Economy & Innovation | St. Louis Public Radio

Economy & Innovation

News about the economy, business, and innovation happening in the St. Louis region.

Katrina Brundage, David Karandish and Sam Charrington joined host Don Marsh on Monday.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has long been known as a hub for the use and development of biotechnology. Gaining steam, however, is the activity surrounding artificial intelligence (AI).

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the use of AI in St. Louis and with those involved in it. An AI conference is Tuesday at the Eric P. Newman Center at Washington University.

The technology startup incubator in downtown St. Louis is currently home to nearly 230 businesses. About 40 others got their start at T-REX and have moved to other locations throughout the region.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis technology incubator is devoting an entire floor of its historic downtown building to establishing a pipeline of workers and advancements in the highly-skilled field of geospatial technology.

T-REX will soon house a Geospatial Resource Center. T-REX President and Executive Director Patricia Hagen recently spoke about the plans, which have been spurred, in part, by the yet-to-be-built National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's new headquarters in north St. Louis.

Boeing FA-18 Super Hornet
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Stephen G. Hale II | U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy’s Super Hornet aircraft are coming home to St. Louis for a major makeover.

Boeing unveiled its Service Life Modification (SLM) program Friday with dignitaries and many of the engineers and factory workers who built the first Super Hornets 20 years ago in attendance. Designed for a lifetime of 6,000 hours in the air — many of the F/A-18s fighter jets are nearing that milestone and returning to Boeing for a mechanical overhaul and updates.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Public service ads about foreclosure were all over the nation's airwaves by late 2007, airing frequently at night when worried homeowners couldn’t sleep.

The messages, accompanied by somber music and stark images, urged U.S. homeowners to take action — to call a hotline or their lenders if they were falling behind on their mortgages:

“Foreclosure doesn’t affect just you, it affects your whole family, too … Because nothing is worse than doing nothing.”

Ballpark Village
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Baseball fans can expect increased security at Busch Stadium and Ballpark Village this week during the Cardinals’ home stand against Chicago's White Sox and Cubs after a fatal shooting on Sunday at the Budweiser Brew House.

Additional security may ease the fears of some fans according to Patrick Rishe, director of the Sports Business Program at Washington University, but he said it certainly doesn’t send the right message about St. Louis.

Mayor Lyda Krewson stands with community members at the announcement for the 2018 Clean Up campaign.  The program will kick off this month and will aim at cleaning up four neighborhoods in St. Louis.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

A volunteer effort to clean up north St. Louis neighborhoods is getting a big lift from local construction companies.

Better Family Life began the “Clean Sweep” program last summer to help pick up trash and help revitalize certain areas in the city and St. Louis County. The non-profit and the Regional Business Council announced on Tuesday this summer’s effort will include a dozen construction companies to knock down vacant buildings and pick up large debris.

A MetroLink train
File Photo | St. Louis Public Radio

Serious crimes on the three-county MetroLink system have decreased in 2018, according to St. Louis and St. Louis County officials.

Violent crimes and thefts have decreased by 70 percent on MetroLink trains, stations and parking lots in St. Louis County compared to this time last year, according to St. Louis County Police Captain Scott Melies. And, he claims crime has decreased about “10 — 12 percent” in 2018 throughout the system, which stretches through St. Clair County, St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Wayne Pratt, St. Louis Public Radio

Bad decisions by the parent company and a rapidly changing retail grocery landscape are key reasons why Minnesota-based Supervalu is selling a local chain. That's the conclusion of a prominent food industry analyst, who adds it's too early to say what company might end up acquiring Shop 'n Save.

BJC Healthcare is in middle of a large construction project employing a lot of workers.
file photo | Provided by BJC HealthCare

Developers seeking tax incentives from the city of St. Louis on public projects will soon need to show they’ve met thresholds for participation from minority- and female-owned contractors.

Gibron Jones founded HOSCO eight years ago to help provide training, education and expand urban farming food operations.
Ashley Gieseking | Sauce Magazine

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about urban agriculture and food justice in the St. Louis region for our monthly Sound Bites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine.

Sauce Magazine managing editor Catherine Klene, HOSCO Foods founder Gibron Jones and Missouri Coalition for the Environment farm and food director Melissa Vatterott joined the discussion to talk about urban farming in St. Louis.

Elizabeth Wiseman Photography

Brazen Global has been helping women entrepreneurs in St. Louis grow their businesses for the past four years. The group announced Tuesday it’s taking its membership organization for “growth-seeking” women business owners to six more startup cities around the country including: Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Worth, and Philadelphia.

 

"We are a startup serving startups,” said Jennifer Ehlen, Brazen Global CEO and president. “Our journey is very similar to the very women entrepreneurs we seek to support.”

 

The festival has taken place in July over the past two decades to mark the big catsup bottle in Collinsville.
Mike Gassmann

After 19 years, an annual July event to mark a Metro East roadside attraction is no more. Organizers have pulled the plug on “The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival” in Collinsville, saying it’s become too much work.

Nvsted

Ask any entrepreneur to name the hardest part of launching a business, and the answer, inevitably, will be, "money." Some of the greatest startup ideas fizzle for lack of funding.

Nvsted, (pronounced: invested), a hyper-local crowdfunding site, aims to make it easier for St. Louis entrepreneurs to find investors, and vice versa. The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership launched the online platform Wednesday at the Helix Center, a startup accelerator located in the 39 North Plant Science District in Creve Coeur.

The Lincoln-Douglas Square in Alton commemorates one of the city's claims to fame. It also welcomes visitors to the town of almost 27,000 people. March 21, 2018.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

When Lauren Pattan and James Rogalsky started looking for a building to house their brewery, they didn’t plan to move from St. Louis to Alton, where they’d both grown up. But they found the perfect building on Landmark Boulevard, right near the riverfront and off Alton’s old Antiques Row on East Broadway, and it swayed them.

The downtown stretch of Broadway, Rogalsky said, had been “neglected for the last several decades.” But in the last few years, new businesses have opened on the street. Established food staples moved from the city’s traditional main street to Broadway. A tattoo parlor opened at the same intersection as beauty and art supply shops, and a self-serve craft beer bar cropped up.

File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis has more than 25,000 vacant and abandoned properties, attracting crime and arson, lowering property values and reducing tax revenue for the city.

On Tuesday a coalition of neighborhood, city, and non-profit agencies announced the “Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative" at a press conference at Saint Louis University's School of Law.

Sterling Moody re-arranges shelves at Neighbors' Market, his new East St. Louis grocery store. April 6, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Neighbors’ Market, which promises to focus on healthy food options, is expected to open its doors in East St. Louis this month.

The market will be a full-service grocery store with a dairy and frozen food section, a robust produce aisle, and a butcher’s area for cutting fresh meats daily. The store has already employed its own chef, who will prepare soups, salads and sandwiches. 

Seattle recently replaced its docked bike share systems with several dockless options. One of the dockless companies, LimeBike (bike pictured in front), applied to offer bike share services in St. Louis. Seattle. March 27, 2018.
Jim Gates | KUOW

Updated on April 13 — On Monday, 1,500 bicycles will start to roll out across St. Louis, spotting the streets with yellow and green.

The city has granted two companies permits to operate “dockless” bike shares that city officials say will close gaps in public transportation routes, bring affordable transportation to low-income neighborhoods and give tourists a fun way to get around the city.

St. Louis is one of more than 50 U.S. cities to establish bike share systems since 2010, according to the National Association of City Transportation.

The Missouri Farm Bureau says roughly 60 percent of the soybeans grown in the state are sent to China.
The United Soybean Board | Flickr

Denny Mertz lost $12,000 on his soybeans last week when China proposed tariffs on U.S. agricultural products.

The Chesterfield resident grows soybeans and corn on his 500-acre farm in Elsberry. He said he'll be able to weather the loss, as he owns his land and doesn't have much overhead. Yet Mertz worries that younger farmers could take a significant hit if China and the U.S. don't settle their trade differences, especially because many don't own their land.

"They do not have a lot of equity built up and there's not much reserves to fall back on," he said.

Wearing a heavy smock and rubber boots, Amadedin Eganwa stands over a large conveyor belt that’s carrying unconscious lambs. He faces east, towards Mecca, gently lifts the animal’s head in the same direction and under his breath he quickly says a prayer — bismillahi allahu akbar, or “in God’s name” — before swiftly cutting the lamb’s throat.

Jessica Mefford-Miller has taken the lead on Metro Transit’s draft plan outlining a new approach to public mobility in the region.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Despite increased use of public transportation among young adults, overall ridership numbers in the St. Louis region have been on the decline the past four years. And that trend is part of the motivation behind Metro Transit’s newly unveiled hopes for its MetroBus service.

“That’s one of the reasons we need to take a fresh look at our system and make some changes to ensure that we’re providing service that meets the needs of our customers and provides a quality, fast ride,” said Jessica Mefford-Miller, assistant executive director for transit planning and system development.

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