Howard Lerner, co-founder of Kaldi’s Coffee and Jim McKelvey, co-founder of the mobile payment company Square Inc., will be the featured speakers during Research and Innovation Week April 22-26 at University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The week, which is hosted by the Office of Research Administration at UMSL, is intended to highlight research and innovation on campus and in the St. Louis region.

Activities will kick off with Lerner’s presentation “How to Beat a Bully: Kaldi’s vs Starbucks,” at 11:30 a.m. April 23 in the SGA Chamber at the Millennium Student Center. He’ll describe how he transformed an unfortunate third-grade playground experience into a strategy to compete with the world’s largest coffee chain.

The event is free and open to the public. Lunch and coffee will be provided. RSVPs are requested by April 16. Email Use “Kaldi’s” in the subject line.

In addition to inventor, McKelvey’s resume also lists him as entrepreneur, artist, author and licensed pilot. With such an assembly of skills, it’s no wonder McKelvey has a talent for identifying tangible connections between seemingly disparate elements. In the spirit of such relationships, he will present “Online Education: Lessons from Silicon Valley and Ancient Syria” at 11 a.m. April 25 in the SGA Chamber of the Millennium Student Center.

Lunch will be provided. The event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested by April 18 to attend. Email Use “McKelvey” in the subject line.

The week will also include an IdeaBounce®, a forum designed to bring people together to openly discuss new business ideas, programs and inventions related to nanoscience and nanomedicine. That’s set for April 23. To attend  IdeaBounce® and a networking reception RSVP by April 16. Email

Visit the Research and Innovation Week website to view the full schedule of events.

Media Coverage:
St. Louis Business Journal

Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez