Rarely has Christopher Lazzaro, 37, been without a side hustle or two on top of his successful 15-year career at Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., where he leads a team of roughly 30 people. In his free time, he has taught at Drury University; consulted for local technology companies; co-founded MetaMythic, an award-winning employee training startup; and, as of 2017, created Startup Forge to coach leadership teams of startup companies.
“One of the things that I am passionate about is growing organizations and individuals and creating technology products that make a difference in people’s lives. I see our products making a difference in people’s lives daily at Associated [Electric], both for employees inside the company and for our members who receive power from us.
“[Startup Forge] seemed to start naturally. I think MetaMythic was becoming a little bit more known in Springfield, and I had people start reaching out to me to say, ‘Hey, I know this person who has a startup. Can you help them?’ So, I took one on for fun. Right now, I’ve got one in St. Louis that I’m helping, which is The Mini Social. I’ve got FitByPhase, which is a fitness app that reaches Latin American countries, [and] I’ve got a startup that’s basically doing land access for hunters [called] Easy Access Hunts. It’s been fun to focus on the executive coaching, helping them get their team set up and get their structure, then using the other resources in Springfield to connect them with development talent or marketing talent, things like that. I’ve been watching other cities like St. Louis get this great reputation of being a startup center, and I want Springfield to have that, [too].”
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