Mentors

Mentors are experienced entrepreneurs who have started, sold, or are actively running a sustainable company. We believe the best teachers are those who have been where new entrepreneurs want to go. We are currently confirming our 2020 mentors and below are some of the mentors already confirmed to teach a class.

Janna Westbrook

Founder and CEO of Provider Pool Co.

After a personal struggle with nurse burnout and talent acquisition challenges, Janna wanted to create an online labor marketplace connecting hospitals to nurses, on-demand. Janna then lead [Provider Pool] from idea stage to revenue generation in less than 6 months, securing investors, customers and top talent along the way. Prior to entrepreneurship, Janna functioned as a Registered Nurse and Nursing School Instructor. As a non-technical, tech founder, Janna can be found working downtown St. Louis in T-Rex or at her old space in the Capital Innovators office. 

Customer Development: March 19, 2020

Zoë Scharf

Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Greetabl

Zoë is the Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Greetabl. She is a brand and design expert with a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis. At Greetabl, Zoë focuses on the company’s vision, brand, digital and physical product, and marketing efforts. Previously, Zoë consulted startups, advising and implementing brand strategy, story and design. At her former position at XPLANE, she worked with Fortune 500 companies on simplifying complex ideas using visual thinking. 

Originally hailing from upstate New York, Zoë has made the Midwest her home, splitting time between St. Louis and Chicago. She is passionate about the role design plays in creating businesses, as well as enabling women to learn about entrepreneurial opportunities. 

Branding/Design: March 19, 2020

Ben Haefele

Co-Founder of Adalo

 

Product Design & Mobile Prototyping: March 26, 2020

Ryan O’Neil

Co-Founder of Curate

Ryan O’Neil bootstrapped his company into a multi-million dollar startup from scratch by hacking a WordPress theme into a web-app. He saw his wife slaving away at very complex wedding bids and manually creating 17 different files for every event that her wedding floral company did. Using $600 he won from a hackathon, he built the first version of Curate, the industry-leading application for event florists and caterers. After having miserably failed at a previous startup, he learned lessons of building lean and iterating based on users feedback. He’s now focused on building the best team in St. Louis and creating a scalable organization guided by core principles.

Product Design & Mobile Prototyping: March 26, 2020

Tyler King

CEO and Co-founder of Less Annoying CRM

In 2009, I started Less Annoying CRM with my brother. It was important to us to bootstrap the business (i.e. not raise money from any outside investors) so for the first few years, we were both working other jobs to pay the bills while we got LACRM off the ground. Around 2014 we had earned enough customers that it was time to start hiring employees, get an office, and otherwise do the things that real companies do. 

SaaS Metrics: April 16, 2020

Blake Marggraff

CEO at Epharmix

Blake Marggraff leads a company at the intersection of medicine and technology that helps dozens of health systems and payers support patients with chronic conditions. Blake works with skilled, driven entrepreneurs to build world-class teams that pursue impactful ideas. Previously, as a full-time student, Blake co-founded Betabox Labs, a company that has served >30 institutions and >10,000 students across the country. Connect with Blake on LinkedIn.

Pitch Decks & Presenting: April 30, 2020

John True

General Partner at Cultivation Capital

John is a General Partner at Cultivation Capital. John’s most recent operational experience was the SVP Field Operations at Guidewire, a leading enterprise software firm entering the public markets in 2012. In the 20 years prior to Guidewire, John held executive sales and general management positions at several category defining early stage technology companies: Fortify (acquired by HP), Equallogic (acquired by Dell), Ariba (Public and then acquired by SAP), and PTC (Public). Each of these companies produced top of the portfolio returns for the leading technology venture funds in the Silicon Valley and Boston. He currently serves on the board of various private software companies, including LLamasoft (Supply Chain Design), Agilis Systems (Internet of Things), Observable Networks (real-time big data security analytics), and SalesVue (Inside Sales Automation).

Equity & Funding: May 7, 2020