Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis was our visit on Thursday led by Aine O'Connor, Special Initiatives Lead. The Cortex Innovation Community, founded in 2002, is an economic development nonprofit to support innovations, start ups and established businesses. Cortex provides state-of-the-art biomedical science and overall technology research facilities. Cortex consists of 14 buildings, about 200 acres and offers customizable lab and office space for rent. Aine talked about the different types of businesses, spaces available, shared resources, community events, new restaurants and the innovation centers. We toured the 4220 building, 4240 building and the 4320 building. Aine talked about the Venture Cafe and invited students to attend on Thursday afternoons.
#cortexstl #gcceo #venturecafestl

Reflection by Jade Heuer:

On Thursday, we had to get up super early to get to Cortex in St. Louis. We met with Aine O’Connor. She is the Special Initiative Lead. In a sense, Cortex is a non-profit organization that is built to bring the community together and give big opportunities to budding businesses who are on the verge of a breakthrough. We went through three different buildings. The first one was the original building of Cortex, which was created in 2002. There was a room called “Bio Generator”. It is an open business room that allows new scientists to explore their passion and start their businesses. There is an accelerator plan that allows this to be help and to stay open. They invested around 14 million dollars, and within a year the return was 700+ million dollars. That is so crazy!!! Just think if there were things like this all around. So many people with ideas could skyrocket with a catalyst like this. We toured the other buildings. There are restaurants in each building. A park is even in front of one of the buildings. Its purpose is to bring families and people to the St. Louis area to enjoy their facilities. I love this idea. All of the office spaces were very urban and new looking. You rent an area month by month. There are so many different opportunities that you can have while there. Every Thursday they have a night when people come and talk and you can share your ideas. It is at Venture Cafe. I cannot wait to go back to Cortex. We will go to a networking night soon. Maybe someday I could work there!

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