Cortex

Brian Cohen, LouFest Founder
Provided by Brian Cohen

Brian Cohen, one of the founders of the LouFest Music Festival, is leaving to start a new venture with the Cortex Innovation Community. The new enterprise will be aimed at showcasing various innovative projects from the city’s tech, science, art, and music communities.

Katelyn Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” host Don Marsh discussed the year in business happenings in the area — from Cortex to coal to NGA — with the reporters who know the subject best.

The utilitarian raingardens capture stormwater run-off, removing silt and pollutants. The shade structure adds elegance.
Robert W. Duffy | St. Louis Public Radio

Anyone who’s a frequent driver, cyclist or pedestrian along Forest Park Avenue has an idea what the research and development phenomenon called Cortex looks like – at least an imposing architectural chunk of it.

As Cortex president and CEO Dennis Lower notes, there’s much, much more than the average passerby might imagine in the district, more than what’s presented by the modern building at 4320 Forest Park Ave. with the tilted glass façade and, across Boyle from it, the skeleton of a new building rising on the corner.

(Flickr/Laurence Livermore)

BioSTL has grabbed a $500,000 grant from the Small Business Administration.

It was one of just three Regional Innovation Cluster Initiative grants the SBA is giving out nationally and is meant to spur small business growth.

(courtesy Cortex/Chris Cross)

A little more West Coast is moving into St. Louis.

The music streaming company Pandora opened an office inside Cortex, St. Louis’ innovation district, on Monday.

"Pandora came looking for us," said Dougan Sherwood, co-founder and managing director of CIC St. Louis, which is housed in the @4240 building.

Sherwood said officials with Pandora, which is based in Oakland, Calif., wanted to replicate the culture they have at their headquarters.

Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Tomorrow’s long-awaited opening of Ikea has some “St. Louis on the Air” Twitter followers already prepping for a lengthened commute. 

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Ikea's newest blue and yellow box store that opens Wednesday on Vandeventer Avenue in St. Louis is the biggest sign yet of a building boom that’s transforming what was once a relatively sparse neighborhood into a bustling part of town.

Alex Heuer, St. Louis Public Radio

Grand Center advertises itself as the intersection of the arts and life in St. Louis. Home to Powell Hall, the Fox Theatre, the Sheldon, and several other cultural institutions, Grand Center has the ‘arts’ half of that label taken care of. Now, Karin Hagaman, Grand Center, Inc.’s new president and CEO, wants to develop the ‘life’ half.

Katelyn Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

The blue and yellow exterior is almost complete, and the store is on track to open this fall in Midtown St. Louis.

We’re talking about the IKEA, of course.

The Swedish furnishings company’s arrival in St. Louis has been long awaited and much anticipated. It will be the 41st store in the U.S., but the first in Missouri.

Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan plays a seven-board simul during a Venture Cafe gathering in the Cortex Innovation Community in early March.
Provided by Cortex Innovation Community

The United States Chess Federation, the governing body for chess competition in the U.S., recently announced that it has opened an office here in the nation’s capital of chess. The new St. Louis hub looks to handle marketing and development efforts for the organization, which received 501(c)(3) non-profit status last year, while customer and membership services continue to operate from its headquarters in Crossville, Tenn.

Cortex,
(courtesy TechShop)

TechShop, the membership-based DIY workshop, will move into a new building when it arrives in St. Louis next year.

It had been expected to set up shop in the Brauer building at Boyle and Forest Park Avenue. But Dennis Lower, CEO and president of St. Louis’ innovation district Cortex, said after two separate assessments, it became clear renovation wasn’t economically viable.

"We tried valiantly to save it, but we couldn’t," he said.

The new Ikea store is under construction on top of a parking structure. It will also include outdoor parking.
(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio) / IKEA

The Ikea store in St. Louis is on track to open next fall.

Construction workers began putting up the steel frame for the 380,000 square foot store this week. The blue paneling will likely go up in December.

"That’s when the iconic blue and yellow will begin to show," said Joseph Roth, Ikea’s director of U.S. public affairs.

(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

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.

(Stephanie Zimmerman, St. Louis Public Radio.)

St. Louis is not exactly a farm town, but you don’t have to look hard to find ag-related commerce here. One big example is Elevator “D,” a grain terminal at 4040 Duncan Ave., neighboring the soon-to-be home of Ikea, the much anticipated Swedish furniture store.

So just what is this massive cement structure? The 88 bins housed within can hold 2.4 million bushels of grain. Built in 1953, it was bought in the mid-1980s by Ray-Carroll County Grain Growers Inc., a farmer’s co-op headquartered in Richmond, Mo.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Under Secretary for Policy Peter Rogoff praised St. Louis' "vision" on Friday after the city received a $10.3 million federal grant for a new MetroLink station.

The planned light-rail station at Boyle Avenue and Sarah Street is a key part of the master plan for the Cortex innovation hub in St. Louis' Central West End. Rogoff said it will make it easier for workers to get to and from the developing high-tech area of midtown.

Courtesy of Citizens for Modern Transit

Metro Transit has secured most of the funding it needs to build a new MetroLink station in the Cortex innovation district.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is granting $10.3 million from its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, program.

“This is the lion’s share of the funding,” said Metro Transit President and CEO John Nations. The federal grant covers nearly all of the project’s nearly $13 million cost.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

In many ways, breaking ground on St. Louis's first Ikea store is a lot easier than putting together the Swedish furniture maker's latest bookshelf. For Mayor Francis Slay, he just needed a shovel and speech. 

“Fortunately for a groundbreaking, you don’t need an Allen wrench or instructions,” Slay quipped. 

Courtesy Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Out of all possible locations in the United States, German seed company KWS chose St. Louis as the site of its North American headquarters. What made St. Louis stand out from the rest?

According to Donald Danforth Plant Science Center President James Carrington and COO Sam Fiorello, KWS was attracted to the St. Louis region because of its community spirit and because of the world-class research facilities available at the Bio-Research & Development Growth Park (BRDG Park) on the Danforth Center campus.

(Courtesy Cortex)

The expansion of the Cambridge Innovation Center to St. Louis is taking on bigger dimensions than originally planned.

CIC is well known for providing space and services to startups in the Boston area. It's attracted hundreds of startups and established tech companies such as Amazon and Facebook since its founding by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999.

(Courtesy Cortex)

A new report out released Monday by the Brookings Institution on "innovation districts" prominently features St. Louis' Cortex.

The Rise of the Innovation District: A New Geography of Innovation in America looks at several of these areas in both Europe and the U.S. It defines the districts as "geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators and accelerators."

(courtesy Ventures)

Boeing Defense, Space & Security's start-up arm, Ventures, is moving to Cortex, the innovation and technology district in the Central West End. 

"We’re really looking forward to being part of the St. Louis’ rapidly growing hub of innovation, entrepreneurship, start-ups, and technology research," said Ventures' Vice President Tim Noonan.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., contends that Missouri’s “Wild West” approach to politics — which imposes no restrictions on campaign donations or lobbyists — is partly to blame for her party’s lack of a candidate for state auditor this fall.

But the senator also asserts that the current state of affairs for Missouri campaigns isn’t good for anyone or any political party, calling it “bizarre and, frankly, not good for our government.”

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday)

A pro-transit organization released a study today that could lead to a new MetroLink station in St. Louis’ central corridor. 

A study by Citizens for Modern Transit examined the costs and viability of building a MetroLink station between Sarah and Boyle in Midtown. The station would be located close to CORTEX, a fast-growing bioscience and technology hub. And it would also be close to where furniture retailer Ikea is expected to set up shop in 2015.

(courtesy Cortex)

TechShop, a do-it-yourself industrial workshop, based in seven cities made its pitch Thursday to expand into St. Louis.

More than 200 people attended the TechShop's presentation. The company provides industrial equipment and classes for amateur and professional inventors. It is hoping to open a location in Cortex, St. Louis’ technology district.

But in order to open its doors, TechShop needs 1,000 memberships. Company COO and Vice President of Business Development Dan Woods pushed that point at the presentation.

(Bart Nagel)

Have an idea but no tools to develop it?

There may soon be a place in St. Louis where entrepreneurs and hobbyists can turn their plans into reality.

TechShop, a company already in seven U.S. cities, provides space, industrial equipment and classes for both amateur and professional inventors.

CEO Mark Hatch said St. Louis has the right elements for the company, including a robust start-up scene.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: If the big question on the collective mind of the St. Louis entrepreneurial community is how to get there from here, then a co-founder of Mapquest.com would seem to be the perfect guy of whom to ask directions.

“This is where the action is going to be,” Chris Heivly told a sizable crowd of the local startup world’s best and brightest. “I think capital will be redistributed over the next few years and doing this kind of stuff from the get go [is good]. … Just keep putting gas in the car and great things are going to happen.”

(via Flickr/breahn)

Earlier this month, business leaders and St. Louis City and County officials announced a new effort to support entrepreneurs and startup companies in the St. Louis region.  The goal is to raise $100 million over the next five years.

HOK

One of the country’s largest startup incubators will soon be moving into the Cortex bioscience district in St. Louis.

The move marks Cambridge Innovation Center’s first expansion out of the Boston area, where it houses more than 500 small to mid-sized companies.

CIC’s president and CEO, Ranch Kimball, says he expects the new St. Louis facility to attract mostly technology startups, but says CIC will be open to a variety of businesses.

(via Flickr/breahn)

The numbers are pretty impressive, more than three dozen new biotech startups now call St. Louis home and collectively they’re hauling in tens of millions of dollars from investors.

(Missouri Department of Natural Resources)

One piece of a planned $2.1 billion expansion of the life sciences district Cortex has fallen into place.

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