Startup offices spaces are often pretty cool, but Missouri startup accelerator OPO Startups has a particularly sweet set up: they built their accelerator in a 10,000 square foot renovated post office.
The building has ample space for co-working, conference rooms, and events. I spoke with the community manager, Megan McKissen, about their facility and their stand out success stories.
In just one sentence, what is your accelerator called and what do you do?
OPO Startups is located on Main Street in St Charles. We are the leading Missouri startup accelerator and we focus on supporting tech and design businesses in their startup phase.
What makes your program different or unique? And related, what’s your primary value-add?
St Charles County is the fastest growing region in Missouri. The Progressive Policy Institute ranked it the 24th best area for tech startups nationwide. OPO provides a local incubator option to businesses located in the Greater St Louis ecosystem. Members are provided physical space, resources and mentorship. We help to guide and grow their business and give a sense of community.
What do you love the most about working with startups?
It's amazing to see passionate individuals on a daily basis. They are taking a chance to create a better future for themselves and their families.
What is the hardest or most surprising part of working with startups?
The loneliness of entrepreneurship surprises most people. A lot of our members were working out of their basement or a coffee shop. Creating a sense of community among our entrepreneurs is an important part of my job.
Do you have a success story to share? Who are the most notable or interesting companies to go through your program?
Grillinator is an online BBQ accessory sales company. They just completed a $50,000 Kickstarter campaign to launch their unique line.
Switzer is a creative, boutique web agency. They came to OPO with 3 developers including the owner. They grew to adding 2 additional developers and literally outgrew our space within 5 months of joining us.
McKissen+Co is a PR and strategy consulting company. Their owner, Dustin McKissen, was invited to host his own Inc. column, The Brand New Entrepreneur, this January.
How, if in any way, has Foundersuite helped your companies?
OPO member companies have raised over $750,000 in the last year. Having tools like Foundersuite allow them to efficiently track their potential investors and keep up with their committed investors.
Finally, what is your best tip for running a startup?
Stay the course! Starting a business is a journey. Stay focused on the long-term goals by tracking your progress. Foundersuite allows founders to grasp the reality of where they are headed. Having a long-term vision is so important in “startup world”.
Thank you, and have a great day!