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Innovation Community Propels Region Forward as Tech Hub

The Cortex Innovation Community, which hosts seven Fortune 500 companies and is now expanding with six more buildings—has helped St. Louis “develop a lot of the pieces of an ecosystem that are found in other regional tech hubs,” says CEO Dennis Lower.

The Cortex Innovation Community was created in 2002 through an initial investment of $29 million from Washington University, BJC HealthCare, the University of Missouri – St. Louis, Saint Louis University and the Missouri Botanical Garden. It has since grown into the region’s largest innovation hub, generating more than 4,000 jobs and upward of $500 million in investment.

Companies like Square, founded by St. Louis natives Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, and Boeing have offices there, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) singled out the Cortex Innovation Community as a key reason they chose St. Louis as the site for their new NGA West headquarters. Today, hundreds of companies call the Cortex Innovation Community home.

Companies in the Cortex Innovation Community also have easy access to the world-class talent that calls the region home. With more than 3 million educated workers Missouri’s talent pool is deep, specialized and experienced in our state’s key growth areas including advanced manufacturing, agtech, logistics and more.

Missouri is home to top-flight universities such as the University of Missouri – Columbia, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla and many more. This combination of customizable talent, top-flight universities and world-class innovation communities gives Missouri a vast, high tech workforce that is ready to work for expanding companies in the tech sector.

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