Imagine a Better St. Louis: Cortex continues to grow as more bus -

Imagine a Better St. Louis: Cortex continues to grow as more businesses call St. Louis home

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV

ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( - Construction crews continue their work at the Cortex Innovation Community as expansion continues to support the growing number of start-ups that are choosing to call St. Louis home.

The Cortex Innovation Community started in 2002 with a $29 million investment from Washington University and other community partners. It is located where Central West End meets Midtown near IKEA.

There are almost 4,000 people working there daily, making over $200 million in yearly wages.

Travis Sheridan runs the non-profit Venture Café Foundation at Cortex. His wife is a St. Louis native and the two decided to relocate back to St. Louis from California in 2012.

“I worked in the area of start-ups and St. Louis quickly popped up on our radar. We saw this whole growing start-up community,” said Sheridan.

Sheridan says he helps connect innovators and start-ups with established companies at Cortex.

Judy Sindcuse founded Capital Innovators in 2010. Her company plants seed money in roughly a dozen tech start-ups in the hopes they grow in St. Louis.

“The vast majority of companies decide to stay. Of the 46 companies, only four have gone somewhere else,” said Sindcuse.

She credits the success to a community of entrepreneurs that is business friendly. The lower cost of doing business gives St. Louis an edge over cities like New York, D.C., Seattle, and Los Angeles.

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