uFab

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2022 | Status: Active

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What is uFab?

uFab is a St. Louis based company startup that is committed to changing how circuit boards are designed and fabricated. Modern circuit board designers face a plethora of challenges, from long lead times to unreliable supply chains. To solve these issues facing them, , uFab has developed a patent pending technology to fabricate circuit boards in a matter of hours, rather than days or weeks. Customers can reduce development time by months and focus on what matters most to them: creating new and interesting hardware.
Inventors and innovators are constantly seeking to change the status quo, but, taking their ideas from paper to reality can be challenging or sometimes feel impossible. uFab’s clients look to us to actualize their ideas, taking something from idea to reality without all the hassle. uFab helps clients through the entire development cycle using its tech, from planning to circuit board design, rapid prototyping to finalized design. Once completed, uFab often works with clients to strategize viable mass production options. Our clients have us focus on the technical, while they focus on what they do well in their business.

Company Leadership

Tyler Richards

founder

When Tyler was young, he had no doubt he was going to work with electronics. He would spend his free time building 3D printers from scraps, high vacuum chambers with items from Ebay, and restoring vintage electronics. Now, Tyler has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and his experience in industry ranges from music synthesizers to plant growth chambers. With his passion for inventing, Tyler always pursues new and interesting ways of making things, and wants to continue that as founder of uFab.

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The Fattened Caf

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2022 | Status: Active

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What is The Fattened Caf?

The Fattened Caf started through a series of game nights. It was a way for Darren to perfect his BBQ skills and a way for Charlene to introduce Filipino food to her STL community. Since then, it has grown into a pop up restaurant inside Earthbound Beer. At the height of the pandemic, Charlene and Darren had to figure out a way to pivot the business to stay afloat. They started working on a smoked longganisa recipe and packaging them for people to cook at home. It was a way for their customers to still get their Filipino food fix from The Fattened Caf in the comfort of their own home. When the opportunity came to put their packaged goods in Schnucks, they took the opportunity to get Filipino food on the shelves on mainstream grocery stores. Today they can also be found in Fresh Thyme City Foundry, United Provisions, and Old North Provisions.

Company Leadership

Charlene Bakunawa Young

co-founder & vp of operations

Charlene is a transplant to STL from Los Angeles, California. Before living in STL, she was in Melbourne Australia getting her Masters in International Relations from the University of Melbourne. She’s worked for the fundraising development field team of UNHCR, as a Policy Analyst for Project Respect, and then a Data Analyst here in STL. Since Sept 2020, she left full time work to pursue The Fattened Caf.
Charlene is a mom of 2 (3 year old and 8 month old). She considers STL her home and is empowered by all the Filipino American chefs in STL’s food scene. Even though her passion is still in humanitarian work, her mission through The Fattened Caf is to bring authentic Filipino food into grocery stores.
On her spare time, she loves to spend time with her family, Sunday family days, being outdoors, cleaning her home, and traveling.

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Darren Young

Co-founder & CEO

Darren Young is a transplant to STL from Santa Clarita, California. He has devoted over 16 years in non profit management and community development. He has a degree in Urban Missions. Currently, he is the Area Director of Young Life, a youth development and outreach program, in Saint Louis City. When he isn’t program planning and strategic thinking, Darren loves all things BBQ and is the grill master of The Fattened Caf. He enjoys recipe development and sausage making the most! Darren also enjoys feeding people. In his free time, he loves hanging out with his family, grilling for friends, and watching a great movie.On her spare time, she loves to spend time with her family, Sunday family days, being outdoors, cleaning her home, and traveling.

Peppermint

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2022 | Status: Active

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What is Peppermint?

Peppermint is a consumer healthcare brand that designs beautiful products for those with mobility challenges. Its first product is a walker unlike any other.

For the first time in US history, those over 65 years of age will out number those under 18. These are known as the “baby boomers” and they are very different than the generation before them. Among the many differences is their interest in “embracing” as opposed to “accepting” their age, and their focus on health and wellness.

The healthcare equipment category is filled with brands that force a feeling of being a patient instead of a person, and products that look like hospital furniture.

By reinventing what a brand and its products can look like for those with mobility challenges, Peppermint can help encourage people to embrace their season of life and better connect them with their loved ones, communities, and their health and wellness.

Company Leadership

Scott Bernstein

founder & cEO

Scott has dedicated much of his career to innovative businesses on both the investor and operator sides. Prior to founding Peppermint, Scott sat on the leadership teams of several startups including Freely Pet and Stix Golf.

Scott was also on the investment team at Lewis & Clark Ventures, a Series A stage VC firm, and managed operations for Capital Innovators.

Scott has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA in Economics from the University of Colorado Boulder.

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MOODEAUX

Origin: GA | Grant Awarded: 2022 | Status: Active

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What is MOODEAUX?

When the world commands you to shrink, we say do the opposite: Flaunt How You Feel.® As a clean fragrance label rooted in the scientific connection between scent, memory and emotion, MOODEAUX® turns accessorizing your mood into mindful self-care and “luxury” into a lifestyle —  all minus any harsh alcohol, weird chemicals or unnecessary dyes. It’s through this attitude, along with our unique blends of drool-worthy accords and skin-nourishing ingredients, we’re changing the game forever. Welcome to a new era in beauty.

Company Leadership

Brianna Arps

founder & cEO

Brianna Arps is a former editor-turned-marketing expert whose passion for people, storytelling and all things beauty finally led to the birth of her very own “brand-children” MOODEAUX® and Black In Fragrance.™ In the same way as her bold sense of style, Brianna wears her emotions like a badge of honor — navigating through life by the simple motto: Flaunt How You Feel.® A St. Louis native, she’s known as an outspoken, charismatic big thinker working to make the world around her better — starting with perfume. Brianna holds a bachelor’s degree from the world’s first School of Journalism seated at the University of Missouri.

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Flora

Origin: IL | Grant Awarded: 2022 | Status: Active

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What is Flora?

Flora was born from pains of horticultural hopelessness: Aabesh De, the Founder of Flora, was killing every single plant in his line of sight. The last straw was when his mother gave him a rose bush plant to babysit: The rose bush withered away in a week.

Aabesh was frustrated that there wasn’t an accessible, easier way to learn about houseplants and gardening, while connecting with other plant parents along the way. Surprised that there wasn’t a “heart monitor for your plants” in the market, started tinkering around with numerous moisture and light sensors in late 2020, and invented the Flora Pod.

He eventually developed the Flora iOS app for launch in July, 2021, which has now grown to more than 125,000 users from more than 190 countries! Flora has now grown to a talented, plant-obsessed, rock-star team of 30 individuals committed to one singular mission: To save as many plants as possible and commit to fighting the climate crisis through connecting millions of people with nature.

Company Leadership

Aabesh De

founder & cEO

A first-generation immigrant and globe-trotter, Aabesh is driven by a lifelong sense of curiosity.

He founded Flora from this applied curiosity, inventing the Flora Pod and developing the Flora iOS app from his frustrations with horticultural hopelessness. He taught himself mobile development (primarily in Swift), and found his calling in building useful, mission-driven products for thousands of people. He previously worked at Microsoft and Etsy, and is now dedicated to saving as many plants as possible and committed to fighting the climate crisis through connecting millions of people with nature.

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Rock The Score

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Rock The Score?

We report monthly rental payments to the Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA’s) and renters can slowly build a credit profile over time. In addition, we can report the past 24 months of payments and report that history on a credit report within 30 days! This creates a “seasoned” trade line that can provide a major boost to various scoring models. Higher credit scores create many opportunities for consumers, including lowering the cost of credit (lower interest rates on Auto Loans, Credit Cards), Reduced Insurance Premiums and the ability to qualify for a mortgage and purchase a home. Many employers also review credit profiles in the hiring and advancement process. Reporting Rent – Changing Lives!

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Company Leadership

Peter Wright

CEO – President

Over 25-Years of Mortgage Lending Experience which includes Credit Education & Credit Literacy Radio Host of “The Real Estate Radio Show” a nationwide podcast since 2012 Thru his passion for credit education Peter developed a data reporting company that creates alternative trade-lines for selected credit bureaus, these trade-lines also impact credit scores which is a game-changer in the industry and helps Renters across the country improve their credit profiles and increases credit scores as a result.

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Thomas Beck

COO

Operating a successful and profitable mortgage company for the past 28 years. Strive to educate and improve the lives of individuals and families across the Nation on the benefits of a positive credit outlook and the impact on their future. Radio Co-Host for 7 years educating the audience on Real Estate Trends, Mortgage Programs and beneficial ways of obtaining a new home. Satisfaction derived from the successes of homeowners and renters through financial education. Strong belief in Building Credit = Changing Lives!

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Optikal Care Inc.

Origin: GA | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Optikal Care Inc.?

Optikal is a subscription that breaks down the cost of an online vision test, contact lenses and contact care supplies into easy monthly payments; while delivering everything needed to your doorstep.

Company Leadership

SueAnn Hollowell

CEO/Co-Founder

SueAnn Hollowell serves as the CEO of Optikal. She is a second time founder that started her first business at 18 years old and grew it over 13 years. She holds a bachelor’s in Marketing from Clayton State University and MBA in Marketing from Mercer University. She has several years of marketing experience with companies like Kellogg’s, Chick-fil-A and UPS.

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Norman Stuart III

COO/Co-Founder

Norman Stuart III serves the COO of Optikal and holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Hampton University. Norman has over 8 years of experience in customer service, business operations and analytics from Verizon Wireless and more recently served as a healthcare analyst.

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We champion extraordinary entrepreneurs to create positive change – for St. Louis and for the world. Join us by applying to our Global Startup Competition, becoming a financial supporter, volunteering your time or amplifying our message.

Halo + Cleaver

Origin: CO/MO | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Halo + Cleaver?

Halo + Cleaver makes the most flavorful zero-added-sugar sauces on market. We clean up traditionally “dirty” sauces like BBQ sauce and Ketchup using naturally sweet ingredients like apples and pineapples in place of sugar or corn syrup. We are the only brand that uses Green Banana Flour in our Ketchup, a functional and upcycled ingredient with a unique sustainability story. All three of our products are Whole30 Approved, Keto Approved, gluten free, plant based, and non GMO. Halo + Cleaver is co-owned by St. Louis natives Matt Richard and Rob Garwitz who share a passion for clean eating. The company’s mission is to empower current and future generations to live long, healthy, and fulfilled lives.

Company Leadership

Matt Richard

co-Founder

Matt is a St. Louis native with a passion for natural foods. He is a food scientist by trade and spent years developing sauces and dressings for big brands like Panera Bread Company. Matt is also a competitive barbecue pit-master which inspired some of the recipes for Halo + Cleaver. He has his MBA from Olin Business School and an MS in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Rob Garwitz

co-Founder & CEO

Rob is a proud St. Louis native who shares Matt’s passion for natural foods. He started his career in sporting goods working for Nike, Inc. for six years in sales and marketing before pivoting to the food industry. Rob has his MBA from Olin Business School and serves as the CEO of the company. He has been married to his wife, Emilie, for 7 years and has two children, Eleanor (3) and Will (1).

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We champion extraordinary entrepreneurs to create positive change – for St. Louis and for the world. Join us by applying to our Global Startup Competition, becoming a financial supporter, volunteering your time or amplifying our message.

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Mavity

Origin: N.Y. | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Mavity?

Mavity is the end-to-end marketplace and collaboration tool that connects businesses with 11K+ creative professionals through a skill-quantification method and grouping them in highly effective, on-demand teams. We help businesses source and build teams, while helping creators with features to optimize their productivity including tax compliance, cross-border payouts, and project management tools. Mavity’s investors include Capital Innovators, Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition Fund, and MassChallenge.

Company Leadership

Tomas Uribe

co-Founder & CEO

Tomas Uribe is an entrepreneur and musician, co-founder and CEO of Mavity, the end-to-end marketplace and collaboration tool for on-demand creative teams. Tomas has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes and INC, and an invited speaker at SXSW, MusicBiz, Music Entrepreneur Conference at Harvard University, and Colombia 4.0. Prior to Mavity, he worked as a touring musician and composer, as well as with global brands including Radeberger Gruppe, Leica Camera, and at the United Nations.

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Juan Soto

VP, Sales and Marketing

Juan Soto is VP, Sales and Marketing at Mavity, and Director at AIR Artists in Residence Accelerator and has over 7 years of experience. At Universal Music Colombia, he was involved in the positioning of all Digster playlists on digital platforms to position international artists in the Andean region market. At Kuack Media Group, he directed the creation of applications such as Lola Music, Viva Bolivia, and D Music. He holds a BS in Economics and a masters’ in Digital Marketing.

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Kristian Diaz

co-Founder & CTO

Kristian Diaz has 15 years of technology experience, with a Master’s in Computer Science, and specialized in machine learning and artificial intelligence. He has built products at Royal Caribbean and Newsela, as well as CTO at an ad-tech startup in Miami, FL.

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Be a Part of the Movement

We champion extraordinary entrepreneurs to create positive change – for St. Louis and for the world. Join us by applying to our Global Startup Competition, becoming a financial supporter, volunteering your time or amplifying our message.