Cambridge Innovation Center’s first site outside Massachusetts is officially open.
CIC@4240 is located in St. Louis’ innovation district, Cortex, and provides flexible working space for startups and emerging businesses.
The company has 32,000 square feet in the @4240 building on Duncan Avenue and is expected to eventually house up to 75 companies.
Co-founder and managing director Dougan Sherwood said so far they have 20 companies leasing space, including Nestle Purina Petcare’s Emerging Growth Group and startups like Frienedy and Synek Draft System.
Sherwood said his best guess is that the space will be filled within a year to 18 months.
"This is a new adventure for our company, so we really are guessing at this point," Sherwood said. "But based on the reception we’ve received so far, we’re a little bit ahead of schedule on where we thought we’d be on day one, so that gives me a lot of confidence that this will happen pretty quickly."
The space includes more than 70 areas that can handle a variety of staff sizes from up to 20 people down to tiny one-person spaces called “Unos.” Those small offices go for $490 a month, a price that covers access to shared spaces including 13 conference rooms, a large event space and a fully-stocked kitchen.
"Our intention is that you just bring your computer, you move into one of these Unos, and you just get to work," Sherwood said. "And you stay for as long as you want. There’s no lease, so it’s month-to-month as well."
The offices are close together with lots of windows. Sherwood said that’s not an accident.
"The reason we do this is because density is such an important part, in our opinion, to form community," he said. "The only way to do that is to physically invite people to take just enough space that they need."
That idea carries through the entire @4240 building which has a lot of open spaces and opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect. Tenants already in the space include Washington University, Boeing Ventures Group, Husch Blackwell and Manifest Digital. AB Mauri will move its North American headquarters into the building later this year.
Sherwood said there is a sense that a lot is happening in St. Louis’ entrepreneurial scene and that buzz helped bring CIC to the city.
"When we got off the plane in St. Louis there were all sorts of signals the first day we were here that we weren’t seeing in other cities," Sherwood said.
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