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Regional symposium focuses on entrepreneurial and acquisition opportunities

From Illinois Business Journal news services

ST. LOUIS – A trio of business-bolstering organizations has come together to offer VISION 2015, a one-day event to educate and engage women, minorities, veterans, immigrants and others on career and entrepreneurial opportunities in bioscience, IT and advanced manufacturing.

The three are BioSTL, ITEN and St. Louis Makes.

VISION 2015, “Growing Industries, New Opportunities, Find Your Fit,” will be held Friday, June 12, at Harris-Stowe State University. The event will feature diverse entrepreneurs, professionals, support organizations, start-up organizations and corporations and speakers highlighting the growing bioscience, information technology and advanced manufacturing industries and the new opportunities being created.

The event includes:

• Innovation Showcase – highlights the innovations of new entrepreneurs and innovators within existing corporations

• Community Connections Marketplace – where attendees can meet potential funders, higher education leaders, training resources and support groups

• The Dolphin Tank- where experienced and aspiring entrepreneurs can deliver a two-minute elevator pitch about their idea, product, challenge or business and receive thoughtful feedback. It is to be hosted by Springboard Enterprises, a resource hub of entrepreneurs, investors and advisors that help women-led technology and life science companies reach their next milestone.

“VISION 2015 is the first event of its kind in our region to highlight the entrepreneurial, intrapreneurial, and acquisition opportunities at the intersection of these growing industries,” explained Dr. Cheryl Watkins-Moore, director of bioscience and entrepreneurial inclusion for BioSTL. “Through this event we are connecting women, minorities, veterans, immigrants and other interested individuals to resources and opportunities in these growing industries to help them find their fit.”

“Bridging the diversity gap in the St. Louis startup ecosystem is not something one single organization can tackle alone,” said Jim Brasunas, executive director of ITEN. “ITEN is delighted to collaborate with BioSTL and St. Louis Makes to promote the development of an innovative and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

More than 300 professionals are expected, and registration is under way.

Find out more at

About BioSTL

BioSTL nurtures a collaborative environment, and focuses community leadership and resources, to capitalize on the unique convergence of St. Louis’ corporate, university, and entrepreneurial strengths in medical and plant bioscience. Visit for additional information. Follow BioSTL on twitter @BioSTL.

About ITEN

ITEN ( provides a foundational system for entrepreneurs to work together toward building strong startups and a vibrant tech ecosystem. It requires neither payment nor equity. Follow ITEN on Twitter at and Facebook

About St. Louis Makes

St. Louis Makes helps manufactured products businesses grow their sales. We are a private nonprofit corporation in public service to the manufacturing industry.

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