In early 2020, the start of the pandemic left all of us with far more questions than answers. One year later, in spite of ongoing uncertainty and frustration, St. Louis has responded to the year’s challenges with resiliency. In the midst of a year characterized by sweatpants, remote work and long stretches of isolation, St. Louisans have pushed forward to advance the region. Here are a few wins we’re celebrating.
St. Louis continues to show growth:
- Square maintained its commitment to move its St. Louis office into the historic downtown St. Louis Post Dispatch building, making way for the tech company to more than double its local workforce.
- Accenture Federal Services announced it will build an Advanced Technology Center in the region, hiring up to 1,400 employees over the next five years.
- LinkedIn named St. Louis the No. 1 city to start a career.
- Entrepreneur Magazine included St. Louis in its list of the top Heartland cities essential to the future of American innovation.
The pandemic has given way for the region to shine as it contributes to relief efforts:
- Pfizer’s St. Louis facility played a major role in the creation of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, authorized for emergency use in countries around the world.
- Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University contributed to our knowledge of the virus, vaccine development, side effect exploration, and much more.
- BioSTL received a $2.96 million federal CARES Act grant to launch a Center for National Pandemic Resiliency through Bioscience, building on the infrastructure and connections it has cultivated here and positioning the region as a leader for the future.
Late-stage St. Louis startups are getting a boost:
- The pandemic has acted as a “funding accelerant” for startups like Rezilient Health, since coastal funders are focused less on geography and more on innovation — regardless of where it comes from.
- Nerdy Inc., parent company of Varsity Tutors, is going public, becoming St. Louis’ first unicorn, a startup worth one billion dollars.
These successes reflect only a small sliver of the tenacity and promise we continue to witness throughout our region. In the face of adversity, we have seen hope. As we look to a (fully vaccinated) future filled with connections, collaboration and creativity, we anticipate we’ll see exponentially more stories like these. We look forward to telling them.