I’ve already written about why St. Louis is awesome, with all that the city has to offer in terms of exciting startups, great restaurants, free family-friendly activities and authentic, friendly people.
I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Today, my family and I will be moving to St. Louis.
Here are my goals as I hit the ground running in the Gateway City:
- Expand Upside in St. Louis. We already have a strong development team led by Brad Urani, our gallant Director of Engineering; I’m looking forward to building additional teams in St. Louis as our company continues to grow. LaunchCode has been a major part of our staffing success, but we’re also looking to bring on experienced team members as well. Interested, or know someone who might be? Let me know.
- Engage with Midwest-based investors and advisors. St. Louis is well-known for its strong ecosystem of investment advisory firms. There has also been a ton of recent coverage on the growing community of Midwest-based venture firms looking to invest in companies based in the region. Being in St. Louis will allow me to take more meetings in person and be present for serendipitous connections.
- Get involved with the St. Louis startup community. I’m looking forward to learning more about St. Louis-based startups and their teams. There are also a ton of interesting gatherings, happy hours and roundtables that I plan on attending and contributing to, including those focused on technology, marketing and entrepreneurship.
- Eat my way around St. Louis. I’m not talking about what St. Louis is “known for” — although I know enough about that to be dangerous: BBQ, toasted rav, provel, frozen custard, etc. — I’m talking about the rising tide of “serious” restaurants such as Blood and Sand, Brasserie, Elaia, Juniper, Farmhaus, Sidney Street and others. Send suggestions my way, please!
- Connect with friends—old and new. I was able to meet and befriend some incredible people the last time I was in St. Louis. I’m thrilled about the prospect of reconnecting with them as well as getting to know those I haven’t met yet. I’m serious—if you read this and want to meet, please reach out!
People have asked why I’m moving my entire family to St. Louis rather than schedule regular business trips out there. There are many reasons, but it’s primarily to establish a deeper and more lasting connection to a city that has given Upside so much already.
Being part of the inaugural class at SixThirty (the fintech accelerator helmed by Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square), creating a meaningful relationship with Cultivation Capital (who led our seed round) and building a strong St. Louis-based office have dramatically changed the course of our company. Upside would not be what it is today without having gone through our St. Louis experience.
That being said, San Francisco is also a big part of my Upside experience and while I’m thrilled to be working more closely with the St. Louis team, I’m going to miss being in the SF office every day. My co-founder Tom and I have a great dynamic together, and I know it will continue to evolve and grow as we work together remotely. My family is excited about embarking on this new adventure, but we’ll also miss all of our San Francisco friends and family.
Sometimes we need to make sacrifices for the things we love. In this case, I’m incredibly passionate about the company and I’m willing to go above and beyond to see it thrive.
We’re looking forward to hosting our friends and family in St. Louis, and we plan on being back in the Bay Area semi-regularly for both work and play, so I’ll be extremely cliché and say that this is “see you later” rather than goodbye.
See you later, San Francisco, and hello St. Louis!
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