St. Louis becoming the Silicon Valley of Agtech

November 10, 2017 – AgFunder Weekly reports that with the St.Louis area surrounded by nearly 100,000 farms — Missouri is a major production state for soybeans, pork, dairy products, hay, corn, poultry, sorghum, cotton, rice, and eggs — nationally recognized university programs in agriculture and the sciences, and high-quality research facilities, St. Louis looks like a natural hub for agtech.

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The city has companies from all over the globe relocating to take advantage of the wealth of resources at hand.

The St. Louis agtech ecosystem continues to grow, and one of the most obvious is an intangible Midwestern friendliness and support for homegrown technologies, says Vijay Chauhan of BioSTL, an organization charged with promoting the life sciences in St. Louis. BioSTL recruits international companies to St. Louis through its GlobalSTL initiative and has recruited five Israeli Agtech companies to set up US headquarters in St. Louis in the last two years.

The CEO of one particularly successful agtech startup — Benson Hill Biosystems, a computational biology startup democratizing access to breeding and genetics tools with $35 million in funding under its belt — says St. Louis has the whole package.
“Every agtech startup – particularly one focused on the biology, not just the technology – needs three things: talent, infrastructure, and capital. At the time we founded Benson Hill and were getting it off the ground, St. Louis was the only geography that supplied all of these ingredients,” said CEO Matt Crisp.

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