Tag: startup

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2016: Week 10

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

The first full week of March saw some big news coming out of the tech giants like Microsoft and Google. So, catch up on everything you missed in this week’s Spry Hive!

The Web

Can Chris Poole save Google+? Hoping to revitalize their social efforts, Google has hired Chris Poole, the founder and developer of the popular online community 4chan.


Learning about and visualizing music just got a lot easier and more convenient with Chrome Music Lab.

See Martin Molin bring his music to life with the fascinating Wintergatan Marble Machine.

Adding to the list of fallen stars in 2016, it was announced with much sorrow that the Beatles “fifth-member”, producer George Martin, has passed away this week.

Open Source Technology

Access to data may equal access to opportunity! Attempting to aid both families and communities, the White House has launched a program that provides access to local and federal data called the Opportunity Project.

Microsoft is evidently opening it’s front doors to the open source community, announcing that SQL server will now run on Linux.

The Getty Research Institute knows a thing or two about the obstacles of collaboration, which is why they’ve built a single platform to simplify the processes of communicating and file sharing called Getty Scholar’s Workshop.

Web Development and Design

Express yourself with emojis and code at the same time with Emojicode.

Version control your designs with ease using the new Git Sketch Plugin.


RIP Drupal 6. After seven years of success, Drupal 6 has finally been laid to rest. Find out what that means for sites still using D6 and how to plan your migration.

Still need convincing for making the jump to the latest Drupal release? Explore the various ways Drupal 8 makes things easier with Configuration Management.


Secret societies have been a topic of history and legend for as long as society itself, so sate your imagination with this inside look at San Francisco’s $2 Million Secret Society Startup.


Eating chocolate makes you smarter! Ever since it’s discovery, humans have been trying to justify their love for chocolate. Well, after 40 years of dedicated research, we now know the magical effects chocolate has on the brain.

That concludes another week of the Spry Hive. Don’t forget to spring your clocks forward this Sunday and stop by next week!

Startup Connection 2014 Is Almost Here

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Startups.

Spry Digital invites you to join us for StartUp Connection 2014 Wednesday, November 19th, at Saint Louis University. The event showcases the best early stage startup ventures in the St. Louis region, and this year promises to be one of the best yet. There will be 75 innovative ventures featured and each will have the chance to give a 90-second pitch to an audience of investors, business persons and fellow startups. The event will also include a Resource Fair with over 50 Entrepreneur Resource Organizations.

Spry is very proud to be involved, and we will be awarding $1,500.00 worth of professional services, that includes branding, digital marketing strategy and design, to heighten the profile of the winning startup.

We will be in attendance accompanied by two of our clients, Bookarma and Chaheati, so please drop by and visit us in the resource fair – we’d love to meet you!

Register here.

Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 22

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

It is dangerous to go alone. Take this SpryHive post.

In case you missed it, last night Spry Digital hosted the first DevOps meetup. It was a great success and we’re already looking forward to the next one.  If you want in on the next one, add your two cents to the discussion for a recurring date. In lay terms, DevOps (a mashup of Development and Operations) is a development method that focuses on collaboration and communication between software developers and IT operations. DevOps helps standardize development environments ensuring that products are delivered efficiently and easily tracked.

We know what you really came here for – the links. Without further ado, here’s our roundup of the week’s highlights:

Digging in for Developers


Emmet is a plugin for many popular text editors which greatly improves HTML and CSS workflow. Our front-end developer, Phil, swears by it. Simply put, it really speeds up writing code. Instead of having to type background-position: 0 0; all you have to type is ‘bgp’ and return. That line of code is expanded. What will you do with all that extra time?


Recommended by our developer, Ellen, Variance empowers engineers, designers, and analysts to build elegant bespoke data graphics for the web using only HTML and CSS. You never need to touch JavaScript. Plus, they look quite lovely.

Some more love for St. Louis Startup Scene

You might have noticed that St. Louis has been going through a bit of an innovation Renaissance lately.  Last week, funder Arch Grants announced it’s 2014 class of entrepreneurs, seeking to bring new and innovative startups to St. Louis. In this Medium article, a local entrepreneur shares why St. Louis is awesome for startups from a personal perspective. He has some glowing words for the city of St. Louis, both for it’s innovation capital and for the city itself. There are so many people in the St. Louis region working toward creating a better culture for entrepreneurs. Call us biased, but we’re pretty thrilled about that.

Marketing Madness

For some, the 21st century promises a brave new world of digital marketing. Our technology is rapidly evolving, and with it, our attention spans are decreasing just as quickly. Marketers are looking for the next big thing to cash in on both. Will marketing departments soon have a viral video position or start cranking out ads in .gif form?

Miscellaneous Shenanigans

Internet Citizenship Test

For those of us lucky enough (or should we say ‘old enough’) to remember the heady, Wild West days of Internet 1.0, this test of early internet virals is for you.  No word on if these whippersnappers with their LOL Cats and Cinnamon Challenges can get grandfathered in.

The OG Knight of Badassery

Christopher Lee turned 92 years awesome this week. The actor celebrated by releasing a symphonic metal album – his third. Lee started his career of professionally kicking butt working in the British Special Ops during WWII. Since then, he’s moved on to Hollywood, starring as Dracula, and in Bond movies, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings. He transitioned to metal as an octogenarian. Proof that you’re only as old as you feel.

Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds

You might have caught some of the media attention around the #YesAllWomen hashtag trending in the last few days. It’s a nuanced conversation and one that needs to be had. There have been a flurry of articles and thinkpieces put out this week on the topic, but one hit close to home. What do we do when a toxic cultural “norm” bleeds into a subculture? A dissection on how the narrative we’ve been ingesting in geek culture actually hurts women.

Binge Responsibly

Curious how long that marathon of Mad Men will take? Good thing there’s an app for that. Hope you have Dominoes on speed dial. You’re not going anywhere this weekend.

That’s it for SpryHive. Have a great weekend!

Congratulations to the 2014 Arch Grants Entrepreneurs!

Posted by spry & filed under News.

We’re proud of our city. Just ten years ago, St. Louis was criticized by the Council on Competitiveness for “the lack of a fully supportive entrepreneurial culture”.  Many people here took that as a wake up call and decided to do something about it.

A decade later, St. Louis is rapidly gaining a reputation as a city that is conducive to technology startups and supportive of entrepreneurial endeavors.




Today, we want to celebrate and recognize a new batch of entrepreneurs, many of whom are from our region. Local organization, Arch Grants, announced their list of 2014 award winners this morning. Each recipient was selected for an innovative idea that showed promise for business success and real-world benefit – especially for the St. Louis metro area. Out of state recipients are expected to move their business to the St. Louis region as part of their Arch Grants award.

2014’s Arch Grants award class includes:

  • Artifox
  • BetaVersity
  • Blue Line Security Solutions
  • Cast
  • CoMo Medical
  • Dabble
  • Ephecom
  • FreightGrid
  • Greetabl
  • Hyde Expedition
  • Jolt Sensors
  • Less Annoying CRM*
  • Lifepack**
  • Made for Freedom
  • Meter Genius
  • Nanopore Diagnostics
  • Prattle Analytics
  • Tallyfy
  • Tuloko
  • Wondermento

* Peabody Energy Arch Grants winner
** Monsanto Arch Grants winner

While we always know there is room to grow, we are both impressed and inspired by the changes we’ve seen in the last decade. Spry Digital has always believed St. Louis was a great city with brilliant talent. We’re thrilled to be a part of St. Louis’ entrepreneurial Renaissance. In our four years in business, we’ve seen the support of our hometown every day.

Let’s keep our city humming with innovation. Stay fearless and hungry for improvement.

From one entrepreneur to another, our hat’s off to you. Be amazing.

Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 20

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

Happiest of Fridays, everyone! The team at Spry Digital is in crunch mode.  (And we don’t just mean snacking, though we do plenty of that, too. Carbs, holla!) We hope you enjoy these short snippets of water cooler conversation as much as we do.

Here are our highlights from the week.

In “not news” and also “should be obvious but bears repeating” info for Entrepreneurs:

We say this a lot but we don’t feel like we can say it enough – at least not until we see a real culture shift: Women are crucial to the success of our entrepreneurial economy. It’s why Spry actively encourages and mentors young women to jump in to tech and startups. It goes beyond a personal initiative. I makes good economic sense. Don’t believe us? This article lays out pretty succinctly why building gender inclusiveness into the startup culture is crucial.

News relevant to everyone’s interests:

This week, the Federal Trade Commission voted in favor of advancing a “paid priority” proposal that could change the way we experience the Internet. It’s conceivable that internet service providers could start charging web sites for higher-quality delivery of their content to American consumers. Imagine letting Charter or Comcast control the websites and content you can access. Yeah, we don’t think that sounds go great, either. Critics of this move are concerned that this could be the beginning of the end for net neutrality.  Read more here and here. Or check this out for a crash course in why net neutrality is such a big deal if you’re not already familiar.

Developers’ tips of the week:

To quote the author, “We live in a golden age of front end development.” This comprehensive article provides suggestions using Zurb Ink and Grunt to create lovely HTML email templating without a huge hassle. For anyone who’s tried to create custom email templates, you understand how difficult they can be. With the power duo of Ink and Grunt (um, would their celeb couple name be Grunk?), the workflow doesn’t have to be so painful.

And one more quick nugget for Devs:

Atom, often rated one of the best text editors, is now free and open source. We’re big GitHub and open source fans around the Spry offices, so this is exciting on multiple levels. Right now it’s only available for OS/X but they’ve promised Windows and Linux will be available soon.

Last non sequitur of the week:

George R. R. Martin, our favorite merciless writer who will probably kill you off before you’ve finished reading this blog post, recently revealed that he writes his epic tomes on a seriously antiquated system. How many of you young whippersnappers remember DOS? It sounds ridiculous, but maybe he’s on to something. At least from a productivity perspective.

That’s it for the week. Short and sweet, just like …something that’s both short and sweet. Ease off, it’s Friday. Our cleverness resources are critically low.  Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 7

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

We’re all twitterpated this week because tomorrow is half price chocolate day – the best holiday of the year.

Speaking of twitterpated, are you in love with your digital agency? Or on the market for an agency partner? Here’s what you should be asking yourself before you take the plunge.

But you’re here for links and we want nothing but the best for our valentines, so here you go:

  1. A simple guide to responsive design.
  2. Handy infographic of SQL joins to save for later.
  3. Twitter’s testing a redesign that some argue makes it look more like Facebook.
  4. Straight from the horse’s mouth: Instagram offers suggestions to create marketing on IG.
  5. Regular cell phone selfie not cutting it anymore? Now you can make selfie statues.
  6. Disney is now supporting a tech startup accelerator. Mouse ears included, one would assume.
  7. First time UX? There’s a tumblr for that.
  8. A startlingly beautiful map of the internet that resembles constellations.

From all of us here at Spry Digital, have a happy Valentines!


Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 6

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

Happy Friday, you survived another it – Congratulations! Punxsutawney Phil said we’re in for six more weeks of winter. Who are we to argue with an oversized rodent? Hope you at least watched Groundhog Day to make up for it. That’s a completely underrated Bill Murray gem, right there.

Anyway. This week also saw the #STLSocialGood conference. Excellent first stop information for nonprofits interested in leveraging social media.  Curious what you missed? Check out the trending hashtag on Twitter: #STLSocialGood.

On to the links!

  1. The life of a Drupal developer explained by cat .gifs. This is relevant to our interests.
  2. A startup is taking on the modest task of creating software the accurately recreates the human brain.  Seriously, how beautiful is that?
  3. WordCamp STL is coming up on March 1. Still time to sign up and get tix if you want a crash course in everything WordPress.
  4. The Nerdery’s favorite GIT commands.  Something for everyone.
  5. Do you really need jQuery?
  6. Just for fun: What classic 8-Bit computer are you? We’re a a Sinclair Spectrum 16k.
  7. “Don’t be bored. Make something.” Hear, hear! The White House is hosting it’s first Maker Faire.

And that’s the news.

Be good. Bundle up. Stay warm.  (A delicious adult beverage sounds nice, don’t you think?)

Catch up on last week’s SpryHive week 5 here if you missed it.

Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 5

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

It’s been a busy week at Spry Digital. In case you missed all the goodness that was CiviDay for CiviCRM, check out our blog posts. Also up for your enjoyment is our most recent case study for Variety St. Louis.

Now on to more good stuff…

  1. With all the chatter about CiviCRM, this CMS infographic was timely.
  2. For a budding designer or for the child at heart, a kid’s guide to graphic design.
  3. What startups can learn from post mortems on ones that fail.
  4. AppPresser launches first mobile app framework for WordPress.
  5. Shaking up the corporate structure to go beyond the profit motive.
  6. Our offices are split 30/60 on PC/Apple, but we all agree the 30 Years of Apple is a beautiful site.
  7. How the Super Bowl kicked off the brand storytelling revolution.
  8. On the correct use of “Super Bowl” (hint: It’s trademarked)
  9. Speaking of, don’t do this.
  10. Or this.

And that pretty much sums up our week. So put your feet up this weekend, have a brewski and eat some Buffalo wings for us.

Event: Selling to Early Investors – #STLVentureWorks Growth Seminar Series

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Events.

If you’re a startup in St. Louis, here’s a new event to add to your calendar. Spry Digital has been invited to give the first in a series of talks for STLVentureWorks titled “Selling to Early Investors” as part of its Growth Seminar SeriesSTLVentureWorks is an incubator network, funded by the St. Louis County Economic Council that manages five incubator locations and provides businesses “on-site support, fresh insights, networking and customized mentoring”.

From the event description:

Often times a startup company’s first customer is an investor. How do you sell what your company does to the investor community? How do you communicate the value of your product? What do you REALLY need when you are presenting to a group of early investors?

Stacey Lindgren from Spry Digital will take you through the activities and materials that are often most helpful when presenting to investors, especially when they are in the role of your first customer.

We will discuss the importance of having an early brand strategy and how to learn from and avoid financial and time restrictions. The seminar will take place on Tuesday, July 30 at the Helix Center Biotech Incubator at 100 Corporate Square Drive in St. Louis County. Only forty seats are available. We hope to see you there!

Register for the event on Eventbrite

Top Startups From Midwest Showcasing At StartUp Connection in St. Louis

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Startups.

Get to the know the region’s most innovative startups and the entrepreneurs behind these ventures at the StartUp Connection, happening Thursday, October 25, at the St. Louis Science Center. The Fall Showcase will feature 45 startups from around the Midwest, who will be competing in pitch competitions for cash and other prizes. If you are thinking about starting a business or taking your great idea to the next level, then don’t miss this opportunity to hear pitches, meet other business owners, inventors, investors and entrepreneurs to learn what’s happening in the world of startups.

Startup Connection logo

Spry Digital works with several companies that will be showcasing their products and services at this event, including NorseCorp, Chaheati, and Skipping Stone Technologies/kit. We will also have a table with members from our team, so make sure to stop by and takeaway a deck of startup flash cards.

The showcase begins at 4pm, so get there early to avoid the crowds and have a chance to talk to other leaders in the startup community. This event is put on with the cooperation of Innovate Saint Louis, Innovate VMS, and iTEN.