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In the most recent episode of The Flash, "Family Matters Part 1," Cisco mentions that he doesn't want to be "stuck" working at STAR Labs for the next 40 years while everyone else moves on. And I realized something: Barry, Joe, and Iris all have their own jobs outside of Team Flash, but for Cisco and Caitlin (and apparently Chester as well now,) STAR Labs is their day job.

Before the particle accelerator explosion, it was a well-regarded research lab that was presumably funded either by grants or by selling their research or similar, but since then, it seems to have been transformed into a full-time superhero team headquarters almost exclusively. I don't believe we've seen it producing any products or services since the Flash started his crimefighting work.

So I have to wonder, where does it get its revenue from? How is it keeping the lights on? Where does it get the money to pay the salaries of its employees, Cisco and Caitlin?

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  • I'm sure there was a plot where they started doing public tours to earn money to keep the place open at one point
    – mgh42
    May 20 at 0:52
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Well, essentially this is "plot wealth" but the general explanation is...

From Harrison Wells' estate.

It's indicated at the start of Season 2 that Thrawne/Wells made a video about how he killed Barry’s mother and that all the wealth in name of Star Labs will be inherited by Barry.

This would include Wells' patents (which must be considerable). STAR Labs is a multi-billion dollar business with considerable real estate holdings (for instance the hanger that becomes the Hall of Justice).

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  • Good point. I'd forgotten about that video. May 19 at 16:52
  • I haven't watched the Flash in a while, but I remember there was an episode where they turned the public facing part in to a museum. It wasn't well-received initially, but Cisco managed to turn it around. They show the Flash Museum in the future which I think is implied to be the old Star Labs building, so maybe it's still going?
    – DeeV
    May 19 at 18:31
  • 2
    I don't know for the original Wells, but Eobard Thrawne used its superior intelligence and his knowledge of the future to be some kind of Elon Musk.
    – Taladris
    May 20 at 0:11

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