183: Judy Sindecuse (Capital Innovators)

Judy Sindecuse on Innovation City

“One of the greatest things about St. Louis is how much everyone wants to pitch in and help.” – Judy Sindecuse

Welcome to Season 5 of Innovation City (The St. Louis Edition), a podcast featuring innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency and Aīre Ventures, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community.

Today’s guest is Judy Sindecuse, CEO at Capital Innovators, whose top-ranking Accelerator Program provides startups with the resources they need to succeed. Judy Sindercuse is a visionary leader with a proven track record of starting profitable companies. In this episode, Sindercuse sits down with the team to discuss how Capital Innovators went from a small nonprofit to one of the top 5 accelerators in the country, the strength of the St. Louis community, and what it takes for a city to build a culture of innovation!

They discuss:

  • Judy’s Superpower
    • To organize, manage, and motivate
    • Judy learned this from her mom, who was a single supermom and true entrepreneur
  • Judy’s journey from attorney to CEO of Capital Innovators
    • Judy started her first company when she was in college and sold it to go to law school.
    • She practiced law for a year and then went back to business.
    • She moved back to St. Louis to raise her kids.
    • She met Dr. Bill Peck when he was a guest speaker in St. Louis, and the rest was history.
    • She was inspired to create Capital Innovators as a nonprofit effort to help companies find capital.
  • Capital Innovators: From a Small Nonprofit to a Top 5 Accelerator in the Country
    • The growth came from the people of St. Louis.
    • The staff, and Judy herself, work hard, but the success of an accelerator is largely due to the community’s support. Other accelerators in different cities, such as Boulder, have not been as successful.
    • St. Louis’ whole startup ecosystem started with the beginning of Capital Innovators.
  • What does it take for a city to build an innovation culture?
    • When these new businesses succeed, it’s better for the region, county, and the world.
  • How does it feel when people are investing in you and a vision?
    • It’s very stressful; she carries a lot of responsibility.
    • Serving 150 companies, Judy and Capital Innovators have many people relying on them, and they care about each person involved.
    • One of the reasons Capital Innovators stands apart is how much they care about the individuals who founded the companies.
    • The first question is always, “what do you want out of this company? What is your endgame?”
  • Judy as a person outside of Capital Innovators
    • She’s an avid tennis player.
    • She loves being outside doing activities like floating on the Black River and camping.

Lightning Round:

  • How do you show love to others?
    • Helping people achieve their goals
  • One of the kindest things someone has ever done for you?
    • Multiple acts of kindness from friends in the form of listening
  • What do you dream of achieving one day?
    • Bring the Aces back to St. Louis
  • What is most important to you?
    • Her children and hoping they lead valuable lives
  • What are you working on that you could use help with?
    • Getting to ground zero and getting on top of my work
  • What or who are you grateful for?
    • The beauty of the world and the Universe that created it