Our Partner and Managing Member Whitney Kenter met Toma Bedolla, the founder of House of Genius, in Denver in Spring 2015. As soon as she heard about the House of Genius mission – building community around entrepreneurship – she knew we had to bring it to St. Louis. She envisioned the unique format of House of Genius sessions as a fitting complement to the local innovation scene that has recently begun attracting national attention. Thanks to a partnership with Cortex and CET, an inaugural House of Genius team was established in St. Louis and the first session was held on August 22, 2016. Whitney took on the role of City Director in 2015, and is supported by Matter associate Celeste Doerwaldt and Cortex Director of Entrepreneur Services & Institutional/Corporate Partnerships Phyllis Ellison.
We like to say, in our House, we introduce ourselves through the quality of our ideas and through our ability to spark genius in others.
What’s so special about House of Genius? It’s not just another opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch – rather, they are coming to the group with a significant challenge they are facing in their organization. Each monthly session brings together three presenting entrepreneurs (or nonprofit leaders) and 15-20 community members of diverse background and expertise as panelists. Each presenter gives a bit of background on their company, organization or project, and then poses their challenge. The group discusses solutions and connections to support the entrepreneur in their work. Attendees remain professionally anonymous throughout the evening in order to encourage idea sharing and open discussion. Since its founding in Boulder in 2010, the House of Genius community has expanded to more than thirty cities in countries around the world.
Interested in Participating?
Visit the St. Louis page to read more about the St. Louis House of Genius, or apply to join a session.