About the Hosts

Christy Maxfield

President and CEO, Purpose First Advisors

As founder and President & CEO of Purpose First Advisors, Christy is deeply committed to working with entrepreneurs and the organizations that serve them to build profitable ventures that create generational wealth for founders and their families. Purpose First Advisors is particularly focused on helping women and entrepreneurs of color – those visionaries who are typically underrepresented and under estimated – build successful businesses. Her portfolio includes privately held companies, startups, entrepreneur support organizations, nonprofits and regional initiatives.

After raising tens of millions of dollars as a development professional for nearly 20 years, Christy started her entrepreneurial journey in the spring of 2010 when she co-founded The Mission Center, winner of the 2011 business plan competition hosted by the St. Louis Economic Partnership and inaugural St. Louis Regional Chamber Arcus Award for innovation and entrepreneurship. Following a brief engagement with Visiting Nurse Association to lead its public offering, Christy joined the Center for Emerging Technologies (CET) in June 2015. First as Director of Entrepreneur Development Services and now as Program Consultant, she works with business owners across a wide spectrum of technology, bioscience and consumer/manufactured ventures to promote the development of new companies in Missouri. Christy was also a consultant for the St. Louis Equity in Entrepreneurship Collective, a regional initiative funded by the Kauffman Foundation working to ensure that systems built to support new entrepreneurs advance racial and gender equity. She also served as the inaugural business coach for the St. Louis Regional Chamber’s Diverse Business Accelerator.

Christy has taught entrepreneurship at UMSL and Washington University in St. Louis. She is a former Board Member and Treasurer of Forward Through Ferguson. She earned her Master’s in Business Administration from Webster University and her Bachelors in political science from Montclair State University.

Cheryl Watkins-Moore

Director, Bioscience Entrepreneurial Inclusion – BioSTL

Dr. Cheryl Watkins-Moore is the Founder and CEO of UPstart Innovations, LLC, a medical device technology development organization and Co-Founder and CEO of Accelerated Rehabilitation Technologies, LLC a technology development company focused in the rehabilitation market. Dr. Moore also currently serves as the Director, Bioscience Entrepreneurial Inclusion for BioSTL. In this role, Cheryl is responsible for creating processes and programming that will increase the mission impact of BioSTL and the regional bioscience ecosystem by improving the performance and contribution of underrepresented populations in the regional bioscience sector. BioSTL is a nonprofit organization that builds regional capacity, nurtures a collaborative environment, and focuses community leadership and resources to capitalize on the unique convergence of St. Louis‘ corporate, university, and entrepreneurial strengths in medical and plant bioscience. Cheryl was recently appointed Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University Law School, in their Masters of Science in Law Program.

Previously, Dr. Moore served as an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) with BioGenerator, a private investment firm created by BioSTL to identify promising technologies/services and  facilitate the formation of successful, sustainable life science companies in the St. Louis, MO region. Cheryl has identified and provided mentoring as well as due diligence to early stage organizations with unique technologies in various markets such as asthma, cancer, rehabilitation and physical therapy markets, raising initial capital funding. She was invited by Washington University’s Skandalaris Entrepreneurial Program and Capital Innovators to mentor early stage companies in business analysis and business plan development. Dr. Moore has also served as a judge in several local and national business plan competitions including Washington University’s Skandalaris’ Business Plan Competition, Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest National Tour (St. Louis) and Global Startup Weekend HEALTH:Bio (St. Louis).

Dr. Moore has also served as Vice President/General Manager for the Integrated Biomarker Solutions business initiative of EMD Millipore, the U.S. subsidiary of Merck KGaA. Prior to this role, she served as Vice President/General Manager for EMD Merck Analytics Division, a +$100M chemical and specialty analytics business, where she had full P&L responsibility and managed marketing, sales, technical service, pricing as well as distribution.

Dr. Moore holds a Masters of Business Management from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts, Biology from Fisk University. She is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, earning her degree from Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine. She has led marketing teams that have won several awards for marketing innovations, including the American Marketing Association highest award, The Award of Excellence and The Bronze Quill award. She is a Board of Trustees Member, Academy of Science–St. Louis; Board Member, Prosper Institute, Prosper Women Entrepreneurs; Advisory Board Member, BALSA Foundation; Advisory Board Member, HealthyMe Mobile Solutions; Board Member Youth Learning Center; Advisory STEM Board Member, Harris-Stowe State University; Board Member, Innovative Technology Education Fund; Advisory Board Member, Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, St. Louis and is active in the St. Louis, MO chapter of Jack and Jill of America.