Chapter 1: What is Cortex?

Cortex means different things to different people. Part place, part “state of mind,” it’s definitely a place for some of the most talented entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground, transforming St. Louis into a regional innovation hub along the way.

About this Project

Our new, one-hour documentary elevates the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in St. Louis. Smart People. Cool Places. The Story of Cortex tells the compelling story of an innovation hub in St. Louis attracting national attention and promising to take the region’s economy in a new, positive direction.

Here, in the most comprehensive oral history of the Cortex in existence, they tell that story in their own words. The interviews collected here were used for the making of the documentary film Smart People. Cool Places. The Story of Cortex​.

The Story of Cortex was made possible by the generous support of Dr. William H. Danforth, Dan and Connie Burkhardt, Constance and John McPheeters, and Aries Rental Company.