Author Archives: Dana Rieck

Life Equals: Nutrients by the shot

Chris Thowe, Kyle Fitzgerald

A mentor gave Chris Thowe and Kyle Fitzgerald advice that would lead to their most successful product: the Balance the Superfood Shot.

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Blooming careers: Paraquad develops the workforce for St. Louis’ thriving restaurant scene

Austin Hallett, Bloom Café, Paraquad

Austin Hallett says his goal of becoming an executive chef began cooking after he watched “Ratatouille,” an animated film about a cartoon rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a great chef, despite the industry being “rodent-phobic.“ “When I watched ‘Ratatouille,’ I learned that, just by their skills, I’m learning the way they’re communicating and the way they’re handling the ...

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Tiny Superheroes: Inspiring children, one cape at a time


St. Louis-based Tiny Superheroes sent out 35,000 capes to sick and disabled children worldwide in 2019, more than the total number sent by the company in the previous four years. Robyn Rosenberger, founder of the social enterprise that provides superhero capes to children with illnesses or disabilities, said her company has been successful and continues to grow. Yet it began ...

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Get out of jail (almost) free? Freecog reimagines method of bonding out criminal defendants

Freecog, Michael Sato

Missouri jails housed 11,000 people in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, a U.S. public policy think tank oriented toward criminal justice issues. And while judges may offer the option of pretrial release to many prisoners, the cost of GPS tracking that often is required as a condition of bond ...

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Summersalt’s direct-to-customer swimwear, apparel aim to revolutionize women’s wardrobes

Summersalt, Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin, Lori Coulter

Summersalt co-founders Lori Coulter and Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin consider speed to be their biggest competitive advantage in the entrepreneurial world. Given the brisk rise and early success of their clothing company, it’s safe to say they might be onto something. Whether it’s expeditiously expanding their clothing line to include more categories or picking themselves up swiftly after an investor turns ...

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Brandin Vaughn Collection: ‘It’s never too early to start’

Brandin Vaughn

Couch cushions. Brandin Vaughn can trace his entrepreneurial career to a couple of couch cushions. The St. Louis native said his family was not well-off while he was growing up, so when his 10-year-old self found a couch in an alley, he decided to take it home and sew new cushions made from an old coat. “What that did for ...

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Startup Missouri hosts inaugural entrepreneurial Expo


More than 200 entrepreneurs who aim to turn their ideas into successful products and businesses connected with mentors and resources at Startup Missouri’s inaugural Startup Expo Oct. 30. The daylong event, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel St. Louis-Chesterfield, also featured dozens of exhibitors, presentations from educators and founders of startups, and two keynote speakers. Startup Missouri organizers said ...

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