Tag: T-REx

Currently, apps are becoming one of the most important forms of digital interaction. Recent data demonstrates that Americans spend much more time on mobile devices, either on phone or tablet, than on any other type of media devices. For example, app analytics firm Flurry found that people spend at least two and a half hours per day on mobile devices, compared with the fact that merely half an hour is spent on print media. More interestingly, 80% of the mobile time is spent in apps.

Consumers use apps because they are  simple and convenient to use; businesses need apps because they provide unique sales, marketing, and communication opportunities.

However, the process of transferring a website to an app is always costly and time-consuming. Large companies are lucky enough to have abundant capital to hire top talent for developing and maintaining their apps. But small businesses, especially early-stage start-ups, do not have the necessary funds to to hire their own app developers. This is why the existence of Appnotch is so important to these small businesses. As a mobile app builder, Appnotch instantly transfers a business’ existing website into an app.  With the help from Appnotch, small businesses finally have an inexpensive and convenient way to reach new clients and expand their business.

We are very excited to be working with Appnotch this semester, as part of the Entrepreneur Consulting Team in collaboration with the Center for Experiential Learning.  Our team consists of students with diverse backgrounds, Kailey Dreyfus, BSBA; Erica Lasala, BSBA; Grace Han Velker, MBA; and Wei Zhu, JD. Our goal is to determine Appnotch’s target market and value proposition and identify a go-to-market strategy.

We will be putting together the estimated ROI metrics and customer scorecards to help evaluate potential customer’s success, their potential to continuously engage with Appnotch, and any upsell opportunities. We will be spending significant time evaluating end consumers’ needs and pivoting our value proposition to better address their pain points.

We believe this project will help Appnotch gain a better understanding of its potential market and how to better position itself in the market place. It has been an eye opening experience working hand in hand with a technology based start-up company, where our input will truly make a difference.  Experiencing the culture at T-REX has been an exciting opportunity, and we are looking forward to the solutions we will develop.

Guest Blogger: Erica Lasala

On Wednesday, February 10, I had the privilege of sitting with some of the most outstanding startup minds St. Louis has to offer. I was on a panel with LaunchCode’s Mark Bauer, Hatchbuck’s Don Breckenridge, and TopOPPS’ Ted Stann—the common links between them being that they have all found success building great startups, and their companies are St. Louis partner companies for Venture For America, a fellowship program for college grads looking to launch their careers as entrepreneurs.


We were lucky to have been selected by the CEL and Professor Holekamp to work as consultants for Swizzle, a new player in the influencer marketing industry. Swizzle hails from South Korea and has recently taken up residence in St. Louis at the T-Rex coworking space and technology incubator downtown. (more…)

By many accounts, the last few years have seen St. Louis rapidly transform into one of the most robust start-up scenes in the country. However, some of the terminology can be confusing for newcomers, especially the locations of where many early-stage companies are located. T-Rex, Cortex, TechArtista: what are people referring to when they throw these terms around? Read this article so your well-informed façade can last a little longer next time you’re talking to an entrepreneur in St. Louis.


Where does that name come from? When the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, the Regional Chamber and the City came together to form the Technology Entrepreneur Center (T.E.C.) they made their first home at the Old Railway Exchange. Hence: TEC + Railway Ex = T-REX.

Where is it? Downtown on the booming Washington Avenue.

T-Rex co-working space

T-Rex co-working space

What makes it special? The pricing schedule of Google Ad Words; the share of global capital owned by women; the different legal classifications of employees. Spend enough time in the co-working space at T-Rex, St. Louis’s most prominent startup hub, and you will learn all these things and more. Renowned for its collaborative environment, entrepreneurs in this space can gain skills and knowledge both from their neighbors and from scheduled lunch-n-learns, one example of the frequent programs run by the organizers of the space. Featuring more than 110 startups, 160,000 sq. ft and free pour-over coffee, T-Rex is for entrepreneurs who want to be at the heart of the startup scene. http://downtowntrex.com/


Where does that name come from? Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) is a nationally recognized organization of space and service providers for entrepreneurs based in Cambridge, MA. This is where it gets confusing. There are two separate but nearby CIC locations in St. Louis: CIC@4240 (named for its street address) and CIC@CET (named for the Center for Emerging Technology). Both are part of the Cortex Innovation Community, a vibrant 200-acre innovation hub and technology district (usually referred to simply as Cortex).

Where is it? The Central West End and Forest Park P arkway

What makes it special? Home to Venture Café, the exceptionally popular weekly gathering of entrepreneurs and professionals, and CIC is one of the cornerstones of the startup scene in St. Louis. Its proximity to Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital give it unparalleled access to significant research and technology resources. http://stl.cic.us/


Where does that name come from? A focus on less quirk and more style led this New-York based co-working space developer to choose a name that clearly shows it means business.

Where is it? Downtown on the booming Washington Avenue.

What makes it special? To differentiate from other co-working places that provide a place to sit and little else, Industrious defines itself as a social office and offers glass-walled private offices as well as communal work space. Amenities include gourmet daily coffee and snacks, beer on tap, and shared season Cardinals box seats. With an emphasis on sophistication, this space is not for workers who want to play ping pong; Industrious is for small businesses, growing startups and satellite corporate offices who mean business.  http://www.industriousoffice.com/locations/stlouis


Where does that name come from? TechArtista stems from the Italian soccer term “trequeartista”, which describes a playmaker whose creativity and technique helps score goals.

Where is it? The Central West End. Click on video above for a tour of TechArtista.

What makes it special? For entrepreneurs who live and breathe their business, TechArtista’s 13,500 square foot business and lifestyle ecosystem offers 24/7 access, private parking, two kitchens, laundry, a full gym, changing rooms, showers, private video-chat booths, and a large rooftop wood deck. The space also boasts one of the most tight-knit communities of pooled brainpower. In fact, TechArtista has an in-house designer, videographer and even an attorney that works with all the resident companies. http://www.techartista.org/


Where does that name come from? A project of Ignition Tank, Lab1500 takes its name from the address of its headquarters at 1500 Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis. The nearly 120 year-old building was rehabbed to capture the industrial yet rustic essence of the abandoned factory. Exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and intricate ceiling tiles make up just a few of the historic elements that were restored and combined with modern-day technology for a creative vibe.

Where is it? Downtown on the booming Washington Avenue.

What makes it special? Lab1500’s vision revolves around its principles of synergy, openness, and creativity. Members have the ability to work in different environments, including the traditional co-working space with communal areas and the relaxed and quiet lounge. The facility and its classroom are also available for members to rent for meetings, classes and events. Keep an eye on this collaborative space as it becomes an integral part of the startup scene in St. Louis. http://www.lab1500.com/#


Where does that name come from? Like a nebula is a collection of independent galaxies that come together to form something beautiful, Nebula brings different entrepreneurs together to produce innovation through collaboration.

Where is it? Cherokee Street’s Creative District

What makes it special? Nebula opened in 2010 as the first coworking space in St. Louis, providing workspace for independent contractors, small businesses, non-profits, and creative professionals looking for a place to build, create, develop, and collaborate. http://nebulastl.com/


As the number of social media users worldwide has entered the billions, a social media presence has become an important tool for companies to reach and interact with current and potential customers. As firms increase their social media activities, challenges arise that can undermine the value of a social media presence. For instance, managing accounts on multiple social media platforms and timing posts strategically can be time-consuming. In addition, businesses in regulated industries such as finance, insurance and healthcare face regulations regarding what they can say on social media and elsewhere. A tweet or Facebook post containing prohibited information can lead to fines and other penalties.

What Is the Solution?

The folks at Gremln recognize these challenges and are helping businesses and individuals streamline their social media efforts. Gremln’s social media management system allows users to optimize their social media activities by managing multiple accounts, creating scheduled posts, checking for impermissible disclosures, and more. Gremln offers multiple levels of its service to meet each customer’s needs and boasts generous free trials and outstanding customer service. And if the standard offerings are not enough, Gremln offers highly customized enterprise solutions that are tailored to a customer’s specific needs.

A central theme of the CELect program is that entrepreneurs are constantly looking to add value to their businesses. Gremln adds value for its customers by not only saving time with social media management, but also by catching prohibited posts before they become a costly mistake. Likewise, the Gremln CELect team seeks to add value to Gremln’s business by providing in-depth analysis of customer retention and upgrade behavior.

Our Interaction with Gremln

A week after the project kick-off presentation, we met back at T-Rex to sit down with Gremln’s founder, Ryan Bell, to determine where our efforts would best support Gremln’s goals. Throughout the meeting, we were all impressed by his dynamic disposition: welcoming, polished, approachable, informative, efficient, well-spoken—a perfect persona of the product. The following week we ran our plan of action by David Bell, Gremln’s Chief Marketing Officer. Together we refined our team’s objectives in terms of how we were going to collect our research, who we were researching, and the questions we will answer. Not only were we able to learn about Gremln from its architects, David and Ryan, but we were also able to observe, and in turn learn from their managerial styles, interpersonal skills, work ethics, and how they prioritize projects.

Our Project Objective

Gremln is interested in getting more basic users and trial users to subscribe to their paid solutions. Our goal is to improve this conversion rate.

How Will We Do It?

Our strategy for finding the holes in Gremln’s conversion tactics starts with interviews with current Gremln users, both free and premium. By sending out an email to Gremln’s current database of users we were able to easily access an audience that had an opinion on why or why not they decided to upgrade.

Our interviews consisted of questions ranging from uses of Gremln’s services, thoughts on their websites, and what uses Gremln does not include that could be of service to them. Compiling this data should lead to the holes in Gremln’s strategy. Plugging these holes then becomes the bulk of our strategy.

Post By: Mikey Parker, BSBA ’14, Ben Ryan, JD ‘14, Robin Schnitzer, BSBA ’15, and Marco Sotela, BSBA ’14, students in the CELect entrepreneurship course with Prof. Clifford Holekamp