39 North Innovation District Plan Unveiled
The Science in Our Food
Brian Feldt - Reporter, St. Louis Business Journal
The Ag Innovation Showcase at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, which attracts some of the biggest names technology and bioscience, isn’t until September. But the list of startup companies set to present to investors has officially been released.
Among the 15 presenters, only one has St. Louis ties — Benson Hill Biosystems Inc., which is located in the Helix Center and has plans to move to the Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center as it grows.
Benson Hill is an agriculture biotech startup that develops technology to increase intrinsic crop yields. The company, based out of Research Triangle Park, N.C., recently received a $175,000 investment through the Missouri Technology Corporation’s Missouri Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurshi Advancement (IDEA) Fund as well as further investments from the BioGenerator and the Helix Fund.
Benson Hill will present on the showcase’s second day as part of the biological solutions block — showcase organizers this year are grouping presenters in thematic blocks. The other blocks include precision agriculture, traditional agriculture enhancements and renewables and sustainable materials.
Matt Crisp, president and CEO of Benson Hill, said the annual showcase has become the preeminent early stage agriculture conference in the country and a place where companies such as Benson Hill can get in front of multiple investors at once.
“You’ll have some of the most engaged audience members from strategic investors in one place all at the same time,” he said. “That kind of exposure, at our stage, is great. It’s an honor to present in front of that group. I know some folks on the selection committee and those folks are really dedicated to ensuring (the promotion) of plant science.”
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