Danforth Center Launches Technology Company

Company will focus on accelerating startup formation

ST. LOUIS, MO, February 8, 2022 – The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announced the establishment of the Danforth Technology Company (DTC), a wholly-owned C Corporation to facilitate the creation of startup companies from technologies developed by Danforth Center scientists. The Danforth Center is the largest independent, non-profit plant science research organization in the US. 

Danforth Technology Company will function as a link between Danforth Center scientists and entrepreneurs, investors, companies, and technology leaders. It will also facilitate the out-licensing of Danforth Center technologies, and set up and seed early-stage startup companies. Danforth Center scientists have co-founded several startup companies, including Benson Hill (NYSE:BHIL).

Tom Laurita serves as CEO of the DTC. Laurita is co-founder and former CEO of NewLeaf Symbiotics, which develops microbial technologies for crop agriculture. Hal Davies serves as CFO in conjunction with his role as Danforth Center COO/VP Finance. John Ahn joins DTC from Argonne National Laboratory and serves as Entrepreneurship and Business Development lead. 

The new company is governed independently by a board chaired by Danforth Center President and CEO, Jim Carrington, PhD. “Delivering on our mission at the Danforth Center, and having impact from our work, means we need to move our scientific advances and technologies into the marketplace,” said Carrington. ”Establishing DTC will help accelerate the pace of agtech startup creation to deliver products and services that address significant challenges and needs in agriculture.” 

Laurita added, “Innovative plant science research and development is happening at the Danforth Center, BioResearch and Development Growth Park on the Center’s campus, and across the 39 North innovation community. This is a key driver for growth of the St. Louis agtech ecosystem and the region’s economy. DTC will create companies with seed funding and IP from the Danforth Center, helping to move scientific discoveries out of the lab and into the real world.”

About the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research, education, and outreach aim to have impact at the nexus of food security and the environment and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.

For more information contact:
Karla Roeber, Vice President, Public and Government Affairs,  kroeber@danforthcenter.org, +1 314.406.4287