ST. LOUIS —The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) announced today that Edison Agrosciences, an agriculture-technology company, will move its headquarters to St. Louis where it will create at least a half-dozen new jobs and strengthen St. Louis’s reputation as a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation.
“Missouri’s rich agriculture history, world renowned research and education institutions, and growing tech sector make our state the perfect home for entrepreneurs and job creators,” said Mike Downing, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “And with the continued support from Governor Nixon, more and more companies will look to Missouri to start and grow their business.”
This news follows Gov. Nixon’s announcement to increase funding for the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) by an additional $10 million in his Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Proposal. MTC helps budding businesses commercialize their products and services and create high-tech jobs. To foster Missouri’s growing AgTech industry, MTC will co-invest $75,000 in Edison Agrosciences to help fund the company’s proof of concept as well as further testing of its technology. Since 2011, through its IDEA Funds program MTC has co-invested in 78 companies, which have in turn been able to leverage an additional over $262 million in private investments.
Edison Agrosciences is an agricultural biotechnology company that is developing technology to increase the levels of rubber production in sunflower to create a new, commercially viable rubber crop. The company’s innovation will help diversify global rubber production as well as provide a local alternative source. The company will move its headquarters from North Carolina to St. Louis to initiate research and development activities.
“The US is largely dependent on imported natural rubber, with most of the world’s supply being produced in Southeast Asia,” said Tom Christensen, CEO of Edison. “By moving our business to Missouri, we can take advantage of the agtech and bioscience synergy that has already been established.”
According to PitchBook, MTC is the top venture capital investor in the Midwest in terms of number of investments. Ranking second on the PitchBook list was BioGenerator, an evergreen investor based in St. Louis that works with researchers and entrepreneurs to build successful and sustainable bioscience companies. Since 2010, BioGenerator has invested $8.11 million across the 33 companies highlighted in the report, which have in turn been able to leverage an additional $120 million in co-investments and follow-on financing. BioGenerator has also made a pre-seed investment into Edison Agrosciences.
Recent census data showed Missouri led the nation in new business creation, growing by 16 percent from the previous year. And for the first time, Missouri ranked as a top ten state for startup funding in Fiscal Year 2015, according to Forbes.
MTC is accepting applications for its IDEA Funds program. For information, visit www.missouritechnology.com.