CORTEX: St. Louis' Life Sciences and Technology District

The thriving technology scene covering startups, incubators, investors, etc.
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I have a friend whose office overlooks the site. It looks like the slab is done and they're in the process of pouring tilt up walls.
The first 5-story wall section has been tilted up. This is when it gets good.
Is the hotel under construction yet? Or just Microsoft/4220 Duncan?
wabash wrote:Is the hotel under construction yet? Or just Microsoft/4220 Duncan?
I believe the hotel has been cancelled.


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^ possibly, but I hadn't heard that... do you have a source on cancellation?
It was in one of the NextSTL live chats recently, if I'm not mistaken.


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With the hotel being proposed on FPP just to the east this doesn't surprise me.
That said... found a new rendering for the Aloft hotel via the architect's website: http://grouponeinc.com/our-work/

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The new Microsoft building is highly visible from westbound 40/64. It looks much bigger than I had pictured.
chaifetz10 wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:16 pm
That said... found a new rendering for the Aloft hotel via the architect's website: http://grouponeinc.com/our-work/

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I stand corrected. I went back and found the comment. The Hotel is delayed but still planned.
chaifetz10 wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:16 pm
That said... found a new rendering for the Aloft hotel via the architect's website: http://grouponeinc.com/our-work/

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I highly doubt that the hotel is cancelled with all of the activity that is happening or going to happen nearby. Between the Ikea, SLU, BJC, the Armory, and the Federal Mogul site, the will be a lot of demand for hotels in the area (in my humble opinion). Also here is the other picture of a more refined image. On hold? Probably....Cancelled? Unlikely.
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Thanks for the info/updates. And glad to hear 4220 is looking bigger than expected. I really hope the aloft happens. That would be a nice addition to Cortex and the St. Louis hotel selection in general. As for the residential portion of Cortex, as planned or otherwise, I could take it or leave it.
I really hate that the hotel is set back so far from Forest Park Parkway. Is this block not under the CWE's form based code? Aren't there requirements to maintain the building line along FPP?
The 20 Hottest Cities for Tech Jobs Now
Money Magazine

Link: http://time.com/money/4812479/top-20-cities-tech-jobs/

Midwest cities dominate-- on the top 20 list:
Kansas City
Indianapolis
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Columbus
Detroit
Chicago

Conspicuously absent from the list-- take a guess.

Could we be having delusions of grandeur in regards to our "booming" tech scene? How could literally every other major midwestern metro make this list, but not St. Louis? I don't put too much stock into rankings like these, but shouldn't we at least admit that maybe we aren't as hot as we'd like to believe we are? At the very least, we (St. Louisans) need to keep in mind that every city boasts about their "thriving" tech sectors. Are we really the stand-out we think we are?

(You know I love this city more than anything and am eternally optimistic about its future, but just trying to keep things in perspective.)
stlgasm wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:41 pm
The 20 Hottest Cities for Tech Jobs Now
Money Magazine

Link: http://time.com/money/4812479/top-20-cities-tech-jobs/

Midwest cities dominate-- on the top 20 list:
Kansas City
Indianapolis
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Columbus
Detroit
Chicago

Conspicuously absent from the list-- take a guess.

Could we be having delusions of grandeur in regards to our "booming" tech scene? How could literally every other major midwestern metro make this list, but not St. Louis? I don't put too much stock into rankings like these, but shouldn't we at least admit that maybe we aren't as hot as we'd like to believe we are? At the very least, we (St. Louisans) need to keep in mind that every city boasts about their "thriving" tech sectors. Are we really the stand-out we think we are?

(You know I love this city more than anything and am eternally optimistic about its future, but just trying to keep things in perspective.)
I think Cortex is the real thing and St. Louis has a healthy scene, whether it is booming is probably relative. I will say that I have seen other articles that say St. Louis had some of the fastest growth. I've also heard that the nature of our tech scene (plant science and financial services) are not really considered "tech" in the way that IT is.
I think I was about to say some of the same things as Goat314. Glancing at the article it looks to me like it's looking exclusively at IT. There's a lot of words like network, SQL, data, and web in the job titles but none like genetic, plant, bio, or med. And very very little that looked financial. Nor aerospace, chemical, architectural, or civil engineering, for that matter. It's tech from the Silicon Valley perspective. Which it says more or less from the top of the article. And while that's important stuff, it's neither our traditional area nor necessarily our high-growth area now. If you think tech is synonymous with IT then that might be the list. If you believe we need complex technical stuff not entirely in the digital realm then maybe it's not.

Though I will say, I need to ask my friend Birgit precisely what a "scrum master" is. I believe that's her current job title, actually. And her description is the only place I'd previously seen it. Sounds like it belongs on a rugby field. (Or would that be a pitch?)
symphonicpoet wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:47 pm
Though I will say, I need to ask my friend Birgit precisely what a "scrum master" is. I believe that's her current job title, actually. And her description is the only place I'd previously seen it. Sounds like it belongs on a rugby field. (Or would that be a pitch?)
A scrum master is a Project Managment term for someone who runs an Agile Project. It's most often used by coders, but can be applied to any IT project in theory.

Long story short, a traditional IT project with milestone steps looks like this:
  • Plan the whole thing
  • Review/Approve the whole thing
  • Develop the whole thing
  • Test the whole thing
  • Re-approve the whole developed/tested thing
  • Push the whole thing to production
^ That process takes weeks, months, even years to get through depending on the complexity. An 'agile' plan tears apart the 'whole thing' bit and pieces the projects into bite-size chunks called 'stories' that can be advanced on a daily (or at least weekly) basis without waiting for the rest of the 'whole thing' to be complete.

The process revolves around daily 'scrums', calls where reps from all affected parties (multiple developer teams, the IS/Policy managers, reps from the business requesting the projects, sometimes the money guys, etc) get together and talk about the whole thing. In theory the daily communication allows a project to be more flexible; it's easier to respond to a customer's needs if they change and adapt the project on the fly to changing or unforeseen circumstances.

The Scrum Master is the one leading those calls. He or she makes sure all of the necessary teams are represented, moves the project along, and can guide the teams to respond to challenges or changing circumstances.

-RBB
rbb wrote:
symphonicpoet wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:47 pm
Though I will say, I need to ask my friend Birgit precisely what a "scrum master" is. I believe that's her current job title, actually. And her description is the only place I'd previously seen it. Sounds like it belongs on a rugby field. (Or would that be a pitch?)
A scrum master is a Project Managment term for someone who runs an Agile Project. It's most often used by coders, but can be applied to any IT project in theory.

Long story short, a traditional IT project with milestone steps looks like this:
  • Plan the whole thing
  • Review/Approve the whole thing
  • Develop the whole thing
  • Test the whole thing
  • Re-approve the whole developed/tested thing
  • Push the whole thing to production
^ That process takes weeks, months, even years to get through depending on the complexity. An 'agile' plan tears apart the 'whole thing' bit and pieces the projects into bite-size chunks called 'stories' that can be advanced on a daily (or at least weekly) basis without waiting for the rest of the 'whole thing' to be complete.

The process revolves around daily 'scrums', calls where reps from all affected parties (multiple developer teams, the IS/Policy managers, reps from the business requesting the projects, sometimes the money guys, etc) get together and talk about the whole thing. In theory the daily communication allows a project to be more flexible; it's easier to respond to a customer's needs if they change and adapt the project on the fly to changing or unforeseen circumstances.

The Scrum Master is the one leading those calls. He or she makes sure all of the necessary teams are represented, moves the project along, and can guide the teams to respond to challenges or changing circumstances.

-RBB
Sounds like a fancy way to say cat herder. :D I like it! Of course . . . it does sound like an effective model for at least some circumstances. Situations modular enough to be so dissected, say. Or already live enough to need serious and fast triage, possibly. However, I'm no IT guy so I may be misreading all of this. Anyway . . . thank you! Interesting.
Google "top cities for plant sciences" or "best cities for biotech" or any variation thereof. You'll find LOTS of rankings from various sources. What you won't find is St. Louis on practically any of them. So while we may think of ourselves as a leader in plant sciences/biotech, the rest of the world hasn't gotten the memo. Either we're really good at fooling ourselves or really bad at marketing ourselves.

I'm sorry for being such a Debbie Downer. This city is still my favorite, screwed up as it is.
stlgasm wrote:Google "top cities for plant sciences" or "best cities for biotech" or any variation thereof. You'll find LOTS of rankings from various sources. What you won't find is St. Louis on practically any of them. So while we may think of ourselves as a leader in plant sciences/biotech, the rest of the world hasn't gotten the memo. Either we're really good at fooling ourselves or really bad at marketing ourselves.

I'm sorry for being such a Debbie Downer. This city is still my favorite, screwed up as it is.
"Fastest Growing" I think will yield different results.
I think it's important to realize what St Louis is right now: a fast grower. We are only seeing such high numbers because we had next to nothing. However, these click-bait headlines aren't what make a city. What's going on in St Louis as a whole right now is special. People are taking notice, and the region is aggressively marketing itself as a startup city. I am very excited for what the next several years have in store for our city.


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Chalupas54 wrote:
stlgasm wrote:Google "top cities for plant sciences" or "best cities for biotech" or any variation thereof. You'll find LOTS of rankings from various sources. What you won't find is St. Louis on practically any of them. So while we may think of ourselves as a leader in plant sciences/biotech, the rest of the world hasn't gotten the memo. Either we're really good at fooling ourselves or really bad at marketing ourselves.

I'm sorry for being such a Debbie Downer. This city is still my favorite, screwed up as it is.
"Fastest Growing" I think will yield different results.
I think it's important to realize what St Louis is right now: a fast grower. We are only seeing such high numbers because we had next to nothing. However, these click-bait headlines aren't what make a city. What's going on in St Louis as a whole right now is special. People are taking notice, and the region is aggressively marketing itself as a startup city. I am very excited for what the next several years have in store for our city.


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I also believe Microsoft is going to be a truly massive addition.


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I think there are so many "Fastest Growing", "Biggest", Startups, Tech, Ag Tech, etc articles out there on so many different rating systems or just some random writers thoughts that it is hard to put tons of stock into each one. St. Louis shows up on a fair amount of them and I doubt anyone shows up on all of them. I just read a new article yesterday from an outsider that was all about the emerging St. Louis tech market. So I think we are doing fine.

That said, I think every city thinks they have a fast growing emerging tech market. Not counting the Bay Area and other top 5 metros, maybe everyone is pretty similar so that is why each list is so different.
^ I think that's probably about right... Midwest cities may be going about things in slightly different ways but I think most all can point to successes and substantial opportunity while facing some similar challenges.

One thing I do hope we can achieve here is a downtown breakout... something similar to what Indy has enjoyed with the ExactTarget buyout by Salesforce-- that's been huge for their downtown both with the job count and corresponding real estate footprint (now occupying the newly renamed Salesforce Tower, Indiana's tallest) but also for unleashing a lot of other tech growth and excitement there. Similarly, I hope Square chooses downtown for their expansion... Cortex will be fine but DT can use a spark.
Info on the Greenway Trail System connections:

http://cortexstl.com/new-metrolink-stat ... is-region/

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Stolen from Cortex's Facebook page:

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