GlobalHack Makes Its First Winners $50k Richer



Last weekend St. Louis-based GlobalHack hosted the first of its quarterly hackathons. The winning team walked away with $50,000 from TopOPPS, which received the code and IP from the weekend project in return.

TopOPPS is the new company of Jim Eberlin, who also founded companies like Host Analytics and Gainsight. The weekend marked the public launch of TopOPPS, and the project the teams worked on will help the company move forward.

Why would a successful CEO choose a hackathon to launch a new product? Eberlin said he saw it as “an opportunity to have hundreds of the nation’s best developers working on your product non-stop for 48 hours, is priceless. In one weekend, we saw more innovative ideas and had access to more tech talent then most companies see in a year.”

Cofounder of LockerDome and GlobalHack Gabe Lozano agreed, noting that the event drew 200 designers, developers, and business professionals from all over the country. In fact, Eberlin was so impressed with the quality of work produced over the weekend, he awarded a surprise $10,000 check to the second place team.

The winning team was composed of Washington University students. They were, obviously, excited about the win.

“Absolutely incredible,” team member Eric Elias said of the experience. “I was fortunate to work with such an exceptional team and compete against so many talented people.”

GlobalHack has 3 more hackathons planned for 2014, with the sponsoring companies for future events yet to be announced. The nonprofit plans to award more than $1 million in prize money over the year.

Interested? Check out the GlobalHack website to keep up to date on all events.


The Aha! Moment: When Lightning Strikes

'CG lightning strike' photo (c) 2007, Axel Rouvin - license:

Reshma Chamberlin is a double-transplant. From India to New York and currently St. Louis, her life has been full of stories. And the same goes for her partner-in-enabling-others-to-tell-stories, Elizabeth (Beth) Buchanan. The pair is behind Muzio, an app that self-proclaims to be “the easiest way to curate the best of life’s adventures into one little package to share and enjoy.” And many would agree. How many times have you taken a bunch of notes, pictures or videos on a business trip or vacation and wanted to share them in an organized way (but haven’t been able to)?

“How do you capture the essence of an experience in an easy-to-capture way?” That’s the question that led to Muzio’s first ‘aha moment.’ Beth had just come back from a trip to Cape Cod when she was showing Reshma some of her pictures. The conversation went something like this:

Beth: “I had such an amazing time! Look at all of these wonderful pictures I took!”

Reshma (looking at pictures): “Beth, this is boring.”

And, thus, the two decided they needed to do something about that. Muzio was born.

So Reshma and Beth, who were (and still are) running a design firm, B&C Designers, headed to the Women Entrepreneurs Rock the World conference in New York City this past May. It was an on-course conference; they were meeting some great people, making awesome connections and learning a thing or two. Everything was great. But then things got better – much better – when they heard a woman named Angela Jia Kim present a concept called “finding your ‘lightning rod.’”

What’s a lightning rod (in a metaphorical sense, of course), you might ask? “A lightning rod is that thing that gives you career satisfaction, helps you achieve your monetary goals and makes you happy all at the same time,” Reshma said. “When she talked about the lightning rod concept something clicked. At that moment we realized we needed to pause everything else and just focus on this [Muzio]. We couldn’t expect it to do what we knew it could do and wanted it to do if we’re not focused on it 100%.

And the third ‘aha moment:’ being able to knock out Muzio’s entire launch plan in a two hour plane ride after a sleepless night transferring in and out of airport wings and waiting lines and wallowing through multiple canceled flights and hours of layovers. “When we finished that we knew we had our lightning rod. This is what we were supposed to be doing,” Reshma finished.

Don’t worry; you don’t have to be the next Benjamin Franklin to find your own lightning rod. Think about it – or don’t. Either way, you’ll know when lightning strikes.

Learn more about Muzio online at and follow them on Twitter: @MuzioApp.

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.

Big Data Conference, StampedeCon, Heads Back To St. Louis Featuring Walmart, Ford & More

StampedeCon,St. Louis,Big Data startupIf you’re in a big data startup, the StampedeCon big data conference in St.Louis is a can’t miss event. Last year we partnered with StampedeCon as their official media sponsor. Speaker after speaker explained this fast growing technology sector, that’s spawning new, great startups every day.

Last year’s inaugural event featured speakers from Facebook, Read Write Web, Kraft foods and more.

This year’s event will be held July 30-31st at the Washington University School of Medicine and will feature speakers from; Walmart, Ford Motor Company, Deloitte, Riot Games and more.

“Big Data is growing exponentially. Understanding how to control the amount of data available and create a strategy to leverage it is vital to today’s workplace,” said Gary Stiehr, StampedeCon organizer. “Companies without an understanding of Big Data are at a severe disadvantage in today’s marketplace. StampedeCon’s goal is to provide that knowledge to everyone.”
StampedeCon runs July 30-31. The first day will provide insight into developing data and analytics strategies. The second day presents a view into the technologies available to implement data and analytics strategies.
StampedeCon 2013 training partners include Cloudera and Inferology.  On July 29th, Inferology is offering a pre-conference course on NoSQL databases. On August 1st, Cloudera is offering post-conference training workshops on Hadoop, Hive and Pig.
StampedeCon features presentations benefiting both seasoned IT professionals and those getting started with Big Data. The agenda includes twelve speakers and a panel discussion, with the following agenda highlights:Big Data Analytics: Inside and Out
Michael Cavaretta, Ford Motor Company
Cavaretta will present three areas of opportunity for Big Data Analytics: improving internal processing, understanding customers though external data (including social) and vehicle sensor networks. The presentation will include tips for starting your own Big Data projects.

Big Data at Riot Games
Jerome Boulon, Riot Games
Riot Games sought to understand and improve the player experience for its 32 million users. Boulon will review the challenges they faced creating a Big Data infrastructure that delivers the ability to provide continued insight.
Five Trends in AnalyticsHow to Take Advantage Today
John Lucker, Deloitte Consulting
Lucker will discuss the latest advancements in the world of analytics and offer strategies for tapping into their potential. The topic areas include visualization and design, mobile analytics and strategy analytics.
Big Data, Big Law
Anthony Martin, Walmart
This presentation will tell the story of one global, multi-channel company’s walk through the increasingly complicated legal, compliance security maze while trying to recognize the implicit value of Big Data programs.
For more information visit

St. Louis is one of the fastest growing tech cities in the U.S., here’s why. 


The Never Ending Marker Finalist: In St.Louis’ go!-celerator

goBRANDgo! Partners Brandon Dempsey and Derek Weber

(photo: St. Louis Business Journal)

St. Louis may be known for it’s world famous beer, but lately their startup community has been growing and thriving. They have an awesome angel network in place, St. Louis Arch Angels. They also have an accelerator that’s producing real results (and not pre-lining up follow on deals from accelerator partners), Cap Innovators. They have an awesome community focal point in the co-working space T-Rex, and when one of their startups or entrepreneurs faces tough times they rally around them, rather than distancing themselves.

So far the St. Louis startup community is operating by the handbook, Brad Feld’s “Startup Communities”.

Now one of St. Louis’ startup community supporters has launched a new incubator. goBRANDgo! a local marketing firm has decided to open up a new incubator.

Their new incubator, dubbed; go!-celerator is designed for early stage startups. Three finalists are competing for a year’s free office space, networking opportunities, and mentoring to the tune of $50,000 in agency resources.

Saint Louis University student Gregory Keogh and his startup, Remarkable, are finalists for the first spot in the go!-celerator. Keogh is developing a refillable white board marker station that will keep the dry erase marker full at all times.

While this seems like a great idea for any business, startups, who are known for endless “whiteboarding” would certainly take advantage of the value proposition posed by an endlessly refillable,never ending dry erase marker.

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, goBRANDgo! founders Brandon Dempsey and Derek Weber have a thing for going through lots of dry erase markers.

Remarkable is a finalist pitted against Bazaar Boy a tech startup creating a market place for local small businesses and HCP Unitedan integrated E-Dispensary platform designed for member-based purchasing groups that allows health care providers to deliver more affordable care. “

You can find out more about goBRANDgo! here.

This startup in Louisville teaches 5 year olds how to code!


St. Louis Startup Connection October 25th


St. Louis is preparing for the next Startup Connection event on October 25, 2012 at the St. Louis Science Center. Arch Grants, Executive Director, Sarah Spear reported in a guest post at the St. Louis Business Journal that the one day event continues to grow.

This year over 50 area entrepreneurs will show off their startups and compete for a variety of cash and prizes totaling more that $20,000.

The sponsor list, supporter list and prize list are like a who’s who of the thriving St. Louis startup ecosystem. It’s this synergy in the ecosystem that’s had Cultivation Capital’s Rick Holten all fires up for months.

The startups features at Startup Connection will be competing for the following prizes:
• People’s Choice Award — $2,500
• BioSTL Awards — $2,000 and $1,000
• Cultivation Capital Award — $2,000
• Mueller Prost PC Award — $1,500
• AEGIS Professional Services Award — $4,000 Legal Credit
• Hostirian — $4,000 Hosting Credit
• Systematic Revenue — $4,000 Subscription Credit

Startup Connection is held twice a year. This fall event will be at the St. Louis Science Center, October 25 from 4:30 to 8:30pm.


Here’s the web page for Startup Connection

Source: St. Louis Business Journal

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St.Louis Preparing For Super Entrepreneur & Startup Event Venture Draft 8/10-8/11

Brandon Williams, through his Brandon Williams Economic Development Corporation, is planning an amazing event for St. Louis called Venture Draft. We love St. Louis, their thriving tech and startup community is starting to catch on like wildfire and in fact they’ve moved from the 49th city in the US to start a new business to 6th in just one year. That’s amazing.

What else is amazing? How about the line up of speakers, investors, and entrepreneurs that Williams has assembled for the event going on at St. Louis’ Anheuser-Busch Auditorium next week on the 10th and 11th.

Williams, who is an accomplished professional athlete, having played on a variety of NFL football teams including the St. Louis Rams, has tackled (you see what I did there), the task of helping to spread and enrich the world of startups and entrepreneurship in St. Louis. Williams has assembled Venture Draft to be the crossroads between professional athletes and celebrities and the tech and venture community.  All the while, making sure an event of this size and nature happened right in his hometown.

“The venture community is always trying to keep up with new technologies while professional athletes are looking for ways to leverage their playing days for more efficient and effective post-sports careers,” says Brandon Williams, co founder of BWEDC and former wide-receiver for the St. Louis Rams. “We understand the needs of both sectors and developed a platform to address them.”

Our good friend Gable Lozano is taking a quick break during a coast to coast fundraising trip to speak at Venture Draft. Also, FUBU founder and ABC Shark Tank investor Daymond John will be there. Successful startup founders like Henry Wong a partner at; Maurice Lopes, CEO & CoFounder at EarlyShares, and Seth Burgett CEO at Yurbuds are just some of the great speakers slated for next weekends event.

Judy Sindecuse, CEO of locally based Capital Innovators, and even William Crowder from Philly based DreamIt Ventures will represent some of the best accelerators/incubators in the country (and everywhere else) during the event.

For more information or to sign up go here to this link

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What Is Big Data? We Find Out From David Strom At StampedeCon In St. Louis

StampedeCon kicked off in St.Louis this morning with David Strom speaking on how big data can help your business. Strom is a seasoned technology journalist who’s currently writing for Read Write Web. He was able to engage the audience at StampedeCon with a brief overview of what Big Data is and how it’s applied in real life.

Big Data may be a new term to some, especially on the consumer side of things, but Big Data is very real and we see more and more Big Data startups popping up everywhere else.

The setting at StampedeCon is of course people in the Big Data field but also CEO’s, and CTO’s who are just now getting into Big Data.  As “the cloud” makes it’s way into every day language, Big Data is sitting on deck.  Strom brought up real life use cases for Big Data like managing airlines and reservations, but also analyzing airline reviews. He also brought up a great example of FedEx using Big Data not just to manage their packages but also their fleet of trucks.

(Proctor & Gamble's Big Data Control Room at their Cincinnati HQ photo: DavidStrom)

Another company that uses massive amounts of Big Data is Cincinnati’s Proctor & Gamble (P&G). According to Strom P&G has over 4 billion transactions per day. Their massive data is managed in a “data sphere” in their Cincinnati headquarters. Key data points are extracted on gigantic screens for their data analysts and their executives to have access too.

P&G is using Big Data to track just about everything including, sales, trends, margin, customer flow, what ads are working, which countries are seeing upticks and downturns. The company is also working on automating notifications so their top level managers can be alerted when things are outside of the norm.

Strom also spoke about one of his favorite “Big Data Rockstars”, Jeff Jonas, who works for IBM. He has developed a system called Infosphere Identity Insight. This is the piece of software that analyzes facial expressions of casino goers and can track and prevent fraud including card counting.

Strom offered three key points for CEO’s about Big Data

Strategic data planning- data is the new raw materials for any business
Analytical Skills- CEOs should be incredibly smart about asking the right questions
Technology skills- Embrace the technology and make it a key part of your CEO skill set

Is Big Data boring?

Certainly not. Strom pointed out a study using Big Data on that studied the population of North America (including Canada) and their tendency to be gay curious. The map above shows the most gay curious population in red and the least gay curious population in blue. The data revealed that Canadians are very gay curious. They also found that areas that served soy milk had more gay curious folks. (no this was a real study).

They also asked straight and gay people “Which is bigger the earth or the sun” not surprising, more women got the answer correct regardless of sexual orientation.

Big Data is definitely everywhere and conferences like StampedeCon will highlight that.


St. Louis Startup Event Attracts Sports Stars And Sharks


Former NFL football player for the San Francisco 49ers, St.Louis Rams and the apittsburgh Steelers, Brandon Williams is a native of St. Louis and passionate about the entrepreneurship and startup movement brewing in the city.

Williams alongside his business partner, Lance McCarthy, have organized a two day startup and entrepreneurship showcase, exhibition and pitch event called the Venture Draft Conference. The conference will be held at St. Louis University August 10th and 11th.

The tickets are $300, however in the world of startup and tech events thats a slim price t pay for the exposure to the resources that both Williams and McCarthy have assembled.

Williams has invited some of his professional sports colleague who are also interested in entrepreneurship as well as some local angels and venture capitalists.

One of the main attractions though will be the keynote provided by Daymond John the founder of FUBU and a shark investor on ABC’s Shark Tank. John is passionate about entrepreneurship. He recently spoke at Black Enterprise Magazine’s Entrepreneur’s Conference In Chicago. John also recently held a hangout on Google+ for high school age business students across the country.

The Business Journal reports that 10 lucky startups will pitch in front of a panel of judges including John in a similar manner to the way that contestant entrepreneurs pitch on Shark Tank. 15 notable sports figures and venture capitalists will be at the event which is sponsored by St. Louis University, the Information Technology Entrepreneur Network (iTen) and the Missouri Venture Forum.

Tickets are still available here.


Source: Business Journal

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St. Louis Startup Norsecorp Has Raised $2.5 Million So Far

Fresh on the heels of news that St. Louis startup Norsecorp entered into a very lucrative partnership with Global eTelecom, the company has reported that they are well on their way to finishing up a $3.5 million dollar round of funding.

Norsecorp provides technology that detects early warning signs of fraud for online transactions. Global eTelecom has a network of over 55,000 merchants nationwide that use their services for ACH and e-check processing. Norsecorp’s technology, when coupled with Global eTelecom, will provide protection from fraudulent transactions that could cost retails a lot of money.

Their software product is called IP Viking.

The Business Journal has reported that Norsecorp has already raised $2.5 million dollars in a round of funding that started on June 29th and expects to close on July 31. According to the SEC the minimum investment in the round is $50,000.

Norsecorp was part of Capital Innovator’s class last year. They received $50,000 in seed funding and also presented at Capital Innovators demo day at the end of the session.


Find out more about Norsecorp here

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more stories from St. Louis’ thriving startup community

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St. Louis Startup: NorseCorp Lands Huge Deal With Global eTelecom

NorseCorp is a technology startup located in St.Louis that specializes in fraud detection. The company was one of the first startups to receive funding and mentorship as part of the first Capital Innovator’s program in St. Louis last fall. As part of the program NorseCorp received $50,000 in seed funding along with free office space. They also presented during Capital Innovator’s first demo day last December.

Two weeks ago the startup, led by CEO Sam Glines, a 1995 graduate of Saint Louis University, reported a major deal with one of the largest electronic check and ACH payment processors in the U.S. Global eTelecom has over 55,000 merchants nationwide that will rely on NorseCorp’s IPViking software to provide another layer of protection for their customers.

NorseCorp has developed a technology that assists in online transactions by spotting for high risk, fradulent transactions. “Our eCommerce Fraud Prevention service works seamlessly at the payment gateway level to identify and block high-risk transactions before they occur,” said Skip Foss, NorseCorp chief operating officer said in a statement. “The service addresses two essential aspects of effective fraud prevention. It offers accuracy in evaluating the legitimacy of the IP address behind any transaction, and it delivers that information in real time for automated decision-making, not manual review.”


Check out NorseCorp here

Source: St. Louis Business Journal

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St. Louis’ Rick Holton Jr Charged Up By VentureSTL

VentureSTL,Rick Holton,Anhesuer Busch, Saint Louis,St.Louis,St.Louis Startup,startup

Rick Holton Jr. And his brother Rob Holton are no strangers to the St. Louis startup scene, tech scene or business scene. The Holton brothers come from a long and historical pedigree in the St. Louis area. Their mother Lotsie Hermann Holton is actually the granddaughter of August “Gussie” Busch from the Anheuser-Busch family.

We met the Holton Brothers on Friday when the Nibletz sneaker strapped startup road trip pulled into St. Louis for a quick overnight stop. We were there to meet with our friends at LockerDome. We had asked Gabe Lozano to introduce us to someone very influential in the St. Louis startup scene, preferably someone part of the Arch Angels, angel investor network.

Rick Holton and Rob Holton, through their investment company, Holton Capital, are members of the Arch Angels. Rick Holton is also one of the principals in the fund that came out of the Arch Angel group, Cultivation Capital. Notable St. Louis alum Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square is also a principal in Cultivation Capital, as are Brian Matthews, Peter Esparrago, and Cliff Holekamp. Together the fund is backed by $20 million for funding startups.

But the story here doesn’t lay in the background of St.Louis’ growing tech startup community. The story is about what Rick Holton Jr has been very excited about lately, and that is synergy.

When we arrived at Holton’s office Cameron and I were under the impression that Holton had expected to hear a pitch from us. Yes we absolutely need money but we’re not sure VC money is the way to go. We were at Holton Capital’s offices to get the story. The story about how and why, all of the sudden St. Louis keeps popping back up in the tech and startup news.

We are hearing about Arch Angels, Cultivation Capital, BonFyre, LockerDome, and countless other companies, funds and investors on a regular basis. Heck St. Louis is so hot that Edward Domain moved to St. Louis from Chicago after a $50,000 grant from Arch Grants.

It’s not like the Holton’s or any of the other partners in Cultivation Capital or angel investors in Arch Angels, are strangers to investing. Holton Capital has been investing in companies for over a decade.

Rick Holton explained that with their company they had invested heavily into a variety of companies. They have a classic car company, a framing company, investments in several life sciences companies and of course technology. Rick quickly confirmed with his brother and then told us that Arch Angels has $30 million invested so far.

St. Louis is an extremely loyal town. Earlier in the morning Jim Enright and Mark Sanders at LockerDome told us that if you went down the street in downtown St.Louis 9 out of 10 locals could tell you everything that happened in the most recent Cardinals game. After a quick test they were right.

But even as loyal as St. Louis can be Holton was concerned that some people may have the perception that St.Louis is a dying industrial town, rather than the thriving tech town that it is.

Holton’s other major concern was that all the startup and tech resources weren’t talking to each other. Through Holton Capital and his work with FinServe Angels and Arch Angels Holton is extremely plugged into the tech and startup ecosystem in St. Louis but he kept finding that not many others were.

Holton explained that he would hear about one deal from someone and suggest another possible investor that would be perfect for the opportunity but they didn’t know each other. “People weren’t talking to each other and because of that they were competing with each other when they didn’t have to be”.

At this point in our discussion Holton has moved from reserved to completely animated. If you don’t know Holton personally, he stands at a towering 10 feet, ok not really but he is very tall. He’s talking extremely fast and moving his hands around explaining to us, with the excitement that you’d expect when Mark McGwire was still belting them out of the park.

You can tell that this non-communication between tech influencers in St. Louis was something Holton was becoming passionate about. So he called a meeting.

Holton invited 15 of the top tech and startup influencers in St.Louis to the meeting in his boardroom on January 26th. Among the invitees were other venture capitalists, influential local tech blogs, partner resources and entrepreneurs.

Of those 15 people invited only 47 of them showed up. Holton Capital has your average modest sized conference room. Holton was fitting all of these interested tech folks wherever they could. At one point, as Holton actually showed us, they moved every chair in the office into the conference room.

“What I expected to be a 45 minute to an hour meeting of introductions and handing out business cards turned into a strategy session that lasted over two hours” Holton said.

Out of that meeting new partnerships were formed, new friends were made, and VentureSTL was born.

VentureSTL is a new web portal connecting everyone in the St.Louis startup and tech community to each other with news, discussions, links and profiles. Holton believed so much in VentureSTL that his own forwards to the site.

Holton is very optimistic about the companies that are growing right in St. Louis. Two of the more notable startups are LockerDome and BonFyre. Holton and the others involved in VentureSTL, the meeting that VentureSTL was born out of and everyone affiliated with Arch Angels are doing what they can to keep St. Louis startups in St. Louis and attracting new companies, like to St. Louis.

St. Louis has some big stars in this web 2.0 wave. Most notably would be Jack Dorsey from Twitter and Square and Jim McKelvey, also co-founder of Square. McKelvey loves St. Louis and is committed to helping Holton and company with the St. Louis mission, Dorsey, not so much.


Connect to VentureSTL here

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St.Louis Startup: LockerDome Announces $1.04M Round

Our good friends at LockerDome have announced some great news this morning. They’ve just completed a $1.04 million dollar round of financing led by St. Louis Arch Angels. Cultivation Capital, Capital Innovators, the Missouri Technology Corporation and several individual angel investors participated in the round.

This new round brings LockerDome’s total investment to date to $2.1M.

In addition to this great funding news LockerDome has also announced today that they’ve seen a 25% increase in users week over week for 24 weeks straight. In just about five months the sports based social networking site has seen growth to 850k monthly uniques. They also have 80 pro athletes signed up including Pittsburgh Steelers Safety Troy Polamalu. They’ve also secured iconic brands like Rawlings.

LockerDome allows users to create their own sporting profiles for their local sports teams. Within LockerDome, teams can create their own social networks whether it be for a 5 year old T-Ball league, a 15-17 year old basketball team or a semi pro team. Even pro-athletes can create their own profiles.

Square Co-Founder Jim McKelvey has been a strong believer in LockerDome and the St.Louis startup scene. McKelvey has invested in LockerDome and holds a seat on their board.

“We’d like to give a huge thanks to the St. Louis investor community, whose support has been fantastic. Oversubscribing on a million-dollar financing round in only a matter of weeks not only speaks to the strong growth and demand that LockerDome is experiencing, but to the quickly emerging St. Louis tech startup ecosystem,” commented LockerDome CEO, Gabe Lozano.

The St.Louis Arch Angels invested $3 million dollars in the thriving St. Louis startup scene in 2011


Check out LockerDome for yourself here

Find out more about St. Louis Arch Angels Here

See Nibletz’ coverage of St. Louis’ startup community here

St. Louis Startup: Opens Donation Platform For Business

Last month we brought you an interview with co-founder Todd Metheny about this new crowdfunding platform exclusive to the film industry. When we spoke with Metheny that hadn’t quite launched their donation platform.

They’ve now announced their launch and have three films that the public can donate to and help fund. If you’ve ever wanted to partake in the movie business, now’s your chance.  This unique service allows ordinary people to invest in movies and independent films. is a welcomed source of funding for independent film producers who typically bootstrap their projects, in a very competitive business.

The three films open for funding via are: The Lovely Passing Life by filmmaker Daniel Leeb, Mrs. Henderson’s Cat by filmmaker Will Pelligrini and Fit To Print by filmmaker Adam Chadwick. Leeb is seeking funds for production while Pelligrini and Chadwick are raising funds for post production.

To introduce the service Metheny told us last month that they are allowing filmmakers to pay them, “what they want”. Once the films reach their funding, they will hopefully pay something for helping them raise funds. This promotion is available for the first 20 films that are funded by’s crowdsourced funding platform.

More after the break
Read More…

St.Louis Startup: BonFyre Brings Social Network Back To Campus, Attracts Square Co-Founder Jim McKelvey

Last month we brought you the story of LockerDome a social network for amateur athletes based in St.Louis. LockerDome was able to attract some key investors and advisors. One of those is St.Louis native Jim McKelvey who just happens to be the co-founder of the widely popular mobile payment startup, Square. McKelvey co-founded Square with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

Another social networking startup has also received backing and advice from McKelvey. McKelvey sits on the board of Off Campus Media LLC, the paurent company to the BonFyre app.

BonFyre was founded by Mark Sawyier, a graduate of Washington University. The app is a social media and location sharing app aimed at college students looking to plan what’s next with friends, find out what’s hot and save money around campus.

One of the main concepts behind Bonfyre is to take the social network back to students. We all remember the days when Facebook was exclusive to students with a college email address. While everyone wanted to join this exclusive club (and we all eventually did), the exclusive college nature of Facebook at the time, made it more about sharing social events with friends and then getting out and doing stuff together.

More after the break

Read More…