May 7, 2013





Benson Hill Biosystems, a new company using technology developed at the Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Danforth Plant Science Center to improve intrinsic crop yield, has raised $300,000 in seed funding.


Thanks to the infusion of capital, President and CEO Matt Crisp said the company's R&D activities, including proof-of-concept testing on corn and rice, are now under way. Benson Hill moved to Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Center in February, and Crisp expects to hire half a dozen employees this year.


Benson Hill was launched last year by Crisp, who is based in North Carolina, along with Dr. Tom Brutnell, Director of the Enterprise Institute and Dr. Todd Mockler, Danforth Center Associate Member and Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Distinguished Investigator. The company is looking to improve the photosynthetic efficiency of plants like corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice.

Crisp said Benson Hill expects to close a second round of seed capital fund raising in the next few weeks that will likely double the amount raised to date. Benson Hill is looking to raise $7 million in a Series A round from venture capital firms and strategic investors, an increased target from the $3 million to $5 million target Crisp had envisioned.

To read more about Benson Hill's funding, click  here





BRDG Park tenant, Allied Blending & Ingredients will join more than 20,000 of the world's top food science and technology professionals in the global food sector, at the IFT Annual Meeting and Expo in at McCormick Place South in Chicago, July 13-16, to learn about the most recent product, ingredient, and technology developments, and their potential business impact, as well as to identify trends that will shape the industry.

Allied Blending & Ingredients will be showcasing some of their newest discoveries such as, anticaking agents, antimicrobial agents, bakery mixes, cheese, dairy ingredients, egg replacers, enzymes, leavening agents, and non-GMO ingredients. Visit them at booth 1403 to sample some of their new products for the cheese, tortilla and bakery markets.


To learn more about the 2013 Annual Meeting and Food Expo, click here.



St. Louis Community College
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Representatives from MoBio, St. Louis Community College, the City of Wentzville, a few St. Louis-based start-ups & even Gov. Jay Nixon headed to Chicago at the end of April for the BIO International Convention to talk about the growing biotech field in Missouri. MORE.  


Benson Hill Biosystems
St. Louis Post-Dispatch  

Nine companies from the St. Louis area wooed investors at the InvestMidwest venture capital forum in Kansas City. The annual event, which alternates between St. Louis and Kansas City, features 44 early-stage companies in the life sciences, technology and food and agriculture industries. MORE.


NewLeaf Symbiotics  

St. Louis Business Journal  Dozens of strains of algae are growing at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, in a new algae farm in Dr. Jim Umen's lab. Umen also is working with ag biotech firm NewLeaf Symbiotics at the Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park. NewLeaf, which is working to commercialize bacteria found in nature to promote plant growth, recently closed on a $7 million round of financing. MORE.


Phycal, Inc.  

Alt Energy Stocks  

As part of its program to promote beneficial reuse of carbon dioxide, the Department of Energy awarded a total of $27.2 million ($3.0 million in the first phase and $24.2 million in a second phase) to a consortium led by alternative energy developer Phycal, Inc. MORE.


Donald Danforth Plant  Science Center