Author's posts

Feb 06

Reading: Handbook of Biophilic City Planning & Design by Timothy Beatley

Several book publishers contact me regularly to see if I’m interested in a review copy of new books, some know my interests and just send the book — like today’s.

I usually understand at least the title of the books, but today’s required a quick search to understand one word: Biophilic.

The biophilia hypothesis suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book, Biophilia (1984). He defines biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. (Wikipedia)

Ah…makes sense. People have since applied this hypothesis to the built environment. Here’s a trailer for a documentary on the subject:

Twice before I’ve posted about books by Timothy Beatley, in March 2005 I included his book  Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities in a post on my favorite urban books, in November 2013 I included a book he edited called Green Cities of Europe: Global Lessons on Green Urbanism in a post on new books on urban planning.

In his latest book Beatley continues the green theme by applying Wilson’s biophilia hypothesis to cities.

What if, even in the heart of a densely developed city, people could have meaningful encounters with nature? While parks, street trees, and green roofs are increasingly appreciated for their technical services like stormwater reduction, from a biophilic viewpoint, they also facilitate experiences that contribute to better physical and mental health: natural elements in play areas can lessen children’s symptoms of ADHD, and adults who exercise in natural spaces can experience greater reductions in anxiety and blood pressure.

The Handbook of Biophilic City Planning & Design offers practical advice and inspiration for ensuring that nature in the city is more than infrastructure—that it also promotes well-being and creates an emotional connection to the earth among urban residents. Divided into six parts, the Handbook begins by introducing key ideas, literature, and theory about biophilic urbanism. Chapters highlight urban biophilic innovations in more than a dozen global cities. The final part concludes with lessons on how to advance an agenda for urban biophilia and an extensive list of resources.

As the most comprehensive reference on the emerging field of biophilic urbanism, the Handbook is essential reading for students and practitioners looking to place nature at the core of their planning and design ideas and encourage what preeminent biologist E.O. Wilson described as “the innate emotional connection of humans to all living things.” (Island Press)

One of the best ways to initially size up a new book is to review the table of contents:

Part I. The Power and Promise of Biophilic Cities

Chapter 1. The Power of Urban Nature: The Essential Benefits of a Biophilic Urbanism
Chapter 2. Placing Biophilic Cities: Planning History, Theory and the New Sustainability
Chapter 3. Urban Trends and Nature Trends: Can the Two Intersect?
Chapter 4. Biophilic Cities: Examining the Metrics and Theory

Part II. The Practice of Biophilic Urbanism: Cities Leading the Way
Chapter 5. Singapore: City in a Garden
Chapter 6. Wellington, NZ: Nature on the Edge
Chapter 7. Milwaukee: Greening the Rust Belt
Chapter 8. Birmingham: Health, Nature and Urban Regeneration
Chapter 9. Phoenix: The Promise of Biophilia in the Desert
Chapter 10. Portland: Nature in the Compact City
Chapter 11. San Francisco: From Park City to Wild City
Chapter 12. Oslo: The City of Forest and Fjord
Chapter 13. Vitoria-Gasteiz
Chapter 14. Global Survey of Cities: Shorter City Cases and Exemplars

Part III. Exemplary Tools, Policy Practices
Chapter 15. Detailed Profiles of Biophilic Design Tools Techniques, Design Ideas

Part IV. Successes and Future Directions
Chapter 16. Biophilic Cities in the Age of Climate Change: Mitigation, Resilience Through Nature
Chapter 17. What Can Be Learned From the Best Biophilic Cities?
Chapter 18. Key Obstacles to Biophilic Cities (And Ways To Overcome Them)
Chapter 19. Conclusions and Future Directions

The publisher also provides a link to a Google Books preview.  It’s available in hardcover, softcover, and E-book formats.

— Steve Patterson

 

Feb 05

Sunday Poll: Do You Purchase New or Used Vehicles?

Please vote below

Later this week we’ll be in Chicago for 2-day media preview at the Chicago Auto Show — it opens to the general public Saturday morning and runs through February 20th.

First staged in 1901, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent. This year marks the 109th edition of the Chicago Auto Show.

The Chicago Auto Show utilizes more than 1 million square feet in the North and South Exhibit Halls of the McCormick Place complex. McCormick Place offers a total of 2.7 million square feet of exhibit halls with an additional 700,000 square feet of meeting room availability.

The St. Louis Auto Show, held last month, is a dealer show. The Chicago Auto Show, though sponsored by dealers, is represented by manufacturers.

Thinking about all the new cars we’ll see got me wondering if readers buy new or used cars. Today’s poll question breaks it down a bit more:

The poll will remain open until 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

Feb 03

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: Last Board Bills of 2016-2017 Session (275-309)

St. Louis City Hall

St. Louis City Hall

The ice storm a few weeks ago meant the Board of Aldermen didn’t meet as scheduled, throwing off their schedule and mine. So here are the board bills that have been introduced since my last posting on new bills:

  • B.B.#275 – Hubbard – An ordinance authorizing the execution of a Parcel Development Agreement by and among the City, Northside Regeneration, and Northside Urgent Care Property, and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#276 – Hubbard – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance and delivery of not to exceed $6,475,000 plus issuance costs principal amount of Tax Increment Revenue Notes (Northside Regeneration—Healthworks Hospital Project) Series 20___-A/B, of the City; prescribing the form and details of such notes and the covenants and agreements made by the City to facilitate and protect the payment thereof; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#277 – Number not used.
  • B.B.#278 – Krewson – An Ordinance designating a portion of the City as a redevelopment area known as the Northgate Redevelopment Area pursuant to the Real Property Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act;; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#279 – Krewson – An Ordinance affirming adoption of a redevelopment plan, redevelopment area, and redevelopment project; authorizing the execution of a redevelopment agreement between the City and Pace-Delmar Associates; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#280 – Krewson – An Ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance and delivery of not to exceed $4,374,377 plus issuance costs principal amount of tax increment revenue notes (Northgate Redevelopment Project) Series 20__-A/B, of The City; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#281 – Roddy – An ordinance adopting an Amended and Restated TIF Redevelopment Plan; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#282 – Roddy – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing the execution of an Amended and Restated Redevelopment Agreement between the City, and St. Louis Innovation District; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#283 – Roddy – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Mayor and the Comptroller to execute and deliver the Third Supplemental Trust Indenture; authorizing and directing the taking of other actions and approval and execution of other documents as necessary or desirable to carry out and comply with the intent hereof; superseding provisions of prior ordinances of the City to the extent inconsistent with the terms hereof; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#284 – Roddy – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance and delivery of one or more series of tax increment revenue notes (St. Louis Innovation District/RPA 5 Project) Series A and Series B (collectively, the “RPA 5 Notes”) in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $12,200,000, plus costs of issuance; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#285 – Roddy/Davis – An Ordinance designating a portion of the City, as a redevelopment area known as the Armory District Redevelopment Area pursuant to the Real Property Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act; approving a redevelopment plan and a redevelopment project; adopting tax increment financing within the redevelopment area; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#286 – Roddy/Davis – An Ordinance affirming adoption of a redevelopment plan, redevelopment area, and redevelopment project; authorizing the execution of a redevelopment agreement between the City and with Green Street Development Group; designating with Green Street Development Group, as developer of the redevelopment area; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#287 – Boyd – An ordinance authorizing the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners upon approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, to expend any funds received by the SLBEC from the 2016-2018 awarded by the Missouri Secretary of State to provide assistance to local election authorities to improve election processes with state funds to assist with election activities, systems and equipment maintenance, voting equipment purchases, maintaining voter lists and polling place accessibility; to fulfill the obligations of said Grant, limited to expenditures covered entirely by grant funds and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#288 – Villa – An Ordinance authorizing the execution of an amendment to the redevelopment agreement between the City and Carondelet Broadway TIF, Inc. for redevelopment of the Carondelet Coke Redevelopment Area; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#289 – Roddy/Davis – An Ordinance approving a petition for the creation of the Armory Community Improvement District; authorizing the district to impose district sales tax; finding a public purpose for the establishment of the Armory Community Improvement District; and containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#290 – Ingrassia An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and the Board of Public Service authorizing and directing the execution and delivery of a Stadium Project Financing, Construction and Lease Agreement by and among The City, SC STL, and the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of the City, pertaining to the design, construction, financing and leasing of a new multi-purpose stadium designed to host professional soccer and amateur sports, concerts, and community events to be located on property currently owned by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission as part of the I-64 at 22nd Street Interchange; containing an emergency clause and a severability clause.
  • B.B.#291 – Ingrassia – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment amending Ordinance no. 55390, approved August 16, 1969, as amended by Ordinance No. 55522, approved February 18, 1970, as amended by Ordinance No. 56178, approved June 21, 1972, as amended by Ordinance No. 56912, approved March 6, 1975, as amended by Ordinance No. 62515, approved February 21, 1992, as amended by Ordinance No. 65669, approved October 24, 2002, as amended by Ordinance No. 66772, approved July 18, 2005, and as amended by Ordinance No. 68380, approved June 16, 2009, pertaining to the entertainment license tax; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#292 – Ingrassia – An Ordinance pertaining to preventing passage to and from a health care facility and prohibiting activities near certain facilities; containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#293 – Ingrassia – An ordinance approving a blighting study and redevelopment plan for 2232-2256 South Grand Blvd.; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#294 – Flowers – An ordinance prohibiting use of smokeless tobacco at professional, collegiate, high school and organized amateur sporting events.
  • B.B.#295 – Ingrassia – An ordinance for public health and welfare creating a new Chapter in the St. Louis Municipal code to be entitled “Conversion Therapy” to prohibit licensed professionals from engaging in counseling, practices, or treatments with the goal to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity; and containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#296 – Tyus – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission on January 4, 2017, to change the zoning of property, from “B” Two-Family Dwelling District and “F” Neighborhood Commercial District to the “F” Neighborhood Commercial District only, in City Block 4455 (4967-71 Palm Street); and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#297 – Hubbard – An Ordinance designating a portion of the City as a redevelopment area known as the Jefferson Arms Redevelopment Area pursuant to the Real Property Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#298 – Hubbard – An Ordinance affirming adoption of a redevelopment plan, redevelopment area, and redevelopment project; authorizing the execution of a redevelopment agreement between the City and Alterra Jefferson Arms; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#299 – Hubbard – An Ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the issuance and delivery of not to exceed $20,000,000 plus issuance costs principal amount of tax increment revenue notes (Jefferson Arms Redevelopment Project) Series 20__-A/B, of The City; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#300 – Roddy – An Ordinance Approving The Petition Of Various Owners Of Certain Real Property To Establish A Community Improvement District, Establishing The Kings-Oak Community Improvement District, and containing an emergency clause and a severability clause.
  • B.B.#301 – Tyus – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission, to change the zoning of property, from “A” Single- Family Dwelling District to the “F” Neighborhood Commercial District, in City Block 5090 (4547, 4901, 4903, 4905 & 4909 Geraldine Avenue); and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#302 – Coatar – An ordinance regarding certain Municipal Court operations; amending Ordinance 57839, Section Two, to be codified in the Revised Code at Chapter 1.12.045; repealing Section Seven of Ordinance 62779, as codified at Chapter 17.53.070 of the Code ; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#303 – Bosley – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service authorizing the 2017 St. Louis Works and the 50/50 Sidewalk Programs City Wide, appropriating $5,400,000.00 from the Street Improvement Fund; containing sections for description of the work, approval of plans and specifications, work and material guarantees, estimated costs from City funds and supplemental agreements and reversion authorizations, applicable state and federal wage rate requirements, equal opportunity provisions, the Mayor’s Executive Orders, contract advertising statutes, and a public work emergency clause.
  • B.B.#304 – Bosley – An ordinance to repeal Ordinance No. 70419 and enacting in lieu thereof an ordinance authorizing the lease of certain real property owned by the City located in City Block 2437; containing a severability clause. This ordinance authorizing and directing the Mayor and Comptroller to enter into a Lease Agreement with Sun Ministries, Incorporated.
  • B.B.#305 – Kennedy/Williamson/Davis/Flowers/Moore/French/Carter Hubbard/Pres. Reed/Bosley – An ordinance approving a minority and women-owned business enterprise program for the City; authorizing certain other actions; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#306 – Kennedy – An amendment to Ordinance 69984 (which established the Civilian Oversight Board, extending the number of days that the St. Louis Civilian Oversight Board has to review complaints and make recommendations by amending Section Six of said ordinance 69984; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#307 – Ortmann – An Ordinance pertaining to tampering with a witness or victim; prohibiting conduct by any individual which has the intention to or causes a witness or victim to fail to comply with or assist a police investigation or legal proceeding, including a Court proceeding, an Administrative hearing, or a Board hearing and all related investigations thereto within the City; containing definitions, prohibitions, and penalties.
  • B.B.#308 – Coatar – An Ordinance pursuant to ordinance 62234 for Police Division Sergeant Bargaining Unit between the City and the St. Louis Police Officers Association/Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 68.

Board Bill 309 isn’t listed on the agenda where it was introduced.

Today’s meeting begins at 10am, it can be watched online here.

— Steve Patterson

 

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Feb 01

More Than Half Of Readers Willing To Send Their Child To St. Louis Public Schools

Cole School. 3935 Enright Ave. was built in 1936. Now it's the Gilkey Pamoja Preparatory Academy @ Cole -- click for info on this market educating program

Cole School. 3935 Enright Ave. was built in 1936. Now it’s the Gilkey Pamoja Preparatory Academy @ Cole — click for info on this market educating program

The St. Louis Public Schools recently became fully accredited again — a result of vast improvements from a decade ago when barely more than half graduated and there was a huge budget deficit:

Today, the high-poverty, majority-African-American district has a 72 percent graduation rate and 95 percent attendance rate. The district had a $19.2 million surplus in June. The district has improved its students’ test scores year after year.

Still, Superintendent Kelvin Adams and the appointed Special Administrative Board acknowledge that the district is not meeting its academic goals.

“It’s really about the young people … who deserve to have the kind of education we all want for our kids,” Adams said after the board’s vote. “We’re not going to stop until every single kid can read, every single kid has that opportunity.”

About 37 percent of students who took state tests last year scored proficient or advanced in English, and 26 percent did so in math. Only 12 percent of district high school graduates who were tested scored at or above the national average on the ACT. (Post-Dispatch)

In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll just over half the readers said they’d send their kids to a St. Louis Public School:

Q: Assume you have a child ready to start 1st grade. Agree or disagree: Now that they’re accredited, I’d send my child to St. Louis Public Schools.

  • Strongly agree 10 [21.28%]
  • Agree 6 [12.77%]
  • Somewhat agree 14 [29.79%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree 0 [0%]
  • Disagree 4 [8.51%]
  • Strongly disagree 9 [19.15%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 4 [8.51%]

A couple of comments on social media do a good job summarizing

Celia Watson on Facebook:

This is a tough one to answer. I love my kiddos SLPS magnet school, but our neighborhood school is still not a consideration for us. I do feel that SLPS is well run, and employs excellent teachers and staff.

Jason Stokes on Twitter:

Have a current kindergartener. Moving to STL next month. Will send him to SLPS.

The more good students attend the schools the better they’ll do. The more involved parents & prospective parents are in the schools the better they’ll do.

— Steve Patterson

 

Jan 30

Accessibility To Food Trucks Is Often Lacking Due To Location Issues

More than two decades after the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed, the ongoing food truck revolution remains largely inaccessible to those of us who use wheelchairs. Not because of the tricks themselves, but because of where they park.

From a 2013 post — Foods trucks at Third Degree’s open house require lining up on grass — a challenge for some.

In early September a proposed food truck park was in the news:

St. Louis may soon get its first food truck park — a regular gathering spot for some of the area’s best-regarded mobile kitchens. The proposed site is on a stretch of South Vandeventer Avenue — not far from the popular Grove entertainment district — that officials hope to regenerate with new businesses.

Some planning remains, and the park’s developers have yet to choose the project’s name. But they have a site and hope to conduct a food truck pop-up event there this fall.

If plans work out, next spring a rotating assemblage of food trucks will begin to operate daily on what is now an overgrown lot next to the long-ago home of Liberty Bell Oil Co. The vacant building at 1430 South Vandeventer will be redone as the joint commissary for the food trucks. (Post-Dispatch)

My hope is if this moves forward it’ll be designed so everyone can patronize the food trucks. Often I can’t reach the trucks parked downtown at one of my favorite spots: Citygarden.

Even downtown many access problems exist. Just walk up right?

Even downtown many access problems exist. Just walk up right?

No, in this case the window isn't lined up with the walk shown in the previous picture.

No, in this case the window isn’t lined up with the walk shown in the previous picture.

Market next to Citygarden is a very narrow strip of concrete. Enough to stand on but not enough for a wheelchair.

Even when the window is lined up it can still be a challenge if there are others in line.

When I started blogging 12+ years ago I argued for more food carts to activate streets — food trucks weren’t a thing yet. I still wish food carts were more common because they trend to be easier to access in a wheelchair. But trucks have replaced carts so now we need to ensure the public can access them.

— Steve Patterson

 

Dec 30

Gateway Venture Mentoring Service

Gateway Venture Mentoring Service, GVMS, was established in 2007 as one of the Saint Louis region’s first entrepreneur service organizations.  GVMS, originally IVMS, is build on the MIT VMS model, which is a team mentoring approach to helping emerging companies establish themselves and grow.

The chair of the GVMS is Pete Peters and KeAnna Daniels is the GVMS Executive Director.

GVMS has partnered with ITE to develop the FlipZone training program which will launch spring 2017.

The post Gateway Venture Mentoring Service appeared first on Laboratory and IT Incubator at University of MO – St. Louis.

Dec 30

FlipZone – Entrepreneur Training for Established Ventures

ITE and Gateway Venture Mentoring Service have been awarded a grant from the Missouri Technology Corporation to pilot a new program for established ventures based on the Flip instructional method, called FlipZone.

Flip uses video training and advanced homework with in-person review and enhancement of the efforts.  Flip is best suited for areas in which hands-on experience is important, and there is nowhere that hands-on is more important than in company development.

Visit the website to learn more, and feel free to contact us with any questions.

The post FlipZone – Entrepreneur Training for Established Ventures appeared first on Laboratory and IT Incubator at University of MO – St. Louis.

Oct 20

ITE|GVMS ProTraining Inaugural Seminar: IP Law

On Tuesday, November 1st, Innovative Technology Enterprises will be hosting the first ITE|GVMS ProTraining seminar, focusing on intellectual property law. This series of programming aims to inform entrepreneurs on a variety of topics pertinent to their businesses, and many will include continuing education credits for legal professionals, accountants, and others.

The first of these sessions is titled “Recent Changes in Intellectual Property Law for non-IP Attorneys, Startups, and Their Advisors.” The presentations will focus primarily on IP law as it applies to the field of biotechnology. Two attorneys based in St. Louis will be presenting. I interviewed both of them over the phone to get some background, and learn more about what they will be presenting.

First we have Saul Zackson, PhD, JD, of Zackson Law. Saul has been a practicing patent attorney since 2001, working with patents involving the life sciences and anything related. In 2010, out of a desire for independence from larger firms, Saul started his own firm – Zackson Law. The firm focuses most of its work on universities, non-profits, and startups.

Though the specifics of the presentation had yet to be finalized at the time of the interview, Saul gave me a preview of what he would be discussing. One topic deals with patentable  subject matter. Examples of such subject matter would be patents on medical diagnostics, and patents on methods of treatment. “There have been a couple of decisions from the Supreme Court in recent years that have turned everything upside down, or changed standards, making getting patents more difficult in a variety of situations,” Saul explained.

Next is Kirk Damman, JD, of Lewis Rice. Kirk is our speaker from a larger firm. Kirk has been a patent attorney for seventeen years. He primarily works to help clients acquire their patents, though he has experience with litigation as well. Kirk’s primary client base is small business and startups, many of them in the St. Louis area, or in the Midwest. Kirk explained how most large firms work primarily with larger companies. “We’re a little unique I think in the fact that we are focused on smaller companies and startups.”

Kirk’s presentation is going to focus on the question “what do you actually get a patent on?” What is the criteria for a patentable process or physical object? A core of this is what inventions inhabit a physical device space vs a software or operating space. Both of these areas include patentable material, but Kirk will address the ongoing legal discussion about their differences and what may separate a patentable idea/object from a non-patentable idea/object.

Kirk also helped to found the Patent Pro Bono Program in St. Louis. GVMS, as an organization that supports local startups, helps facilitate companies into the program. Kirk gave me a statement about the program.

“It’s an offering that fills a necessary gap by allowing those without the financial resources to file for or obtain patent protection to do so.  In effect, to grant access to the patent office for a group that has been traditionally underrepresented at the patent office because they simply don’t know how to access an agency that is designed to help them protect their ideas.  The real value of it, however, is that it means that inventors who lack financial resources are not forced to try and navigate patent law (which can be merciless) by themselves simply because they lack the resources to get an attorney.  Hopefully, the inventors can then go out to license, sell, or commercialize their ideas adding value to their local economies.”

This seminar will not only be beneficial for attorneys, but also for anyone in technology or life science field that wants to learn more about the possibilities for their inventive ideas to become a reality. We welcome startup founders, their advisors, mentors, and anyone interested in the subject matter.

The post ITE|GVMS ProTraining Inaugural Seminar: IP Law appeared first on Laboratory and IT Incubator at University of MO – St. Louis.

Oct 18

St. Louis Startup Connection

Startup Connection, the St. Louis region’s largest event focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, will be held on Wednesday, November 16th.  The event will return to Washington University’s Knight Center from 4:30pm – 9:00pm.  The expected audience of 1,300+ includes top early-stage startups and a dynamic mix of the innovation and business community.

The Venture Showcase highlights the breadth of innovation in the St. Louis region across various industry sectors. The 70+ early-stage startups represent industries ranging from biotechnology and advanced manufacturing to consumer products and tech.  Meet the entrepreneurs at their displays, and see their pitches live on the Emerson Auditorium stage.   The event’s Resource Fair features over 40 organizations that provide resources, services and connections for startup companies.

“Startup Connection is a great event to attend to see what’s new in St. Louis’ startup community,” said Startup Connection Managing Director Phyllis Ellison, director of entrepreneur services and institutional & corporate partnerships at the Cortex Innovation Community.  “We have an exciting group of companies this year that really emphasizes the variety of technology and innovation happening in the region.”

Join us for the most energetic evening in the innovation community!  Visit www.StartupConnection.org for tickets, event info and a list of companies in the Innovation Showcase.   Use the promo code “Take10” for a $10 discount until November 1.

The post St. Louis Startup Connection appeared first on Laboratory and IT Incubator at University of MO – St. Louis.

Jul 18

Breakout Year for EKG

 

EKG LogoAt Innovative Technology Enterprises at UMSL (University of Missouri – St. Louis), we have created an environment that fosters the growth of a variety of companies, large and small. These companies are more than just their products or services. This series of articles seeks to illuminate some of the people that make our tenant companies great, and answer the question: what is going on inside ITE?

 

Going into an interview with Dr. Allen Kesselring, the original intent was to do a write up of recent developments at EKG Life Science Solutions. As it turns out, EKG has had quite the success these past several months.

“Over the last three years, we’ve been slowly growing in revenue, equipment, and employees. This last year has really been kind of a break-out year for us.”

After wrapping up 2015 with a successful Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration; the first half of 2016 has provided new employees; conference invitations to present as industry experts; and a recently completed flawless FDA inspection. 2016 has been the biggest year yet for EKG.

First of all: the DEA approval and registration. In December 2015, EKG underwent several days of interview and inspection, conducted by the DEA, in an effort to gain approval to conduct analytical testing involving controlled substances. This is in effect a boon to both Allen, and the group’s capability as a whole. The ability to work with controlled substances expands the group’s already impressive pharmaceutical service offerings and opens up myriad possible business directions and opportunities for testing and research.

Allen was recently invited to speak at the Smithers Rapra Extractables and Leechables 2016 conference. Speaking as an invited industry expert from EKG and their sub-group Vape Testing Labs, Allen discussed the variety of leechables associated with e-cigarettes. In non-technical terms, this affirms and validates the status of EKG as a scientific force in their field in the St. Louis region.

And yet again, just a few weeks ago, another department of the federal government arrived at ITE to check in on EKG. This time, it was the Food and Drug administration. The FDA routinely does comprehensive general inspections. They open cabinets; look at data and logbooks; check equipment; and generally scour the workspace looking for points of potential non-compliance. Typically , an organization getting inspected would expect one or two form “483s”, as small mistakes in documentation and other minor violations are quite common.  It is notable that over the course of a three day FDA audit, EKG didn’t receive a single observation or notice of violation.

This all relates to EKG’s ability to grow and hire. When they started, Jennifer Eagan, Allen Kesselring, and Katie Grayson separated from their former workplace. Having each worked together for eight years, they decided to form their own company (named after themselves), EKG. They started with no equipment or external staff, just the expertise and drive necessary to build from scratch in the St. Louis region.

“Because we had no equipment of our own, having access to university equipment was critical, we were routinely talking to professors saying ‘Hey can you test this for us?’ and/or ‘can we utilize your equipment to do this analysis?’ That was how it was for us in 2013.”

In 2015, EKG hired two interns and one full time employee. This trend continued in 2016 with yet another full time employee, and with their recent success they plan on continuing the trend and hiring more in 2017. Put another way, EKG is on a path to triple their footprint at ITE since they began operations.

All of this occurring over just a few months signals big things to come out of EKG in the future. To learn more, check out their website.

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Kevin Gleich is a graduate student in the University of Missouri – St. Louis’ Master of Fine Arts writing program. He produces content and manages communications for Innovative Technology Enterprises.

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