Speed, growth, culture: Missouri entrepreneurs reveal 2018 goals

From moving faster to fostering a family-like culture within their company, Missouri startup founders have goals that run the gamut for the new year.

Missouri Business Alert checked in with a cross-section of the state’s entrepreneurs to close out 2017, and we posed two questions: first, we asked what they had learned in 2017; second, we inquired about one specific goal they were working toward in 2018.

The entrepreneurs’ responses to that second question are below. Some have been edited for length and clarity.

Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co. co-founder and president

“We are excited about continued growth in 2018, and a specific goal that we have at Influence & Co. is to invest a lot of time and energy into training our team on all of the new service lines we added for clients in 2017. If 2017 was a year of trying new things, 2018 is definitely the year for perfecting those new things, and I could not be more excited about this next step.”

Jeff Orr, Maply co-founder and CEO

“My biggest goal for 2018 is practicing balance and optimism. Entrepreneurship is an emotional rollercoaster. Learning to enjoy the ride is important for long-term success. Lately, I’ve been trying to be cognizant of this and work towards finding balance between the ups and downs. It’s a work in progress!”



Zach Winkler, SafeTrek co-founder and CEO

“Move faster.”





Anna Haney, Noviqu co-founder and CEO

“We were fortunate enough to have a good year in 2017. Noviqu gained paying customers – something that’s not always easy for a B2B that’s starting out. In 2018, as we finish our beta program with a handful of select companies, our goal is to build our customer base out to 10 different facilities. And of course, after that, world domination. Personally, my goal for 2018 is to set the building blocks for a solid company culture. We don’t want Noviqu to just be an awesome product for manufacturers: we want Noviqu to be a family.”

Amanda Quick, The Hatchery founder

“Get somewhat of a handle on organization/time management. I’m really good at procrastinating, and while that won’t go away completely I could make my life easier if I didn’t do it as often! Being proactive rather than reactive is key!”



Christ Harbert, Testery founder and CEO

“My entrepreneurial goal for 2018 is to build a customer base of loyal fans who are also dissatisfied with the other options available for testing websites.”




Billy Giordano, StaffedUp founder and COO

“To prioritize networking with great entrepreneurs and mentors, with a focus on continuing to learn how to better delegate, lead my team, and inspire success around me.”




Harrison Proffitt, Bungii co-founder

“A high-level goal that I’ve set for myself this year is to optimize our city launch process, including everything from driver recruitment to local partnerships within a new city. The more efficient we can be opening up new cities, the faster we can create a national brand and network. Also, I’ve called dibs on our Hawaiian expansion.”



Ben Jackson, Bungii co-founder

“There are two values that I try to pursue daily: relentless persistence and intellectual curiosity. Putting in the work, day in and day out, combined with a relentless pursuit to solve problems, like the one we faced after we launching, when no one was using the app, has not only been necessary but the lifeline that pushes Bungii forward. In addition, 2018 is the year of national expansion. We plan on launching Bungii in 10 different cities before the start of 2019.”

Sintia Radu, Recordly co-founder and head of business development

“I wish to explore more of my recruiting skills. As I said, I believe people are the most important part of a business, hence knowing how to identify them or even where to look for them is crucial for any kind of business or business expansion. That goes hand in hand with networking abilities.”


Alex Winkler, Kolu co-founder and CEO

“I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions because I believe that one can make the change at any moment. The new year does bring upon a perpetual desire for change. With that being said, I believe it is up to me to realize it.”




Drew Rogers, The Relevant Youth co-founder and CEO

“By the end of this year, I want secondary education within the state of Missouri to be reimagined through Relevant Youth’s model of learning. By bridging the gap between university and industry, we are becoming the most relevant form of education for creative people. This time next year, I hope to be directing Relevant Youth campuses within St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia.”

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