January 3, 2014

The St. Louis Business Journal 

by Brian Feldt

The St. Louis startup community took great pride in having a good 2013. They’re hoping 2014 will be even better. All signs point to that happening. But several things will have to happen first.

Here are five storylines to keep your eye on in 2014, as St. Louis continues on its path toward becoming a national tech hub

1. How will entrepreneurs handle the new regulations of the JOBS Act?

As the Business Journal has previously reported, startup owners — in St. Louis and across the country — haven’t warmed up to new rules that allow them to generally solicit for capital.

Most of entrepreneurs’ trepidation is chalked up to confusion on what the new rules mean for their business. For some, it’s just that they are more comfortable using traditional means of raising capital — friends and family, angel networks, accelerator programs and venture funds.

People like Joe Schlafly, senior vice president and director of private markets at Stifel, and Andrew Hoyne, a Polsinelli lawyer who represents several life science and technology-based companies, believe the new regulations could help pump millions of dollars more into the startup ecosystem. But success stories are vital to that process.

“The biggest benchmark will be when a company understands this and takes the first step and sees success,” Schlafly said. “The gates will open when companies actually start to do it.” 

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