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May 1

Special Notice Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Information

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Entrepreneurs improve our lives and the communities we live in by bringing new innovation to life and launching new businesses that deliver positive economic impact.

ITEN was created in 2008 to help tech entrepreneurs launch successful new business ventures by offering educational programs and services. We have supported over 1,300 startups and are actively working with as many as 120 startups. We measure our success by the success of the startups we support who have created 1,750+ jobs since 2012 and the $200M raised in funding by 78 member companies that graduated from our Investor Readiness Program.

In May of 2020, ITEN became part of Lindenwood University’s Plaster School of Business and Entrepreneurship. This new relationship enables ITEN to expand its engagement with community entrepreneurs, while playing an integral role in supporting Lindenwood’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation education.


Gv Freeman - Entrepreneur in Residence

Gv Freeman

Gv is a Growth Strategist with over 20 years of experience living at the center of a marketing, product, sales & self-care Venn diagram. A multipotentialitie at heart, Gv’s interests and experience span the roles of entrepreneur, executive, coach, marketer, salesman, product manager, DJ and Yoga teacher. Grounded firmly in the cornerstones of alignment, strategy, and process, Gv pulls from all of these disciplines to help startups launch, companies grow, and entrepreneurs live an integrated life.

Connie Gallagher - Business Development Manager

Constance (Connie) Gallagher

Bringing over 25 years experience from the startup space Connie is a versatile, accomplished business professional. Her experience expands over areas in account management, customer experience, operations, business development, sales and marketing and product development. Connie has contributed and played multiple roles in a variety of startups, including founding member of a K-12 Education startup as Operations & Director of Partnerships to a Mobile Healthcare startup as Director of Client Services & Implementation. Other industries that she has worked in include Automotive Manufacturing, E-Learning, and Sales & Marketing.

Melissa Grizzle - Director of Entrepreneur Development

Melissa Grizzle

Melissa brings over 15 years of experience and commitment to the St. Louis innovation community to her role at ITEN. She works with our companies to help foster their successful navigation through ITEN’s various programs–from Intake to Mock Angel grad; as well as manages ITEN’s operations and many community-focused collaborations and events. Prior to joining ITEN, Melissa served as the Director of Administration for Akermin, Inc., a clean-tech R&D company that was BioGenerator’s first client company in 2004. Prior to Akermin, Melissa was one of the original employees of BioGenerator where she served as Manager of Operations and Client Services. Melissa began her career at Monsanto in its new products division, followed by corporate M&A.

Mary Louise Helbig - Executive Director

Mary Louise Helbig

Mary Louise Helbig has over 25 years’ experience working in executive marketing, product and business development roles for start-ups and companies with high growth initiatives in the technology, financial, telecommunication, and education industries. She is the former President of Virtual Nerd an ed-tech start-up who received national and industry awards for product design. In addition to working for start-up companies, Mary Louise’s corporate experience includes American Express Incentive Services where she led the strategic planning process including rebranding the product portfolio, Charter Communications managing the re-design of the consumer high-speed internet installation program, and CyberTel Cellular as a member of the M&A team working on US and international business opportunities.

Quentin Ortega - Entrepreneur in Residence

Quentin Ortega

Quentin is a serial entrepreneur, skilled in negotiation, commercialization, corporate relationship management, growth strategy, mobile applications, and vision development, which will provide valuable assistance to our ventures as he supports their progress toward successful market entry and growth stages.

Quentin is currently the Executive Vice President of Great Data Lake, Square One IT Track Leader, and a board member at Johego. Quentin is passionate about improving processes, growing companies, negotiating fair business deals, and seeing new thought leadership applied to organizations of all sizes. These passions have led Quentin to his current roles, which allow him to have the most positive impact possible.

Quentin has his MBA, a degree in Management and Information Systems, and a certification for Sustainable Business from Missouri University of Science and Technology. In his free time, Quentin enjoys learning new things, adding to his growing watch collection, attending concerts, and watching the progress of his American Saddlebred show horse.

Connect with ITEN

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301