St. Louis consistently earns a top spot on lists ranking America’s best cities for innovation, tech and startups. More than 1,000 plant and life science companies already flourish in St. Louis, which ranks second in the nation for jobs in the biotech, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and advanced materials industries.

Moving forward, Washington University School of Medicine is at the center of growth in the city, both literally and figuratively. In 2002, the school joined forces with some of the region’s major academic and research institutions to found the Cortex Innovation Community, the Midwest’s premiere hub of bioscience and technology research, development and commercialization. Located adjacent to the Medical Campus, this rapidly expanding biotech district is home to dozens of startups and established companies, as well as networking events, hackathons, funding groups, fabricators and other resources.

New residents and natives alike praise St. Louis for providing the career and cultural opportunities of a big city with the convenience and low cost of living often found in smaller towns. In fact, a 2019 assessment ranked St. Louis among the top U.S. cities where people live the most balanced lifestyles.

The Why St. Louis? series explores the city through the eyes of Washington University students and faculty. In this series:

  • Affordable city life
  • Exploring the #1 city park in the U.S.
  • Easy commuting
  • A city for foodies

Learn more about our town…