In front of a crowd of nearly 300 in St. Louis at the first annual Startup Voodoo conference for Midwest startups and entrepreneurism, Chicago-based technology startup Learncore was named the Startup Voodoo “Most Promising” early-stage Midwest startup, presented by Daugherty Business Solutions.
Learncore (Learncore.com) is an online communication and skill building platform used by industry leading companies like Linkedin, Twitter, Sungard, Zenith Optimedia, and CDW. Pitching in front of an expert panel of judges, the company’s founders bested a strong crop of early-stage startups including St. Louis-based Champio (Champio.com) and Champaign-Urbana-based Servabo (Servabosafe.com) for the first of what will be an annual honor.
“We are thrilled to be recognized as the most promising start up in the Midwest,” said Vishal Shah, vice president of strategy for Learncore. “This is a true team effort, and It’s refreshing that others value all the hard work we put into LearnCore and believe in the Learning by doing methodology. An award like this as well as the connections we developed at Startup Voodoo helps give us a boost at closing out the 2014 strong.”
Throughout a three-month-period, more than 100 companies were nominated with five finalists advancing to a round of online voting on StartupVoodoo.com. Voters then chose the final three early-stage startups — Learncore, Champio and Servabo — who attended Startup Voodoo to pitch a panel of judges based on a four-pronged criteria including 1) Midwest-based, 2) fewer than two years in operation, 3) less than $150,000 in capital raised, and 3) operating in digital technology, biosciences, or agricultural technology.
- Ron Daugherty: Founder and CEO of Daugherty Business Solutions, an IT and business consulting firm that reported 25 percent growth $133 million in revenue in 2013 with marquee clients including Monsanto, Express Scripts, and a number of leading edge startups.
- Bud Albers: The longtime technology executive and former Walt Disney Corp. CTO is a respected mentor and advisor to dozens of startups and in 2014 assumed the chief executive role of Click With Me Now, a co-browsing technology platform that lets web users share any web experience with another user on a different device.
- Ginger Imster: Executive director of Arch Grants, a first-of-its-kind nonprofit organization that invests in for profit start-up companies without taking equity focused on creating an entrepreneurial culture and infrastructure to build successful companies in St. Louis.
As Startup Voodoo’s first “Most Promising” early-stage Midwest startup, Learncore was awarded a package of services and funding valued at $10,000 including $5,000 in cash from Daugherty Business Solutions, as well as 10 hours of free legal services from the Polsinelli law firm, 10 hours of free marketing services from digital marketing and public relations firm Elasticity, and a collection of branded merchandise from CafePress.com.
ABOUT STARTUP VOODOO
Startup VooDoo (StartupVoodoo.com) is an annual conference for the startups and entrepreneurism community in the Midwest U.S., bringing together demonstrated national thought leaders in starting successful businesses, fundraising, venture capital, private equity, and economic development aimed at uncovering the voodoo behind successful startups.