On Tuesday, September 15th, Arch Grants attended the final keynote address of the Maritz Innovation Symposium, held this year at the Maritz Campus from September 14th-15th. The final keynote address titled “The Rise of Downtown Innovation Districts” was given by Tim Rowe, the founder and CEO of CIC, Cambridge Innovation Center. Tim Rowe was a friendly and engaging speaker, and spoke about his background and his experience founding CIC (which has locations in Cambridge, Boston, recently St. Louis, and even more recently Rotterdam). His talk highlighted modern innovations that have fundamentally changed the way we live and work, and the role that co-working and proximity plays in the development of those innovations. He stressed that startups are the new drivers of economic development, and are creating about 3 times as many jobs as are lost every year in corporate downsizing (about 3,000,000 jobs created by startups, 1,000,000 lost from corporations) – a message that Arch Grants (and many others in the space) are constantly trying to promote!
Tim mentioned a study from 1988 that nailed home the importance of proximity in collaboration and innovation. The study found that scientists working on the same hall of the same floor of a facility work collaboratively about 10% of the time, compared to .3% for scientists on different floors of the same facility. Very interesting data to support his message – something most of us know from experience – that proximity has a lot to do with productivity. It was great to see some of our own life lessons reflected in the speech. At Arch Grants, we always encourage our companies, attracted or retained, to seek coworking space with one of the many organizations that offer them in our region. We are fortunate to have so many people supporting entrepreneurs in this way – helping connect our recipients with them is one of our favorite things to do. The team working on bringing a Downtown Innovation District to fruition here in downtown St. Louis has certainly been living out the mission that Tim sets up. We are very happy to be a part of such an exciting project and look forward to it continuing to build and take shape in the months to come. Tim’s speech certainly was timely!
Tim’s speech was an important one for our region and for our ecosystem. Before he started he asked the audience to raise their hands if they’d heard of CIC – only about half of the audience did so. It was refreshing to see so many people outside our direct ecosystem interested in hearing more about innovation. Wherever the audience came from – the corporate world, non-profits, the public sector- they all walked away with a similar message: Innovation is what moves us forward and St. Louis is an always growing playground for innovation. At Arch Grants, we have seen that our most successful entrepreneurs are those that actively build bridges outside our own ecosystem to partners in the community. We know that events like this help to bring people closer, create those connections, and build better ideas. Thanks to Maritz for hosting, and to Tim for a great speech!
For more information on the Cambridge Innovation Center click here
For a list of co-working spaces in St. Louis check out the “INCUBATORS, CO-WORKING, AND INNOVATIVE OFFICE SPACE” section of our website here.