Based in St. Louis and Boston, Agrivida is a platform company focused on the production and sales of its patented GRAINZYME® feed additive enzymes, which are used to enhance weight gain in hogs, poultry, dairy and beef cattle and aquaculture. Agrivida’s competitive advantage is its use of the corn plant as its “manufacturing facility” for these nutritious enzymes.
Benson Hill, based in St. Louis is a fast-growing crop improvement company that uses gene editing techniques to unlock the genetic diversity of plants. The companyalso uses machine learning and plant biology in its proprietary crop design platform.
Epicrop Technologies, based in Lincoln, Neb., is an ag biotech company developing revolutionary epigenetic technology to improve crop yields. Epicrop uses epigenetics, the biological information involved in gene expression, to produce crops with increased yields and better stress tolerance. The technology does not change DNA or add genes to the target plant.
Plastomics is a start-up biotechnology firm in St. Louis. The company is developing methods of inserting stacks of transgenes into corn and soy chloroplasts. The company has significant intellectual property and expertise in this field, including the recognized global expert in the field.
Sound Agriculture, of Emeryville, CA, is developing biotechnology tools that increase production, improve food quality and reduce waste. By developing products that disrupt traditional input-intensive techniques, Sound helps growers do more with less, while supporting production, revenue and sustainability goals.
Locus Biosciences of Morrisville, N.C., develops CRISPR-engineered precision antibacterial products. In July 2017, Locus acquired TechAccel-funded EpiBiome, a microbiome engineering firm in San Francisco, for its bacteriophage discovery
platform. Locus Biosciences works in human health infectious disease and microbiome related disease.
Path To Commercialization Program: In this strategic partnership,TechAccel will initially provide up to $250,000 in grants to demonstrate proof-of-concept or commercial feasibility studies with principal investigators at or affiliated with the Danforth Center. This program has a goal of advancing and commercializing agricultural innovations from the laboratory into the marketplace.
Kansas State University is performing TechAccel-sponsored research in the development of heat-tolerant and drought-resistant wheat. TechAccel has licensed the intellectual property and is funding the science advancement to determine marketability. Specific terms are not disclosed.
STAIR and STAIR-PLUS Grants: Since 2016, TechAccel has participated in the Venture Catalyst STAIR-PlusTM program, which supports STAIR grant recipients who successfully achieve their commercialization milestones. In 2018, TechAccel invested in an expansion of the Venture Catalyst STAIR grants.
TechAccel and Reliance Animal Health Partners formed Covenant Animal Health Partners in 2018 to develop “revenue-ready” products for the animal health industry. The company also serves as an external innovation partner to animal health strategics.
TechAccel launched RNAissance Ag LLC, an ag biotechnology startup developing novel RNAi-based insecticides for the control of destructive pests. RNAissance Ag exclusively licensed intellectual property from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
TechAccel and Epicrop Technologies formed this joint venture company, EpiCanola, to drive the Epicrop technology for enhanced growth into canola.
TechAccel and Epicrop Technologies formed this joint venture company, EpiBerry, to drive the Epicrop technology for enhanced growth into various berry crops.