4/5/12 – 43 Startup Firms Pitch their ideas at InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum

St. Louis, Mo., April 5, 2012… Some of the most promising emerging companies in the life sciences, technology and clean energy/sustainability fields are being showcased at the 13th annual InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum. Being held today at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark in downtown St. Louis, the 2012 InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum features 43 entrepreneurial growth companies, from eight states, whose representatives have spent the past several months preparing to share their business plans with an audience of the nation’s top venture capitalists, corporate and private investors, and investment bankers.

“The presenting companies have developed products and services that address many of the global issues making recent headlines, so there was much excitement heading into this year’s event,” said Chris Walsh, executive director of InvestMidwest, whose mission is to provide access to equity capital for emerging, privately held companies seeking venture funds from $1 million to $20 million.

Since its first forum in St. Louis in May 2000, InvestMidwest has helped generate over $850 million in investments and acquisitions for innovative growth companies. Because InvestMidwest is such a concentrated opportunity to meet with venture investors, many consider it the Midwest’s premier annual venture capital forum.

This year’s selected presenters include companies from Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin. The applicants were reviewed by a panel of experts, and the companies were selected based on their value, proposition, products/services, financial summaries, management teams and marketing strategies and opportunities.  Fifteen of the presenting companies are from St. Louis, and 10 are from the Kansas City area.

Among this year’s presenters are companies developing new drugs and medical devices that could dramatically impact the healthcare industry; companies driving the creation of affordable new energy sources, and businesses that are advancing technology to help protect identities, connect businesses and further mobile phone capabilities.

Examples of this year’s presenting firms include St. Louis-based Neurolutions, which has developed the IpsiHand, a device controlled by brain activity that offers immediate functional improvement in patients with upper extremity paralysis. The device utilizes a headset that wirelessly transmits EEG signals to a powered orthosis, which enables graded grasp and release upon thought by the patient. LilyPad EV, located in Overland Park, Kan., is helping to reduce our dependency on gasoline by building a national network of electric vehicle charging stations. The company is the exclusive distributor of Coulomb electric vehicle charging stations in Kansas and Missouri, selling approximately 90 percent of the public charging stations currently in existence in both states. Clayton, Mo.-based Norse Corporation has developed software that identifies in real time those IP addresses most likely to cause damage to a company’s network, defraud an online merchant or transmit confidential info to third parties. The core technology takes security intelligence data through millions of virtual agents and processes that raw information into data that is immediately available to clients that wish to block risky IP addresses.

As an additional highlight, the 2012 forum features presentations by two renowned speakers.  Dr. James Bullard, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, is serving as the breakfast speaker. Dr. Bullard was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Finance in 2011 by Treasury and Risk magazine. Jim McKelvey, a successful entrepreneur and co-founder of the mobile payment company Square, kicks off the luncheon program. Recognized for his work in creating Square and for his role as co-founder of Third Degree Glass Factory, the largest glass art education center in St. Louis, and founder of Mira, a digital publishing company, McKelvey will share insight on his experiences with these flourishing enterprises.

The 13th annual InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum is supported by a diverse group of public and corporate sponsors. Organizational sponsors include the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA), Missouri Venture Forum, KCSourceLink and The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, visit www.investmidwestforum.com or call 314.444.1151.


For more information, contact:

Pamela Powell. The Hauser Group, 314.436.9090

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