The Biotech community is booming in Saint Louis and Saint Louis University researchers are advancing discoveries and leveraging innovative industry collaborations both regionally and nationally. SLU is a founding member of the Cortex Innovation Community, a 200-acre innovation and entrepreneurship hub, hosting leading-edge anchor institutions, start-up companies, business incubators, accelerators, and venture capital firms, tallying over 400 companies and 6,000 employees.
CORTEX also hosts BioSTL, which advocates for research, invests in startups (through it's investment arm, BioGenerator), and attracts innovative companies to Saint Louis. BioSTL and BioGenerator also provide flexible access to physical laboratory space for startup companies, in addition to education, business coaching, investor relations, and non-dilutive grant support to entrepreneurs and early stage companies.
The Office of the Vice President for Research supports the entrepreneurial ambitions of faculty, staff, and community partners by providing programming related to innovation and entrepreneurship:
- COLLAB: The University has also joined with Washington University in St. Louis to create COLLAB, a 7,700sqft meeting, education, and office space in the heart of the CORTEX. COLLAB offers entrepreneurship programming through SLU's Chaifetz School of Business, and hosts SLU's Research Innovation Group, which builds new research initiatives and facilitates partnerships with industry, entrepreneurs, and investors.
- SLUStart I-Corps: NSF-funded designed to help academic researchers, community inventors and innovators, and aspiring entrepreneurs in the St. Louis region extend their focus beyond academia, the laboratory, and the workshop to create successful products and services that deliver real value.
- SLU Innovation Mentorship Teams (IMT): Based on the Venture Mentoring Service (GVMS) developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SLU IMT provides local startups and early-stage ventures guidance and support from mentors with expertise across multiple fields and industries.
- National Academy of Inventors: Five SLU faculty appointed as senior members in 2020; two appointed in 2021.
- Big Ideas: Internal competition focused on supporting innovation spirit in faculty researchers by providing funding to further develop inventions originating at SLU.
- Research Innovation Fund: SLU investment in high-potential technologies to increase the impact of inventions beyond the University; offers inventors, partners, and customers the opportunity to access SLU technologies and move them forward in the commercialization process.