Author Archives: Dana Rieck

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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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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From vacant to vibrant: Good Life Growing transforms urban properties to fight food insecurity

Angela Winston, left, Galisa Gregory, center, and Deraze Bullock, right, weed a garden bed Oct. 1 at the at the Good Life Growing garden in The Ville in north St. Louis City. All three are participants in the St. Louis YouthBuild program. Photo by Dana Rieck

James Forbes was laid off in 2011 from his job as a program coordinator and project manager for the Human Development Corporation, which provided financial assistance and services to help people experiencing homelessness and prevent families from becoming homeless. “I was pretty passionate about the work. I was able to be on the funding side of a lot of really ...

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Charlie Backer: Hot Charlie’s Hot Sauce

Charlie Backer

Charlie Backer remembers “chugging” bottles of Tobasco with his brother when he was just 8 years old. So it’s no surprise that, as an adult, Backer has founded a fast-growing line of hot sauces under the brand Hot Charlie’s Hot Sauce. A former payroll and human resources consultant, Backer said his product line was born a few years ago when ...

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Startup Missouri to host inaugural Expo for entrepreneurs

Startup Expo 2019 NEW

Startup Missouri will host its first Startup Missouri Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel St. Louis-Chesterfield. This trade show is designed to connect new entrepreneurs and startup businesses with resources to help them develop, manage, maintain and improve their businesses. Register for Startup Expo The Startup Expo is a new venture under the brand of Startup Missouri, ...

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