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Major Boston-Area Startup Incubator To Join Wash U In New Cortex Facility


One of the country’s largest startup incubators will soon be moving into the Cortex bioscience district in St. Louis.

The move marks Cambridge Innovation Center’s first expansion out of the Boston area, where it houses more than 500 small to mid-sized companies.

CIC’s president and CEO, Ranch Kimball, says he expects the new St. Louis facility to attract mostly technology startups, but says CIC will be open to a variety of businesses.

"We’d expect we’d have some healthcare firms, some information technology firms, we probably might have a few spin-outs of University of Missouri-St. Louis, or SLU, or Wash U,” Kimball said. “We’d probably have a couple of marketing, or consulting, or investment firms.”

CIC will move into a former telephone factory at the corner of Duncan and Boyle in the Central West End.

The building is currently undergoing a $73 million renovation which is scheduled for completion this fall.

Washington University will be the other major tenant.

The university’s chief administrative officer, Hank Webber, says having successful startup incubators in St. Louis helps to attract top faculty to Wash U and other area universities.

"An increasing number of people want to be in an area where the option to commercialize their work is also important,” Webber said. “Where there’s an option to take their work and have it impact on society through creating new drugs, through creating new products, etc.”

The new facility is expected to house more than 100 startups, along with Wash U’s Office of Technology Management, which helps turn academic research into commercial products.

Follow Véronique LaCapra on Twitter@KWMUScience