"A heritage of new methods, ideas, and products has always been part of the St. Louis mindset"

Jay King, CEO - Simploy

St. Louis was born of innovation, and the city has always been shaped by the pioneer mentality. Since its founding in 1764 by Pierre Laclede as an outpost on the Mississippi River, St. Louis has been a place where entrepreneurs and thinkers gather. Innovation in the city began with Laclede’s vision, and it has only increased since then.

When Lewis and Clark left here on their expedition in 1803, St. Louis became known as the “Gateway to the West.” All during the 1800s we saw explorers, mountain men, and gold seekers who considered our town to be the epicenter for provisions, preparation, and entertainment before leaving for the West. They knew that the latest and greatest could always be found here. And that heritage of new methods, ideas, and products has always been part of our mindset.

The catalogue of St. Louis innovations is solid. Most everyone around here knows the stories about fried ravioli and the ice cream cone and gooey butter cake. But, in addition to those novelties, we have more than our share of other significant “firsts” as well. Here are just a few of them: the skyscraper, kindergarten, the X-ray machine, the steel truss bridge, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the gas station (and the first auto accident!), the use of fingerprints, the U.S. Olympics, the first school to use braille, the junior miss concept (during our soon-to-bereturning fashion district boom), and so many more. Oh, and let’s not forget the hot dog! Again, that’s just a few.

So what’s coming next? Take a look through these pages (especially the Simploy spread) and imagine the future, like a contemporary Pierre Laclede. There are no boundaries to our ingenuity. We’re reminded of that every few years, when the river refuses to stay in its banks. Of course most of the time, the water is calm, even sleepy, as it slips past the Arch. So the real action starts at Laclede’s landing, and stretches through downtown, to the Cortex Community, to any of the 80 different neighborhoods in St. Louis; then north and south and west through the county.

Innovation is in our blood, it’s in our hearts and souls. It’s everywhere! Just take a look and keep reading. If you live here, you’ll be honored. If you don’t, it’s time to pack your bags.

Jay King was born in rural Tennessee and landed in St. Louis purely by chance after college. He enjoyed a career in design and construction, first as a registered architect, then eventually as a construction program manager with major corporations. A series of opportunities allowed him to pursue his dream of being an entrepreneur–but in an entirely new industry. Now he supports innovative employers in St. Louis and around the country


13023 Tesson Ferry Road, Suite 105 St. Louis, MO

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