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T-REX, the Downtown St. Louis innovation center dedicated to helping technology startups thrive, today delivered its first report highlighting the organization’s economic impact on the St. Louis community since its founding in 2011. Presented in an interactive digital format, the report (which will be published online mid-morning on May 24), details the success T-REX has had in graduating companies, fostering innovation, creating jobs, and ensuring the success of its 200 member companies.
Patricia Hagen, executive director of T-REX, will showcase the report’s findings during a special event this evening. George Paz, chairman of Express Scripts and co-chair of T-REX’s current capital fundraising campaign, will deliver the welcome remarks at the event, which also will include a panel discussion with current and graduate T-REX entrepreneurs about their experiences in the world of startups moderated by EQ’s Kelly Hamilton. The panel includes entrepreneurs Tyler King of Less Annoying CRM, Abby Cohen of Sparo Labs, Saurabh Bharadwaj of Aggio and Andy Dearing of Boundless.
T-REX also announced today that geospatial intelligence company Boundless is moving its St. Louis operations to T-REX to capitalize on the proximity of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s soon-to-be-built Next NGA West Campus.
“The data in our Report to the Community is hard evidence that our investments in startups are driving economic growth, creating jobs, and positioning Downtown St. Louis as a great place to start a tech business,” Hagen said. “What’s most telling is the fact that 82 companies have graduated from T-REX, meaning they’ve grown to a point that they’ve moved out on their own. That is our goal – to create an affordable, engaging, and vibrant place for startups to thrive in their earliest stages and to lead entrepreneurs to a place where they are successful enough to succeed on their own, often right here in Downtown St. Louis.”
The report features a number of key takeaways documenting T-REX’s community impact since its founding in 2011 and running through 2016:
- $350.4 million in annual economic output
- $137.2 million in annual labor income
- 2,230 total jobs created since T-REX’s inception in 2011, with 1,541 of those jobs in Downtown St. Louis
- 82 graduate companies of T-REX, with all but 14 of them remaining in the St. Louis region
- More than 400 current T-REX members working for 200 companies
- 29 percent of T-REX startups run by minorities and 21 percent run by women
Titled “Our City for the Building,” the community impact report is the result of collaborative research, data collection, and analysis performed by T-REX and the St. Louis Regional Chamber, which used a computer model called IMPLAN to produce the report.
Located at 911 Washington Avenue in the Lammert Building in Downtown St. Louis, T-REX currently features 130,000 square feet of usable space for its 200 member companies. But that is not enough to meet the demands of the robust St. Louis startup community. As a result, T-REX is in the midst of a $10 million capital fundraising campaign so that it can build out additional square footage within the building.
T-REX and the St. Louis Regional Chamber estimate that activating unused space in the Lammert Building will deliver even more impact. In fact, T-REX estimates that the expansion of the facility as outlined in the capital campaign–called the EVOLVE Campaign–will deliver 2,479 additional jobs, $145.4 million in additional labor income, and $340.3 million in additional economic output over a five-year period.
An example of a company that will benefit from the new space is Boundless, a startup that helps organizations get more out of their geospatial data through open-source software platforms. Boundless announced it will be moving its St. Louis operations to T-REX to capitalize on T-REX’s affordable office space, abundant tech talent, and a location that is less than 1.5 miles from the future National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Next NGA West Campus.
“We looked at numerous options around St. Louis, but T-REX delivered the whole package – a pool of talented tech entrepreneurs eager for collaboration, an active venture capital community, an inviting physical space that will attract employees and encourage partnerships, and the magnetic pull of the soon-to-be-built Next NGA West Campus just down the street,” said Andy Dearing, CEO of Boundless.