MTC helps to recruit Research Triangle Park-based biotechnology startup to Missouri with IDEA Funds

ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) today announced a significant investment in an agricultural biotechnology startup company through its Missouri IDEA Funds. MTC made a $175,000 investment in Benson Hill Biosystems, a company that is developing technology to increase intrinsic crop yield. The startup company will primarily use funds to conduct research and continue product development.

The Missouri Technology Corporation, housed within the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED), is a non-profit corporation focusing on promotion of entrepreneurship in Missouri and fostering the growth of emerging high-tech companies.

“Missouri is the place to be for budding tech companies and we’re excited to announce Benson Hill Biosystems as our newest partner,” said Bill Anderson, Acting Executive Director of the Missouri Technology Corporation. “Missouri’s extensive plant science resources and world class talent provides the infrastructure for high tech companies to grow and succeed. And Benson Hill’s decision to locate here further solidifies that.”

Benson Hill is expanding its operations in St. Louis while maintaining a presence at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Missouri and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis offer resources uniquely catered to Benson Hill’s mission. The state’s leadership in the life science industry and startup friendly environment played a key role in the company’s decision to locate here.

Boosting crop yields on existing acreage and with diminishing agricultural resources is the foremost challenge in sustainable production agriculture. Benson Hill Biosystems is developing solutions to substantially increase crop yield potential. More information can be found at www.bensonhillbio.com .  

In addition to MTC’s investment, Benson Hill Biosystems received an additional investment from BioGenerator, a private entrepreneur support organization and early-stage capital fund based in St. Louis, as well as the Helix Fund, an early-stage plant and life sciences investment fund administered by the St. Louis County Economic Council.

“The team at Benson Hill is world-class and the company’s existing research and industry partnerships position it well for growth,” said Dan Broderick, Vice President of Investments at BioGenerator.  “Benson Hill’s expansion in St. Louis will enable the company to take advantage of the region’s unique collection of ag bioscience assets – including preeminent research facilities and talent, startup support, and networks to agtech investors."

The Missouri IDEA (Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship Advancement) Funds promote the formation and growth of businesses that engage in the transfer of science and technology into job creation.

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Melanie Bernds
Public Relations Manager
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
(314) 587-1647, direct line
(314) 605-6363, mobile
Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter .
www.danforthcenter.org

About BRDG Park at the Danforth Center
Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center helps life sciences companies bridge research, resources and relationships to achieve commercial success. In addition to providing world-class wet laboratories, office space and a prominent incubator, BRDG Park’s location on the Danforth Center’s campus facilitates access to the intellectual capital of top scientists, as well as to greenhouse, growth chambers, microscopy and proteomics facilities and other vital resources. Located in suburban St. Louis County, Missouri, BRDG Park is being developed by Wexford Science+Technology LLC, a BioMed Realty Company, and privately held real estate developer and investment company that has developed six major research parks nationwide. More information is available at www.BRDG-Park.com.

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About Us

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 at the Danforth Center will feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment, and enhance the St. Louis region and Missouri as a world center for plant science. The Danforth Center’s work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Howard Buffett Foundation, the Monsanto Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information please visit www.danforthcenter.org, featuring interactive information on the Center’s scientists, news and research. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.

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