Today’s entrepreneur is no stranger to the term “pivoting.”
When it “pivots”, a startup company changes direction – ever so slightly or, in some cases, in a large way — to meet a customer need, a market condition or perhaps new regulations. All of this while keeping the fundamental vision of the organization intact.
Sometimes, events that support startups need to pivot too. Take, for example, this month’s Demo Day in St. Louis, an event organized by Capital Innovators, the accelerator program that helps early stage St. Louis IT companies with funding, mentorship and other services they need to grow.
Now in its third year at The Pageant performance venue in St. Louis, Demo Day traditionally has allowed startups to take the stage, present information about their company, then talk overtly from the stage to investors in the audience about the funding they need to grow their business.
That format, says Capital Innovators CEO and Managing Partner Judy Sindecuse, has now changed – slightly – thanks to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act or JOBS Act, signed into law in 2012.
“The bottom line is that most of the presenting companies won’t be able to make that overt pitch for funding from the stage,” says Sindecuse.
There’s a rule against that now, says Sindecuse. “It’s a brand new rule. All the accelerator programs around the country are trying to figure out how to play within the rules and still get done what we need to get done.” So, at Capital Innovators Demo Day, set for May 20th from 1 pm until 4 pm, “the audience will be a combination of investors and interested members of the public,” she says. “The presenters will go up on stage and talk about their business. Afterward there will be booths set up offstage so that members of the audience can talk with these companies on an individual basis.”
It’s a relatively minor change, says Sindecuse, who adds almost 400 people have RSVP’d, most from St. Louis but others from locations as far away as Boston and California.
Interested observers in the audience could be, “anybody from a business or the public that has an interest in the latest innovative technology coming out of St. Louis, all the way to entepreneurs who are interested in what’s out there to help them grow their business,” she says.
The keynote speaker for the event is Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander.
Capital Innovators was this year was ranked 6th overall among the nation’s 40 top accelerator programs. The ranking was conducted by professors at the MIT Sloan School of Management and University of Virginia.
Capital Innovators invests $50,000 in each firm it supports and brings them to the Lammert Building in downtown St. Louis for 12 weeks of mentoring and development. Capital Innovators started in 2011 and has now invested in 34 companies
Here are the ten companies that will make presentations at the May 20 Demo Day:
A job-matching platform for millennials and growth companies based on culture fit.
CellARide mobilizes the sale of vehicles via an intuitive text message based platform.
HealthyMe uses mobile text messaging to reduce hospital readmission rates.
Kingdom Scene is a virtual world video game that encourages faith, character, and service.
A developer of decision-support software for doctors.
An online platform for original music videos
Pixel Press allows users of all ages to design their own video games.
RoverTown is a mobile distributor of discounts for college students.
Space Sculpt offers affordable, high quality interior design solutions.
Symvato assists private practice physicians with security risk analysis.