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by in Stories
September 17, 2015

This is a post we are sharing from a current student in the Parkway School District. Alex K. is a high school senior and a member of the Spark! Incubator Program. This is his story.

Last Thursday, September 3, my team and I visited a place that was like nothing we had ever seen before.  We attended a meeting at Venture Cafe St. Louis to network with people and try to find help and advice for our startup company GlowMyPhone.  This experience was yet another foreign opportunity that was offered to us through Spark!  Upon receiving our invitation to go to the Cortex Innovation District, our team was definitely hesitant to accept, because quite frankly, a meeting with hundreds of adult strangers in a place where we had never been is intimidating.  However, I would definitely say that it was worth the visit.

At first, when I stepped out of the elevator doors and walked toward the sign in desk, it was kind of quiet and empty.  A few small groups were gathered together scattered around in different areas, but it didn’t seem too bad.  Xanthe Meyer, our teacher helped us make first contact with some of her business associates and although I had thought most would be dismissive towards young teenagers at an event like this, quite the opposite happened.  Most people seemed eager to talk to us and were more than willing to help us with our business struggles by offering advice and ideas.

The atmosphere seemed almost like a playdate for adults, but obviously the motive for people there was more than to just have fun.

Before I knew it, the place was filled with people drinking soda from the “do it yourself” soda bar or adult beverages (which we were not allowed to consume), and they were just standing around chatting with people and making connections.  The atmosphere seemed almost like a playdate for adults, but obviously the motive for people there was more than to just have fun.  People were there to learn and collaborate with one another, or as Mrs. Meyer calls it “networking.”

Much quicker than I had expected, my time was up.  I thought it would seem to drag on forever and that I would be impatient and restless, ready to leave the whole time, but it was actually pretty enjoyable.  When it was all said and done, I had gotten a lot of new ideas for our company and had seen how business was done in the real world today.  Maybe I’ll have to show up at another Venture Cafe meeting sometime.

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