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This Friday, November 9, as an extension of Venture Cafe’s annual fundraiser, Kinesis, the brand-new event venue and free, public workspace, Innovation Hall, will open its doors to the St. Louis community for the first time.
The “Kinesis Afterparty” is a public gathering that will follow Kinesis, Venture Cafe’s annual fundraiser. At the afterparty, guests can enjoy musical performances, an art & technology exhibition that includes local and international artists. The event will bring musicians from as near as St. Louis to as far as Paris together in Innovation Hall to showcase that innovation is truly for everyone.
Guests can also enjoy drinks in the brand new restaurant The Chocolate Pig, the newest addition to the Cortex Innovation Community.
Located in the Cortex Innovation Community, Innovation Hall is a program powered by Venture Cafe St. Louis in collaboration with Cortex; it’s not a coworking space per se, but a unique space defined by its civic nature and public purpose.
It’s a gathering place for all kinds of entrepreneurs, made up of the Civic Lounge, private meeting rooms that seat between 4 and 20 people, and assembly bays that accommodate larger crowds to more than 300. The Civic Lounge is free for anyone who walks in on weekdays (free wifi, too!). Nevertheless, all of the spaces are also available to book privately for events or meetings. Prices are listed online.
Venture Cafe’s Annual Fundraiser
The Kinesis fundraising event supports Venture Cafe, a non-profit that seeks to broaden, connect and support the innovation community with public spaces and programs that help bring ideas to life. The fundraising event will celebrate some of the successes of local entrepreneurs and organizations whose ideas have had a real and positive impact.
EdHub STL is one of several success stories to be celebrated at Kinesis. EdHub STL is a developmental laboratory — a physical and intellectual space for everyone in education — now located inside Innovation Hall. The EdHub STL concept came to life in partnership with SkipNV, a new kind of think tank that designs strategies and methodologies that increase access to high quality education for the nation’s most vulnerable youth.
Forward through Ferguson
Forward through Ferguson, a group that formed in the aftermath of the death of Michael Brown, will be recognized along with SkipNV for their efforts to facilitate equity, access and innovation education. In their report, Forward through Ferguson called upon the St. Louis community to build a space that incubates new approaches to education; this call-to-action inspired EdHub STL.
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Kinesis will also spotlight The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in recognition of their collaborative efforts to create an innovation community in 39 North. For more than a year, on every 3rd Tuesday of the month, the Danforth Plant Science Center has hosted an event called Venture Café Night: 39° N to unite entrepreneurs, scientists and innovators. Programming is curated around a variety of topics from food and energy security to sustainability to big data and machine learning.
Another honoree, the St Louis Economic Development Partnership, has supported and facilitated the success of 39 North by providing resources to help the innovation district grow. The organization is home to nearly 20 Fortune 1000 companies, and has been hailed as one of the hottest startup regions in the Country by Fortune, Popular Mechanics and the analytics website FiveThirtyEight.
Cortex Innovation Community
Both Cortex Innovation Community and Third Degree Glass Factory will be spotlighted for their collaborative efforts to support the maker community. Since inception, Cortex has completed or has under construction 1.7 million square feet of new and rehabilitated space totaling over $550 million of investment and generating 4,200 technology-related jobs. Currently, there are over 380 companies that call the Cortex Innovation Community their home.
Third Degree Glass Factory
Last year, Third Degree Glass Factory founder Jim McKelvey, opened Maker Studio, a workshop with high-tech laser cutters and other equipment for inventors and entrepreneurs, in the former TechShop building. TechShop abruptly closed in November 2017, and upon hearing the news, McKelvey and Cortex president Dennis Lower decided to step in to revive it. He set a plan in place that protected the maker community.
All of these stories are real examples of the collisions and community efforts that fuel the overall success of Cortex, and by extension, the success of St. Louis as a whole.
You can consider Innovation Hall as the gateway to the innovation community. Come join the celebration this weekend, and be part of the launch of yet another great chapter in the history of the Cortex district.