Not too long ago, the New Yorker ran a funny cartoon. It had two folks talking in a bar that was obviously in Silicon Valley. The one who was talking said, “I’m working on a startup to help other startups start up.”
I get a lot of people who come to see me because they want to help the startup ecosystem in St. Louis. They want us to be the Silicon Valley of the Midwest, or the Silicon Valley for plants, or the Silicon Valley for something. That’s great. We want to do all of those things.
When I probe, however, a lot of these folks would rather help startups than actually be in a startup. I get it. There’s a lot of risk inside the startup. The ups and downs are intense. But the truth is that no matter how good the support systems are in St. Louis or any other city, you can’t be a great city for startups unless you have great startup companies.