Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
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  • Startup Success Outside of Silicon Valley
    When you think of technology, innovation, or startups, the first place that comes to your mind is probably Silicon Valley, and rightfully so. Successful tech titans like Google and Apple have glorified and showcased the advantages and successes of having a company located in Silicon Valley close to top talent, capital, and resources.   Over the years, however, Silicon Valley has become saturated w...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
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New blog articles detected.

  • Leveraging Uncertainty: An Asset for Startups
    It’s understandable to fear uncertainty, yet we deal with it in almost every aspect of both our professional and personal lives, especially as entrepreneurs. Starting a business is a risky undertaking, for good reason– after all,  even with venture backing 75% of startups will still fail– and a great deal of that stress and fear comes from factors beyond our control. All successful businesses have...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
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New blog articles detected.

  • Announcing the 2017 Ameren Energy Accelerator Cohort
    The Ameren Accelerator is a first partnership of its kind in the U.S. through a unique public and private connection with a public corporation, a university system, and an accelerator program. Leading this program are Ameren Corporation, UMSL Accelerate, University of Missouri System, and Capital Innovators. The program received over 200 applications coming from 31 countries and 23 U.S. states. Ou...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
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New blog articles detected.

  • Cracking Computer Vision
    Breakthroughs made in artificial intelligence over the past few years have allowed automation to spread into a number of new fields, from manufacturing all the way to asset management and investment banking. You’ve probably even read news articles written by a computer without even noticing. Yet while a number of unexpected tasks are well suited for computers to accomplish, there are still process...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
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New blog articles detected.

  • Net Neutrality: An Explainer
    The debate over net neutrality is extremely complicated. It involves everyone from gigantic companies like Comcast and Google all the way down to the countless individuals who access the web on a daily basis. Advocates for the cause often claim that the tenant of net neutrality is absolutely core to the internet as we know it today, while their opponents would say current regulations are inefficie...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
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New blog articles detected.

  • Breaking Down the Blockchain: Making Sense of Bitcoin and Ethereum
    Over the past month a number of popular cryptocurrencies have skyrocketed in value, bringing the words Bitcoin and Ethereum into the spotlight. In fact, May of 2017 saw both BTC and ETH set multiple record highs and– perhaps more impressively in the world of cryptocurrencies– both have been able to maintain strong valuations and continue to grow since these peaks. While cryptocurrencies may look l...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Breaking Down the Blockchain: Making Sense of Bitcoin and Ethereum
    Over the past month a number of popular cryptocurrencies have skyrocketed in value, bringing the words Bitcoin and Ethereum into the spotlight. In fact, May of 2017 saw both BTC and ETH set multiple record highs and– perhaps more impressively in the world of cryptocurrencies– both have been able to maintain strong valuations and continue to grow since these peaks. While cryptocurrencies may look l...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • The Startup Guide to Understanding Product/Market Fit
    American entrepreneur and co-founder of Netscape, Marc Andreessen, once stated that the only thing that matters is getting to product-market fit. While achieving product-market fit is absolutely imperative to the success of a startup, many great products fail because they never find the correct market and therefore miss out on sales. Similarly, a many companies that have tailored their product per...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • The Popularity of Convertible Notes and What It Means for Founders
    When you’re getting ready to raise your first round of seed funding, you must entertain this question: should I price my company now and issue preferred equity, or use a convertible note and delay the valuation? Over the last few years, an increasing number of founders have gone with the latter.Sometimes, depending on the investor, you may not have a choice. Regardless, it’s critical to have a bas...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
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New blog articles detected.

  • Welcome to Capital Innovators, Spring Cohort of 2017!
    Didn’t have a chance to swing by Venture Cafe last night to meet the startups and entrepreneurs joining our spring cohort? No worries--we’re here to do a quick virtual introduction!From fitness to ed tech to cookie-dough, we are ecstatic to add these six companies to the Capital Innovators portfolio and watch them grow in the coming months.Get to know them and learn about how they will impact thei...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Our 7 Favorite Takeaways from 500 Startups' Marketing Hell Week
    Didn’t get a chance to catch 500 Startups’ Marketing Hell Week last week?  Do not fear--we tuned in to the livestreams remotely and are excited to share our favorite takeaways with you!From copywriting to SEO to pricing strategy...this program truly included a wealth of content.  We could fill an entire book (or two....or three) on everything we learned during the sessions.But, instead, we picked ...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
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New blog articles detected.

  • Driving Top-Line Efficiencies Through Sales/Marketing Alignment
    Many companies often view marketing and sales as two distinct departments, however, the two share the objective to increase revenue through obtaining clients.  Traditionally, the marketing team is responsible for generating leads by producing content to attract potential customers, while the sales team then converts those leads into clients.  Both departments are most effective at driving revenue ...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
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New blog articles detected.

  • The Art of the Equity Split
    The importance of the initial equity split among founders is often learned too late by first-time founders.  Once you find your cofounders (assuming you aren’t in this one alone), it can be tempting to push off the equity talk as long as possible.It’s uncomfortable.  Entrepreneurs might assume a formal negotiation is not worth the risk of upsetting other founders--especially if the team has yet to...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Tech Twitter: Why You Should Join the Conversation
    Social media is an integral aspect of most marketing strategies, but with an increasing number of these platforms, how should entrepreneurs best allocate their time?Valuable content exists on how to advertise a product or service and improve customer service via engagement on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.However, advertising or customer satisfaction will not be discussed in this post. Rather,...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 101
    Any avid reader of TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, or another similar news source inevitably runs into these terms.Hundreds of startups currently claim to solve problems with artificial intelligence-powered technology, and 54 artificial intelligence startups were funded in 2015--a staggering jump from the mere seven AI startups funded in 2011 (CB Insights).Artificial intelligence and machine ...
  • The New Era of Venture Capital: How Early Stage Investors and the Global Investment Environment are changing the VC World
    Venture capital funding is changing: moving from growth stage to seed stage; moving from Silicon Valley to across the globe.  As such, the old world of venture capital, committing to a concentrated number of companies that account for the majority of venture capital value creation, has evolved drastically. Between 1995 and 1999, an average of 83 companies accounted for value creation in the top 10...
  • A Primer on the Benefits of Microservices
    Applications operating on microservice architecture (microservices) have recently grown in popularity amongst developers, especially when constructing large enterprise applications.  What is 'microservices' exactly?  According to Sequoia Capital, Microservices is an approach to building software that shifts away from large monolithic applications toward small, loosely coupled and composable autono...
  • Entrepreneurs Make Holiday Shopping Easy
    Holiday shopping isn’t so bad when you have a variety of unique products to choose from.  Support the creators of these products with us and “shop startup” this season as you complete your holiday shopping!Below, you will find a short list of gift ideas from a few startups in the Capital Innovators’ portfolio.  From organic dog treats to the ability to build your own video game, there is something...
  • No Coding Necessary: Tools that Help Non-Technical Entrepreneurs Create Successful Tech Companies
    “Whether a founder has a technical background or not, the opportunity to turn a great idea into a business is becoming a global phenomenon,” said Jared Lindzon.With Millennials and Gen Z on the rise, the wave of technological advances and business trends highlight the important role that technology plays in the modern age.  Today, it is nearly impossible to be an entrepreneur without having a cert...
  • Navigating Due Diligence: What Entrepreneurs Should Know When Raising Funding
    The executive summary and the investor pitch deck are ready to go, and you are about to embark on the challenging, yet fundamental journey of raising money from professional investors. Before you get started, there are a few important concepts you should know about navigating the “due diligence” process.What exactly is due diligence, anyway?Essentially, due diligence is the investor’s process of v...
  • From Bootstrap to Unicorn – A Founder’s Perspective
    The goal of most startup founders embarking upon a new venture is to build an impactful company with a valuation in excess of one billion dollars.  Colloquially known as “unicorns,” these startups have been especially venerated by the entrepreneurial community.The road that founders must take in order to move from being one of the thousands of startups with these lofty aspirations to actually real...
  • Critical Ecosystem Factors and the Rise of the Midwest
    In the last two decades, the advance of the internet and cloud computing have substantially lowered the cost of starting new ventures.  As a result, there has been an explosion in the number of software companies being started.  These startups have spurred economic growth and innovation in the cities in which they are established.  While most startups were previously located near Venture Capitalis...
  • Crowdfunding Platforms – Equity Versus Rewards-Based
    Millions upon millions of people every month go to Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, two ‘Rewards-Based’ crowdfunding platforms, where donors give money to those looking to start a business or create a product.  In return, these donors hope for an early version of whatever product the company is planning to make or some other kind of reward for their contribution.In plain terms, the true difference betwe...
  • The Founder's Mentality
    It is a well-known fact that an entrepreneur is a rare type of person.  With the large risk, comes reward, and whether the reward comes from privilege, control, novelty, the pursuit of happiness, or strictly financial, there is an incredible amount of personal and societal benefit to starting companies.  However, along with the rewards of launching a successful company also comes a tremendous weig...
  • Financial Metrics for Startups
    In a recent article from Capital Innovators, we spoke of the importance of creating a scalable business model and the difficulty of staying power, with great products, in the midst of steep competition.  Monetizing the concept and revenues are highly important, but it is also important to understand how a startup is going to get there and what is needed to keep a company afloat during the early st...
  • Moneyball Investing in Venture: Keys to Success
    “People in both fields operate with beliefs and biases. To the extent you can eliminate both and replace them with data, you gain a clear advantage.” - Michael Lewis, MoneyballMoneyball is a Major League Baseball strategy focusing on numbers and statistical analysis rather than raw power.  Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s used this strategy in the to go far in the 2002 playoffs with a salary ~63% l...
  • Introducing the Capital Innovators Fall 2016 Class
    Capital Innovators is excited to announce the companies selected for its Fall 2016 Cohort.  This will be the 11th program held in St. Louis since the Fund's inception in 2010.Of the hundreds of applications received, 90% of the companies that made it to the final rounds were from outside the state of Missouri and 20% were international.  This is a positive sign that our brand recognition is spread...
  • Ballparking Business Opportunities – Calculating TAM
    After identifying a problem area and a solution, knowing how big a market is seems like a logical next step.  After all, you have to make sure enough people want a solution to make it worth pursuing, right?  This sounds easy enough, but now you might be unsure how big this market is, what the overall economic opportunity will be, or who the core market that could utilize this new product/service r...
  • What is “Grit” and Why is it Imperative to Success as an Entrepreneur
    The Navy Seals have a saying that when your mind tells you you’re done, you’re really at 40% capacity. In other words, you’ve hit your wall at 40% effort and yet there’s capacity for 60% more.  How is that possible?  World renown author and cognitive psychologist Angela Duckworth believes she has the explanation. A disciple of the trait “grit,” Duckworth specializes in the topic and defines the co...
  • The Value of Business Mentors
    Throughout the years, most of us have had some form of guidance to help navigate the world around us.  Entrepreneurs who decide to forge their own way and leave a trail are no different.  Especially in the case of startups, where the outcome is uncertain, the failure rate is high, and few truly understand the stresses of running a company.  “Finding the Right Business Mentor is Value Squared” – Fo...
  • The Importance of a Scalable Business Model
    There are some really cool products out there.  Thanks to the evolution of technology, it has never been more affordable to build new MVP's and try out new merchandise.The problem with new products is that they don't always work.  I'm sure everyone as heard about Consumer Goods giant Coors Brewing Co. bottled water product launched in 1990.  You mean a beer company made bottled water too?  How did...
  • Understanding a New Market: The Basics
    As a startup founder, identifying the core market for your product or service and taking a deep dive into your research is a pivotal step before committing to a new venture.  The knowledge gained by understanding the market segment you plan to play in will assist you in identifying your end-users, how your product or service will address their needs, and how you can earn a profit for the company a...
  • The Approach | Search for Investors
    Raising capital for your company can be a daunting experience, and taking the right steps will ensure that you are creating meaningful partnerships from the start. Before entrepreneurs begin their hunt for capital, they’ll need to learn and understand “the game” in fundraising.  Once you understand this game, your chances of getting capital and being successful will increase. In addition to having...
  • Behind the Scenes of Tech Unicorns
    They’re called “unicorns”—private companies valued at $1 billion or more.  According to CB Insights, there were 146 private tech companies valued at that level—more than twice the number a year earlier.  Throughout the history of the tech industry, companies veered towards an IPO as soon the opportunity presented itself.  This was the main way for private investors and employees to exit, provide l...
  • Accelerating the Midwest
    As startup accelerators grow worldwide, startup founders are starting to ask themselves the same question: Is applying to a startup accelerator worth it?  When starting a company, it is a well known fact that the risk is substantial with 90% falling victims to competition.  Thus, it is important stress how valuable taking the right steps are early on in order to succeed.  There has been, and will ...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • A Primer on the Benefits of Microservices
    Applications operating on microservice architecture (microservices) have recently grown in popularity amongst developers, especially when constructing large enterprise applications.  What is 'microservices' exactly?  According to Sequoia Capital, Microservices is an approach to building software that shifts away from large monolithic applications toward small, loosely coupled and composable autono...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Entrepreneurs Make Holiday Shopping Easy
    Holiday shopping isn’t so bad when you have a variety of unique products to choose from.  Support the creators of these products with us and “shop startup” this season as you complete your holiday shopping!Below, you will find a short list of gift ideas from a few startups in the Capital Innovators’ portfolio.  From organic dog treats to the ability to build your own video game, there is something...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • No Coding Necessary: Tools that Help Non-Technical Entrepreneurs Create Successful Tech Companies
    “Whether a founder has a technical background or not, the opportunity to turn a great idea into a business is becoming a global phenomenon,” said Jared Lindzon.With Millennials on the rise, the wave of technological innovation and business trends highlight the important role that technology plays in the modern age.  Today, it is nearly impossible to be an entrepreneur without having a certain amou...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Navigating Due Diligence: What Entrepreneurs Should Know When Raising Funding
    The executive summary and the investor pitch deck are ready to go, and you are about to embark on the challenging, yet fundamental journey of raising money from professional investors. Before you get started, there are a few important concepts you should know about navigating the “due diligence” process.What exactly is due diligence, anyway?Essentially, due diligence is the investor’s process of v...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • From Bootstrap to Unicorn – A Founder’s Perspective
    The goal of most startup founders embarking upon a new venture is to build an impactful company with a valuation in excess of one billion dollars.  Colloquially known as “unicorns,” these startups have been especially venerated by the entrepreneurial community.The road that founders must take in order to move from being one of the thousands of startups with these lofty aspirations to actually real...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Ballparking Business Opportunities – Calculating TAM
    After identifying a problem area and a solution, knowing how big a market is seems like a logical next step.  After all, you have to make sure enough people want a solution to make it worth pursuing, right?  This sounds easy enough, but now you might be unsure how big this market is, what the overall economic opportunity will be, or who the core market that could utilize this new product/service r...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Critical Ecosystem Factors and the Rise of the Midwest
    In the last two decades, the advance of the internet and cloud computing have substantially lowered the cost of starting new ventures.  As a result, there has been an explosion in the number of software companies being started.  These startups have spurred economic growth and innovation in the cities in which they are established.  While most startups were previously located near Venture Capitalis...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Crowdfunding Platforms – Equity Versus Rewards-Based
    Millions upon millions of people every month go to Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, two ‘Rewards-Based’ crowdfunding platforms, where donors give money to those looking to start a business or create a product.  In return, these donors hope for an early version of whatever product the company is planning to make or some other kind of reward for their contribution.In plain terms, the true difference betwe...
  • The Founder's Mindset
    It is a well-known fact that an entrepreneur is a rare type of person.  With the large risk, comes reward, and whether the reward comes from privilege, control, novelty, the pursuit of happiness, or strictly financial, there is an incredible amount of personal and societal benefit to starting companies.  However, along with the rewards of launching a successful company also comes a tremendous weig...
  • Financial Metrics for Startups
    In a recent article from Capital Innovators, we spoke of the importance of creating a scalable business model and the difficulty of staying power, with great products, in the midst of steep competition.  Monetizing the concept and revenues are highly important, but it is also important to understand how a startup is going to get there and what is needed to keep a company afloat during the early st...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Moneyball Investing in Venture: Keys to Success
    “People in both fields operate with beliefs and biases. To the extent you can eliminate both and replace them with data, you gain a clear advantage.” - Michael Lewis, MoneyballMoneyball is a Major League Baseball strategy focusing on numbers and statistical analysis rather than raw power.  Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s used this strategy in the to go far in the 2002 playoffs with a salary ~63% l...
Capital Innovators
Capital Innovators
Blog Post

New blog articles detected.

  • Introducing the Capital Innovators Fall 2016 Class
    Capital Innovators is excited to announce the companies selected for its Fall 2016 Cohort.  This will be the 11th program held in St. Louis since the Fund's inception in 2010.Of the hundreds of applications received, 90% of the companies that made it to the final rounds were from outside the state of Missouri and 20% were international.  This is a positive sign that our brand recognition is spread...

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