targeted sports audience and increase their overall social media footprint. Since its initial launch, LockerDome has delivered 50% average growth across Facebook and Twitter for its properties in their first 4.5 months. One of its key differentiators is LockerDome’s cross-promotional flexibility, allowing its networks to grow their existing audiences with each other, a service Facebook and Twitter do not currently offer. While contests on other platforms traditionally average the industry standard of 2% – 3%, LockerDome boasts an average landing page conversion of 23%.

Sports enthusiasts join LockerDome to become a part of interest-specific sports communities where they can consume content and interact with like-minded fans around their favorite professional athletes, teams and sports. Milestones for LockerDome since its launch in January 2012 include surpassing one million uniques in June, two million in October, three million in November, four million in December and eight million in January. At its current growth rate, LockerDome is on pace to be a top-10 most visited sports site in the next 12 months.

LockerDome founder Gabe Lozano will appear on “Grinding For Cash” (raising money everywhere else panel) and giving his own talk at The Startup Conference

Bonfyre: The Official App For The Startup Conference

Bonfyre, St. Louis startup, the startup conference, appWith the startup conference a little over a week away we want to make sure that everyone knows what app to use to keep up with all the action at the biggest startup conference in the U.S., whether you’re at home or at the event.

Bonfyre is the official app for the startup conference. Download the app today from the iTunes app store then join the Bonfyre for You’ll be able to keep up with the schedule, panels, speakers, startup village and everything happening in Grind City February 10th-12th.

Bonfyre debuted their most recent version of their app at DEMO in Silicon Valley last fall. They also partnered with the Powder Keg conference in Indianapolis.

Just as they did with PowderKeg, Bonfyre will allow entrepreneurs, startup founders, investors, panelists, and startup support to keep up with all the conference go-ers in the event’s own channel.

Nibletz has been reporting on Bonfyre since last year. They’ve raised $750,000 dollars so far led by the St. Louis Arch Angels and Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square, who sits on Bonfyre’s board. To date, the St. Louis startup has partnered with the NFL’s St. Louis Rams for three games.

Not only that but one lucky person that downloads and registers for Bonfyre for the conference will walk away from Memphis with a brand new iPad Mini (16gb wifi only). It’s that easy.

Check out Bonfyre for The Startup Conference here

If you don’t have your tickets for The Startup Conference we don’t know what you’re waiting for, luckily it’s not too late.


St. Louis Accelerator Capital Innovator’s Introduces Fresh Class Of Startups

Capital Innovators, St. Louis startup,startup acceleratorAt an event held at Moulin in St. Louis last night, Capital Innovators, the region’s cohort based accelerator, announced their newest class of startups. The class will convene for a 12 week program at the T-Rex startup hub and co-working space.

T-Rex houses several other startups as well as winners in the Arch Grants program that gives grants to startups to relocate and build their business in St. Louis.

This is the fourth class to go through the Capital Innovators program. To date, Capital Innovators has invested in and graduated 24 other startups in a variety of industries.  Startups like Systematic Revenue and Norsecorp, that have successfully gone through the Capital Innovators program, have also successfully raised follow on funding.

The Capital Innovators program sees their startups with $50,000 which runs on the higher side of accelerator seed funds. Typically accelerators fund companies with between $10,000 and $25,000 dollars.

These are the five startups in the 2013 spring program, along with their founders:

BidRazor, Mike Pulley
BidRazor gives contractors the power to create custom bids much more easily and quickly than traditional
Dead Inventory Management Systems, Brandon Twitty
Dead Inventory Management Systems (DIMS) is in the business of aiding manufacturing companies in
listing large amounts of idle electrical inventory online in the matter of seconds using our Quick LIST
Juristat, Drew Winship
Juristat helps lawyers predict the future. We transform raw court records into actionable analytics,
allowing users to predict the behavior of judges, juries, and attorneys. Juristat can calculate the odds of a
favorable verdict, motion, or appeal.
Time to Cater, Ed Spinaio
Time to Cater is a free national catering concierge service that connects busy people with the perfect
caterer for their event to save them time and money. We handle all the details of any catered event from
order through delivery and presentation at no extra cost to our client.
TrakBill, Steven Marciniak
TrakBill is an advocacy platform delivering timely, customizable updates on legislation, with a social twist.
Find specific bills or search areas of interest, receive up-to-the-minute updates on legislative actions and
hearings, and advocate for your cause using social media. With TrakBill, you spend more time advocating
and less time tracking

The spring class will end on April 26, 2013 and Capital Innovators will hold demo day on May 8th.

Two of St. Louis successful startups, LockerDome and Bonfyre will be at The Startup Conference Will you?