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Billionaire CEO Jack Dorsey Says He Is Totally "Still Punk"

Categories: Tech

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David Shankbone/Wikimedia
Jack Dorsey is still totally punk rock.
Just because one is a billionaire CEO who lives in a mansion and loves spreadsheets and oatmeal, "especially from an oatmeal bar," St. Louis' most famous tech entrepreneur insists he is still totally punk rock.

Back in the day, Dorsey rocked blue hair and played in bands. Then he stopped and became rich. But in an example of how completely punk-rock Dorsey still is, he says the lessons he learned from his punk days are what helps drive technological innovation and improves business.

"I'm still a punk," Dorsey tells CNN Money. "What was amazing to me about the punk scene, which is why I got into it, is because there was this confidence of 'I'm not going to go off, be shy about learning how to be a musician.'"

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St. Louis' Inferiority Complex is Driving Innovation: New York Magazine

Categories: Tech

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Shawn Semmler on Flickr
People should live in St. Louis, says New York Magazine.
When coastal outlets write about St. Louis, we brace ourselves for bad news.

What will it be this time? Stories about how dangerous our city is? National airings of our local dirty laundry? Even that cute Huffington Post list about hidden gems in St. Louis read like its author had never actually deigned to fly here.

But there's a change in the air. As St. Louis exponentially grows its central corridor with more tech startups, research institutions and the millennial-friendly businesses that keep those employees happy, people are seeing the Lou in a new light: as an up-and-coming urban tech hub.

Nothing makes this more evident than a recent listicle from New York Magazine's Kevin Roose, titled "5 Reasons Cities Are Getting Better, And Everywhere Else Is Getting Worse." In a time when living outside the technological advantages of a modern city is "tantamount to opting to live in the past," Roose says, St. Louis has come to perfectly embody some of the most successful habits of highly successful cities.

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Growing Plates Into Plants: Arch Grants Bring Colombian Startup's Big Idea to St. Louis

Categories: Environment, Tech

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LIFEPACK
Andres Benavides and Claudia Isabel Barona, the founders of LIFEPACK.
Eco-friendly restaurants like Pi Pizzeria, Schlafly and Local Harvest Cafe pride themselves on choosing recyclable or biodegradable materials for items like to-go boxes, plasticware and cups.

But a Colombian startup is taking going green to a whole new level by manufacturing plates that act as seeds, growing new plants whether they end up buried in your back yard or in a landfill.

Now that startup, called LIFEPACK, is moving from South America to St. Louis after winning one of twenty Arch Grants, a $50,000 non-equity grant designed to attract tech talent to St. Louis.

LIFEPACK's founders, Andres Benavides and Claudia Isabel Barona, say moving from Valle del Cauca, Colombia, to St. Louis brings them one step closer to expanding their market -- and their ecological mission -- in the U.S.

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LaunchCode Brings David Malan to St. Louis for Harvard-Style Hackathon

Categories: Tech

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YouTube
David Malan, Harvard's rockstar computer-science lecturer.
David Malan, the Harvard professor credited with revitalizing computer-science studies at the Ivy League school, is coming to St. Louis to help budding programmers in the first hackathon outside of Cambridge.

Harvard students have been holding "hackathons," all-night, collaborative coding events complete with a 5 a.m. trip to IHOP, for years to finish year-end projects with the help of Malan, his teaching assistants and other coders.

Now, St. Louis coding students will have the same chance to learn from one of the nation's leading computer-science experts.


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High-Tech Workshop Where Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey Built Square Eyeing St. Louis

Categories: Tech

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TechShop
Inventors need workshops. Thomas Edison built his in Menlo Park, New Jersey, and it's there that he hit upon the incandescent light-bulb; Nikola Tesla's mythic New York lab contained only God-knows-what. (Teleporters, probably.)

But when St. Louisans Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey needed a prototype for a mobile payment platform, they went to TechShop in Menlo Park, California. TechShop is a membership based workshop stocked with every tool a tinkerer could want. That's how McKelvey and Dorsey built the first Square credit card reader in 2009.

TechShop is eyeing St. Louis for expansion, and the possibility has the city's technology and innovation community hustling to gin up interest and funding.

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Tech Startups Bring New Faces to St. Louis as Investment Dollars Double in 2013

Categories: Tech

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Phillie Casablanca on Flickr
Investments in tech startups doubled in 2013, according to ITEN.
There's more money pouring into to St. Louis' tech startup scene, and it's bringing workers from the U.S. and abroad to the city, says a new report.

Financial investments into tech startups doubled in 2013 to more than $66 million from $30 million in 2012, and more local startups received funding than ever before, the IT Entrepreneurial Network (ITEN) says in a new report.

The year 2013 saw an upswing in funding and community partnerships, which means the tech scene in St. Louis "is growing into its adolescence, and after a thorough exam, it appears to be an increasingly healthy ecosystem," says the St. Louis Tech Startup Report.

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Get A Job: Mapquest Co-Founder Chris Heivly Brings Technology Job Fair to St. Louis

Categories: Tech

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via
Chris Heivly wants to get you hired.
No suits. No resumes. If you're looking for a job in St. Louis' technology industry, Mapquest co-founder Chris Heivly wants you to bring your business card and your smile to his sixth circus-themed job fair -- the first in St. Louis.

"As a job seeker, you never get a chance to look someone in the eye," Heivly tells Daily RFT. "Here's your chance."

Heivly is bringing his pet project, Tech Jobs Under the Big Top, to St. Louis Thursday after five similar, successful job fairs in North Carolina, where he lives and manages The Startup Factory.

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Launch Code: How 42 "Unqualified" People Landed Dream Tech Jobs in St. Louis

Categories: Tech

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wonderlane via flickr
Launchcode matches aspiring computer programmers with jobs.
The state of the technology industry in St. Louis reads like a bad Craigslist missed connection: companies need people, St. Louis has people, but the two just can't match up where it counts.

When Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey -- both St. Louisans and the cofounders of the ubiquitous mobile payment company Square -- needed a home for their new venture, the Lou was at the top of the list.


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Limo Company Database Hacked, Credit Card Info and Sex Toy Stories Compromised

Categories: Tech

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wikimedia/Bull-Doser
If you've rented a limo in the last few years, you might want to change your credit-card number because a St. Louis-based limo service technology company was hacked, and data for thousands of credit cards for people who wanted to party like a rock star were compromised.

According to Krebs on Security, a cyber-security blog, more than 850,000 credit-card numbers, as well as names and expiration dates, were obtained in a hack from the databases of CorporateCarOnline.com, which is described on its website as "the leading provider of on-demand software management solutions for the limousine and ground transportation industry."

In addition to parents of prom partiers and quinceanera birthday girls, the credit-card info for many celebrities, politicians and corporate executives had their info -- or the info of whomever was footing their limo bill -- compromised.

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Did Jack Dorsey Fire the "Real Brains" Behind Twitter Before It Hit Big Time?

Categories: Tech, Twitter

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Jon Gitchoff / RFT Slideshow
Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey in St. Louis.
A new book on the founding of Twitter slated to come out next month claims St. Louis native and Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey kicked the "real brains" behind Twitter out the door before the company became what it is today, possibly cutting his friend out of billions.

The New York Times published an adapted excerpt from the book Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal written by Nick Bilton. In it, Bilton describes the relationship between Dorsey and Noah Glass. The two met while working at Odeo, a podcasting platform that Glass cofounded with another tech entrepreneur and which hired Dorsey as an engineer. They soon became "inseparable," biking around San Francisco and drinking at concerts.

But then Odeo fell apart, mostly due to Apple getting into the podcast game. Odeo's founders needed to come up with something new. After a drunken conversation between Dorsey and Glass, according to the book, Twitter was born, and a friendship would ultimately die.

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