Unlocking Innovation: CIC and Filament’s New SuperCollider Event Series

Several people talking while sitting at a kitchen table at CIC St. Louis

By John Land, General Manager, CIC St. Louis

Having called St. Louis home for nearly a decade, I’ve been privileged to witness the remarkable growth of the city’s startup ecosystem. As the General Manager of CIC St. Louis, I’m deeply honored to play a role in fostering this growth by providing shared workspaces, labs, and programming to support our city’s exceptional talent.

St. Louis is a city that thrives on creativity and ingenuity. The headquarters of 22 of the nation’s largest private companies are located here and over 6,000 new businesses emerge in the greater St. Louis area each year. As a global leader in building and operating innovation campuses, we know that central to nurturing this spirit of innovation is providing a physical space to bring people together.

A recent Harvard Business Review report, sponsored by CIC, revealed that 90% of survey respondents agree that having the option to come into a physical office is beneficial for employees working on collaborative tasks. This same report also found that 68% of respondents believe that work that can be done remotely should be done remotely. This signals a profound evolution in the role of physical workspace. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all solutions. Today’s organizations are prioritizing flexibility and placing the employee experience at the forefront. At CIC St. Louis, we witness this change firsthand as our members embrace hybrid work, with Mondays and Fridays emerging as the preferred hybrid days, while midweek workdays experience a 20% increase in in-person traffic.

When Matt Homann of Filament, a longtime partner of ours, and I were talking about what our community needs today, we realized there was a need to reignite the spark of in-person connection and collaboration that had been lost during the pandemic. Together, with the help of Cortex Innovation Community, we decided to launch a new event series called SuperCollider. Building on the success of previous initiatives like Venture Café, SuperCollider offers a platform for local innovators to come together, share ideas, and forge meaningful relationships.

Unlike traditional networking events held after hours, SuperCollider takes place during business hours on Fridays—a strategic decision to accommodate the changing dynamics of today’s work environment. By hosting a full day of programming, we aim to provide a flexible and immersive experience that complements rather than disrupts the workweek.

SuperCollider began with an invite-only soft launch in April, but open registration for May and June is now live. Companies are invited to bring a team of at least three people who are actively working together on a project, idea or problem. Participants will have access to CIC’s coworking spaces, attend Filament-led workshops to learn practical business skills, join brainstorming sessions with nonprofits, and engage in discussions to find innovative solutions to common challenges.

It’s not just about networking for the sake of it—it’s about making genuine connections. We’ve discovered that our community wants to make the most of every moment and engage in programming designed to drive outcomes. This intentional approach ensures that participants share common interests and can fully engage with the curated programming.

We know that the future of work will be small groups of people working collaboratively together to advance an idea or find a solution to a problem. Even if our SuperCollider attendees are working on vastly different things, coming together to find common ground can help them draw inspiration from each other.

For those attending SuperCollider, I wanted to close by sharing a few pieces of advice on how to make more meaningful in-person connections during the event from our partner, Matt Homann.

Three tips on how to make meaningful connections at SuperCollider from Matt Homann, Founder, Filament:

  • Leverage Common Challenges for Unique Insights: While every organization faces variations of core challenges, focusing on shared struggles rather than unique circumstances can uncover novel solutions and foster common ground.
  • People connect better when they think together, not when they drink together: Instead of dedicating your “networking” time to places where you can have a drink in one hand and your business cards in the other, find opportunities to share ideas with others. You’ll build better relationships and deeper connections faster than when you’re “networking” the old-fashioned way.
  • Come for the work, stay for the collaboration: SuperCollider is a place for you to work with your team, but the true value comes from the work you’ll do with others. Come to focus on your projects; stay to expand your horizons through collective effort.

Register for the next SuperCollider here!

The Ecosystem St. Louis