Competition Committee

Glenn Campbell

Co-founded Hat World, Inc., currently comprised of the LIDS Sports Group, with over 1,000 retail locations throughout the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

John Daniel

Founded The John Daniel Family & Friends Investment Management, LLC (JDFF) in April 2008.

Chris Dittmer

Worldwide program leader of (SaaS) software-as-a-service, for a multi-billion dollar division of IBM software.

Tim Goodman

President, Benton Hill Investment Company. Former Chief Financial Officer, Health Services Corporation of America.

Dwain Hahs

President of Stonehenge Investments. Former President of International Businesses and Consumer Products, Bausch & Lomb.

Jeff Maurer

Co-founded Mayson Capital Partners, LLC, investing in privately-owned small and mid-market operating businesses and a related real estate portfolio.

Lori Miller
Lori Miller

Local entrepreneur working in the healthcare and legal industries. Former Vice President at Express Scripts.

Dr. James Stapleton

Entrepreneur, Certified Lean Startup Coach, Nationally Recognized Entrepreneurship Educator and Developer, and Co-founder of Codefi, LLC.

Joseph Walter

Principal at Granite Pier Capital, LLC and Pine Tree Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investment in and active expansion of small cap companies.

Dennis Vinson

President/CEO of Signature Packaging &
Paper, LLC – an award-winning,
full-service manufacturer of corrugated
packaging and displays – founded in 2003.

Bill Anderson

Acting Executive Director of Missouri
Technology Corporation – created by the
Missouri General Assembly to promote
entrepreneurship & high-tech companies.

Kyle Shaffar 1ST50K Competition Committee
Kyle Shaffar

VP, Software Engineering for Vizient, Inc., a healthcare performance improvement company focused on enhancing financial and operational systems for providers.

Tom Schumer

Former VP of SureDecisions, Inc., a multi-million dollar healthcare software provider that merged with Accretive Health in 2006. Currently Director of SEMO Catholic Campus Ministry.

What Do You Get?

The Competition Committee makes yearly investment recommendations to Traverse Ventures, a local venture capital fund focused on formative stage ventures. With the support of the Missouri Technology Corporation, 1ST50K makes $50,000 cash grants available to the most promising applicants in the competition.

Recipients receive award packages including a variety of business development support services, membership at Codefi, formal introductions and access to a broad network of successful entrepreneurs along with the $50,000 grant.

Recipients are also provided access to venture capital and angel investment networks, professional and high level business mentorship, personal introductions to strategic business leaders, social support and community integration services, and inclusion as part of a community of innovative entrepreneurs.

Well-positioned participants in the competition may also be eligible for immediate or follow-on equity or debt investments from Traverse Ventures and other strategic private investors.

Who Should Apply?

1ST50K is looking for innovative technologies, products, or services, driven by scalable business models with regional, national or international impact. We seek to attract entrepreneurs who are already located in Cape Girardeau OR are willing to relocate here.

Basing your business in Cape Girardeau is a prerequisite for receiving a grant. Our network of entrepreneurs, partners and business leaders are investing their time and resources in making the Cape Girardeau startup scene even stronger.

1ST50K Startup Competition is an industry-agnostic competition. Our focus is on supporting businesses that are innovative and scalable, regardless of the industry.

How Does it Work?

Teams submit their applications to the f6s 1ST50K page. Applications must be completed fully and teams must agree to locate to Cape Girardeau for at least one year if selected as a grant recipient to be eligible.

Eligible applications are entered into a round where the initial reviewing is completed by three to five of our judges. The pool is narrowed for Skype/phone interviews and from there down to a group that is selected by our competition committee to be invited to Pitch Day.

The Committee bases their decisions on the innovation of the product, technology, or service; product-market fit; the scalability of the business model; the total impact; qualities and coach ability of the team; well-understood and defined problem; and 1ST50K impact.

Finalists are invited to personally pitch their startups to the Competition Committee. Teams are asked to attend Marquette TechFest to showcase their startups and then Pitch Day is the next day at the end of Marquette TechWeek.

The pitches are slide deck presentations to a group of 10-15 individuals, closed to the public. Each applicant will have 30 minutes in total – 10 minute pitch and 20 minutes of Q&A.

The committee deliberates, completes their due diligence, and award winners are typically announced within two weeks. Applicants not selected as awardees from one round may use the feedback they have received to reapply for the next.

Submit Your Application

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Business Name

Short Description

Business Model