stARTup Competition

The Arts and Education Council – in partnership with the PNC Foundation – are challenging individuals and organizations to “Change the World, through the Arts, in St. Louis!” This stARTup Competition seeks to identify robust, innovative, fresh approaches to addressing challenge(s) or need(s) in the St. Louis region through the arts.

The stARTup Competition’s mission is to foster great ideas for emerging arts programs that address or meet a community challenge or need.   To help foster new, innovative arts activities in our community, the Arts and Education Council has partnered with the PNC Foundation to support organizations or individuals with their ideas.

Benefits include:

  • stARTup Competition winners will receive free office, performance, rehearsal and meeting space for one year in the Centene Center for the Arts (3547 Olive Street  St. Louis, MO  63103). 
  • Cash support from a pool of $20,000.
  • stARTups will have an official address at the Centene Center, networking and collaboration opportunities, access to WiFi, mentoring, financial coaching, idea sharing and be part of the Grand Center Arts District.

Review Process:

  • A panel made up of entrepreneurs and broad thinkers will review the application that describes the organization, business plan, the showcase/idea and how it meets the stARTup Competition Criteria and Rules. 
  • In this initial round the panel is looking for potential.  Make sure to clearly define your vision and potential impact in the community.
  • After the initial review the panel will select finalists to present their idea and a more in depth business plan. Finalists will be given specific instructions and a timeline for their presentation.


  • Sarah Rouland Bowman, PNC
  • Sheila Burkett, Spry Digital
  • Chris Dornfeld, Bonfyre
  • Jason Hall, Missouri Technology Corporation
  • Matt Homann, Filament
  • Debbie Marshall, PNC
  • Susan Stith, Express Scripts, Inc.
  • Noah Vasquez, Competitive Range Solutions


  • January 24, 2017: Applications open
  • February 23, 2017: brainstorm and Q&A at Venture Cafe
  • March 1, 2017: Applications due 
  • Early April: First round panel review 
  • May 4, 2017: Finalist presentations 
  • late May: stARTup winners announced 

Applications to the 2017 stARTup Competition are now closed. Finalists will be notified in mid-April.