Tag: incubators

By many accounts, the last few years have seen St. Louis rapidly transform into one of the most robust start-up scenes in the country. However, some of the terminology can be confusing for newcomers, especially the locations of where many early-stage companies are located. T-Rex, Cortex, TechArtista: what are people referring to when they throw these terms around? Read this article so your well-informed façade can last a little longer next time you’re talking to an entrepreneur in St. Louis.


Where does that name come from? When the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, the Regional Chamber and the City came together to form the Technology Entrepreneur Center (T.E.C.) they made their first home at the Old Railway Exchange. Hence: TEC + Railway Ex = T-REX.

Where is it? Downtown on the booming Washington Avenue.

T-Rex co-working space

T-Rex co-working space

What makes it special? The pricing schedule of Google Ad Words; the share of global capital owned by women; the different legal classifications of employees. Spend enough time in the co-working space at T-Rex, St. Louis’s most prominent startup hub, and you will learn all these things and more. Renowned for its collaborative environment, entrepreneurs in this space can gain skills and knowledge both from their neighbors and from scheduled lunch-n-learns, one example of the frequent programs run by the organizers of the space. Featuring more than 110 startups, 160,000 sq. ft and free pour-over coffee, T-Rex is for entrepreneurs who want to be at the heart of the startup scene. http://downtowntrex.com/


Where does that name come from? Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) is a nationally recognized organization of space and service providers for entrepreneurs based in Cambridge, MA. This is where it gets confusing. There are two separate but nearby CIC locations in St. Louis: CIC@4240 (named for its street address) and CIC@CET (named for the Center for Emerging Technology). Both are part of the Cortex Innovation Community, a vibrant 200-acre innovation hub and technology district (usually referred to simply as Cortex).

Where is it? The Central West End and Forest Park P arkway

What makes it special? Home to Venture Café, the exceptionally popular weekly gathering of entrepreneurs and professionals, and CIC is one of the cornerstones of the startup scene in St. Louis. Its proximity to Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital give it unparalleled access to significant research and technology resources. http://stl.cic.us/


Where does that name come from? A focus on less quirk and more style led this New-York based co-working space developer to choose a name that clearly shows it means business.

Where is it? Downtown on the booming Washington Avenue.

What makes it special? To differentiate from other co-working places that provide a place to sit and little else, Industrious defines itself as a social office and offers glass-walled private offices as well as communal work space. Amenities include gourmet daily coffee and snacks, beer on tap, and shared season Cardinals box seats. With an emphasis on sophistication, this space is not for workers who want to play ping pong; Industrious is for small businesses, growing startups and satellite corporate offices who mean business.  http://www.industriousoffice.com/locations/stlouis


Where does that name come from? TechArtista stems from the Italian soccer term “trequeartista”, which describes a playmaker whose creativity and technique helps score goals.

Where is it? The Central West End. Click on video above for a tour of TechArtista.

What makes it special? For entrepreneurs who live and breathe their business, TechArtista’s 13,500 square foot business and lifestyle ecosystem offers 24/7 access, private parking, two kitchens, laundry, a full gym, changing rooms, showers, private video-chat booths, and a large rooftop wood deck. The space also boasts one of the most tight-knit communities of pooled brainpower. In fact, TechArtista has an in-house designer, videographer and even an attorney that works with all the resident companies. http://www.techartista.org/


Where does that name come from? A project of Ignition Tank, Lab1500 takes its name from the address of its headquarters at 1500 Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis. The nearly 120 year-old building was rehabbed to capture the industrial yet rustic essence of the abandoned factory. Exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and intricate ceiling tiles make up just a few of the historic elements that were restored and combined with modern-day technology for a creative vibe.

Where is it? Downtown on the booming Washington Avenue.

What makes it special? Lab1500’s vision revolves around its principles of synergy, openness, and creativity. Members have the ability to work in different environments, including the traditional co-working space with communal areas and the relaxed and quiet lounge. The facility and its classroom are also available for members to rent for meetings, classes and events. Keep an eye on this collaborative space as it becomes an integral part of the startup scene in St. Louis. http://www.lab1500.com/#


Where does that name come from? Like a nebula is a collection of independent galaxies that come together to form something beautiful, Nebula brings different entrepreneurs together to produce innovation through collaboration.

Where is it? Cherokee Street’s Creative District

What makes it special? Nebula opened in 2010 as the first coworking space in St. Louis, providing workspace for independent contractors, small businesses, non-profits, and creative professionals looking for a place to build, create, develop, and collaborate. http://nebulastl.com/


The Saint Louis Fashion Fund (SLFF) benefited enormously from the talent and energy of a Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) Practicum team this semester.

Guest Blogger: Kathleen Rogers, Fashion Incubator Liaison

The SLFF is a new non-profit charged with creating a fashion incubator to foster emerging designers in the old garment district on Washington Avenue, in downtown St. Louis.  Our dream is that this can all lead to reestablishing St. Louis as a garment manufacturer and offer promising young fashion designers a wonderful and affordable creative space to work.

The CEL Practicum team was charged to turn this ambitious goal into a realistic strategic plan. To do this they spoke with a myriad of fashion designers, executives, and supporters. They visited other fashion incubators, attended St. Louis Fashion Week runway shows, researched existing cut and sew facilities, and interviewed local venture capitalists.

The CEL Practicum team did a marvelous job of sifting through all these inputs to come up with a realistic plan to make the incubator a reality.

Thanks to their hard work, SLFF is beginning the implementation phase guided by their findings. We are grateful for their energy and thoughtfulness this semester!


We began the day by visiting David Fisher at the American Center, a part of the US Embassy, after an early wake up of 730. There he talked a lot about his job and the many problems facing Israel geographically and politically, which was a nice set up for the meeting with Mark Regev later.

After, we traveled to the Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) headquarters where we met with Kobi Rozengarten and a few other people. The office of JVP itself takes up a small part of the whole building, whereas the rest is saved for the incubators. The partners at JVP talked about their process of selecting the companies, some of the companies they are currently investing in, and some other aspects of how they operate. After the meeting, we went down to have a look at one of the companies in the incubator. This company focused on breaking down a video into its elements and forming an index so that advertisers can pop up ads during specific parts that relate to their product. For example, a clothing company would want to pop up their name when a character in a video goes to buy a shirt.
Later we had back-to-back meetings with Netanel Oded of the National Economic Council and Mark Regev, the international spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office. With Netanel Oded, he spoke extensively about the ongoing and worsening Orthodox problem in Israel. They have the highest birth rate of any group, meaning they will comprise an even bigger percentage of the population, and among those with the lowest education levels, so it will be very tricky to integrate them into society. However, the problem needs to be addressed soon before it gets out of hand. He also talked about the high housing prices, another main problem that Israel faces, especially in Tel Aviv. While most think it’s a bubble, he claimed that the high prices are not a bubble due to the presence of the fundamentals that support high prices.

The meeting with Mark Regev after was very interesting. There aren’t many chances that we will be able to meet a man of such high stature. He delved into a multitude of subjects, ranging from Iran and their potential nuclear weapons to future peace talks. With Iran, he explained the many scenarios that could occur should they get a nuclear weapon or should Israel attack, and the decision of whether to attack or not will be ultimately be based on limiting the amount of damage. With the peace talks, he mentioned the three things that will be necessary to agree are 1. There must be iron-clad security boundaries 2. They must acknowledge Israel and the Israeli people 3. They must give up all future claims, meaning they can’t ask for anything after the agreements have been made. At one point, he even made us put our pens down and talked about a conversation he had with Benjamin Netanyahu about Syria, information that very few people knew about yet which was very cool.

We ended the day with a visit to the Old City of Jerusalem and a tour of the Kotel Tunnels underneath the Western Wall, a place that can be considered more holy than the wall itself because parts are closer to the Holy of Holies, the central focus of the old Temple Mount. All in all, it was a very good, successful day.

Marc – Olin Business School, Class of 2016, New Jersey