SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION SYMPOSIUM
Forging a Strong, Equitable Path in Innovation and Inclusion
The planning committee will not be hosting Vision in 2022. However, you can still view past Vision content on this website. We also encourage you to support other great St. Louis ecosystem events and stay connected to other entrepreneurs and community leaders.
8:30 AM: Registration and Breakfast
9:00 AM: Opening Speaker
Rebeccah Bennett, Emerging Wisdom, LLC
10:00 AM: Business Development Roundtables
New/Existing Business Owners (Business is 1-3 years old)
Minority & Woman Business Enterprise Certification
Lus Rondón-Haberberger, LUZCO Technologies, LLC
Jacinta Witherspoon, Women's Business Development Center
Starting a business is tough and any additional paperwork and certification can be daunting, but don't miss out on the benefits that can come with being a certified minority or woman business enterprise. Join the discussion to gain tips and best practices to get certified.
Steps To Strong Sales
Kristie Jones, Sales Acceleration Group
Tami Lange, Save the Girls
Do you know how to reach your potential customers and convert those connections to revenue? Understanding key information such as where their “eyes” are and how customers make purchasing decisions allows you to smartly deploy an often limited pool of marketing and sales resources and create strong internal processes in your company to support this vital area.
Data Driven Decision-Making
Jean Roberson, 2e Creative
Tara Kinney, Atomic Revenue
As you grow your business it is important to understand the key performance metrics and other data that can help you make informed decisions about raising capital, lead generation, sales conversions, productivity, product development, staffing, and a number of other mission-critical decisions. This discussion will help you think about what information matters to the health and profitability of your business.
Building & Developing Your Bench: Workforce Talent
Bing Dempewolf, TAI-CHI Consulting
Sandra Bier, Insperity
Your company's greatest asset is talent. Come discuss human resource strategies and guidelines around hiring, staffing, training and building a solid workforce.
Keep The Money Train Rolling: Sources of Capital
Jeff Gamble, Rezilient
Shawna Collier, Justine Peterson
You were able to fund your business to launch but now what? How do you continue to find sources of capital to fund your business? Learn about community resources available to help you access additional capital and hear from an entrepreneur with firsthand experience in funding his startup.
Building A Well Oiled Machine: Systems & Operations
Shequana Hughes, The SAVA Group, LLC
Daniel Olert, Tallyfy
Have you heard the phrase, "No need to reinvent the wheel"? What about, "Time is money"? As an entrepreneur, creating well defined systems and standard operating procedures can help your company run efficiently and cost effectively. This roundtable will offer peer learnings to help you implement systems into your business providing more structure and success.
The Power of the Business Model Canvas
Quentin Ortega, ITEN
Christy Maxfield, Purpose First Advisors
Have you been told you need to “do a canvas” for your new startup company, but you’re not sure how to start? Or you’ve been using the Canvas, but you’re not sure you’re getting the most out of the process? Join this roundtable to discuss how this powerful tool can be used to outline and communicate your business model, and give you a framework to test your assumptions, leading to a more efficient business validation process.
Defining Your Company Culture
Judy Ryan, LifeWork Systems
Bijal Desai-Ramirez, The Peepul Tree
What is company culture and how does it affect your business? Start up company culture is driven in large part by the founder. Join this conversation with company culture experts to learn how focusing on company culture from the beginning sets the tone for company success for years to come.
Financial Operations 101
Diego Abente, IISTL
Lynette Watson, MO Small Business Development Center
Understanding how to create basic financial statements, and knowing what they are telling you about the health of your company is important for any new business owner or startup founder. Come hear from the experts and bring your questions so your new venture begins from a position of financial strength.
The Many Paths to Funding your Company
Phillip Sangokoya, BRAND of St. Louis
Mary Louise Helbig, ITEN
Finding the capital to launch and grow your business can be a complicated and stressful process. From venture capital to bank loans to grants to “bootstrapping” to revenue—learn more about the options that are best for your business and how to prepare for the conversations to make the journey as successful as possible.
Navigate the Legal Documents and Steps to Launching Your Business
Mike LaBozzetta, Faro Law, LLC
Lakesha Mathis, St. Louis Regional Chamber
Don't let the legal documents overwhelm you. Join the conversation to discuss common legal issues for startups and understand how to manage legal forms, formation documents, and other key legal documents for early stage companies from NDAs to IP.
Libraries: The Hidden Resource Gem for those Launching a Business
Jamie Kleinsorge, University of Missouri
Mel Lambert, St. Louis County Library
“Useful, reliable and free”—three words that can be used to describe the plethora of information available at the library for those starting businesses. From market research, to industry reports to key databases to librarians trained to navigate it all, learn how to access these free and impactful resources available in our community.
11:30 AM: Ideation/Reflection
11:45 AM: One-On-One Coaching with Community Resource Navigators
Christy Maxfield, Alex Bartley, Darcella Craven, Christian Johnson, Tim Williams, Hayley Johnston, Sherita Love, Marc Bowers, Chavelle Patterson, Maximilianah Zales, Caitlin Jones
Schedule time with an Ecosystem Navigator to get the most out of your time at Vision and leave ready to take next steps to advance your business RIGHT NOW! After participating in the morning business development sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to immediately put your new insights into action while working with a Navigator. Be prepared to give your 30-second pitch to help your Navigator understand your business and the 1-2 things you want/need help with now. Then, use the Navigator Checklist from this one-on-one session to help you identify high-value connections to make after the conference.
12:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM: Afternoon Opening Speaker
Dr. April Warren-Grice
1:30 PM: Self Care Business Strategies
Networking for Introverts
LaShana M. Lewis, L. M. Lewis Consulting
Introverts unite! At home...alone...online! Thank goodness for social media, amiright?! Come learn how to get your business and ideas out there without having to attend networking events every night of the week. Explore how to bring your whole, true self to what you're doing, share your own tips and tricks, and learn from others who think, meet, and learn in similar ways.
The Gift of "Yes, and" (Improv games for entrepreneurs)
Colleen Mulvihill, Well Beings, LLC
Rene Serot, Well Beings, LLC
What does it mean to "Yes, and..." an idea or a statement? Let's explore some fun Improv games to help unlock your creative side, think faster on your feet, connect better with and support others, and be more adaptable! We'll have some fun! And, no worries--you won't be asked to perform--but rather, just relax and play a little!
A Healthy Mind, Body & Business
DeAnthony Moore, HD Fitness, Midwest Fitness Management
Running a business requires a sound body and mind. How you engage your body and what you eat have a huge impact on the amount of energy you have throughout the day. Many people understand this connection, but finding the right balance is key. Learn of the importance of Fitness and Nutrition as it relates to maintaining a healthy business.
Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Self-Confident.
Aimee Muirnin Dunne, The Coras Group
As entrepreneurs, we face plenty of external obstacles every day, but our biggest challenges can come from within. Women and people of color often suffer from "impostor syndrome," feeling as if we don't have the experience or qualifications to be an expert. We even tell on ourselves when we dodge a compliment or say we "don't know what we're doing." Entrepreneurs have to take risks and face failure. How can you embrace your story, be proud of your skills, and own what you're good at, all the while building the confidence to grow your business?
Just Breathe: Chair Yoga Basics
Eileen Cheong, Elemental Integrated Healing Arts Designs
We're here to help you Chairish your Me-Time, no matter where you are! The growing popularity and influence of meditative practices such as yoga and meditation have made way for everyone to take part. Come learn how yoga can benefit entrepreneurs and small business owners and try out some chair-based yoga that you can replicate in the office or on the go!