Points of View: 3 Startup Supporters Share How the T-REX Innovation Center Sets Itself Apart

Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

The startup scene in St. Louis is a variegated one. Besides the startup businesses themselves, accelerators, incubators, investors and entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) make up the major visible players. These supporters work in tandem with entrepreneurs and in many ways adopt a symbiotic relationship with them.

Visibility within the landscape is elemental to the success of all who are active within the startup space. This integral fact–alongside other reasons that are as varied as the organizations themselves–draws startup-centric individuals and organizations alike to the T-REX Innovation Community, St. Louis’ startup incubator that acts as the heart of the Downtown Innovation Community. Eleven entrepreneur support organizations count T-REX as their headquarters. We connected with leaders at three organizations who shared the reasons they see T-REX as the best place for their organizations to office every day.

Brian Matthews

Brian Matthews
Investor; Co-Founder and General Partner, Cultivation Capital


We have found that, in working within the same building as many of the companies that are working with, we get to know them better and can observe the work habits and better understand their culture and challenges.


The combination of low-cost housing, a start-up culture/vibe and access to capital has been the hallmark of T-REX since 2011. This symbiotic relationship has created hundreds of companies and a thousand jobs within the building and throughout the region.


Renting at T-REX helps to provide financial support to T-REX, and holding events there strengthens this important software technology asset for seed and late seed companies within St. Louis’ start-up ecosystem.


Francis Chmelir
Entrepreneur Support Organization; Executive Director, ITEN

T-REX has become a natural location for early stage tech startups to office and work. ITEN has been a part of T-REX from its earliest days at the Railway Exchange Building and we feel particularly invested in seeing this place be a successful and integral part of the startup ecosystem.

T-REX fills an important role for Downtown St. Louis as an event space, co-working and incubator for tech startups. The mix of support organizations, investors and startups can make for a vibrant culture of collaboration.

The space at T-REX allows for a good mix of ESOs and startups in close proximity to one another, making it easy to share information, attend various events and work together for the betterment of the ecosystem. To create a collaborative culture takes an intentional approach that fosters sharing of information and recognition that it takes all of us to make the ecosystem work effectively.


Joel Brightfield
Accelerator Program; Principal, SixThirty

T-REX offers an outstanding and world class co-working space and meeting venues. SixThirty regularly host founders from around the world at T-REX, and they comment that they have never seen anything as welcoming and well-run as T-REX.

T-REX is located in downtown St. Louis, the hub of financial services activity in the region. As a FinTech focused venture capital fund and accelerator, it is important to us at SixThirty that we are located in the mix of this activity.

T-REX offers both co-working and office space and regularly hosts events, some just for members and some open to the public.

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Andrea writes as a full-time copywriter at a local marketing agency and is a freelance writer for small businesses and non-profits. Her love of language, words, and storytelling fuels her, but coffee also deserves some credit. When Andrea isn’t writing and getting caffeinated, you might find her in hot pursuit of an adventure or eating FroYo. Her role models are Nancy Drew and Liz Lemon.