BioGenerator Invests in $800,000 Round for Ag Biotech Company, Edison Agrosciences
Jan 25, 2016
Company will move to St. Louis as part of financing
BioGenerator, an evergreen investor that creates, grows and invests in promising companies and entrepreneurs, has made a pre-seed investment into Edison Agrosciences, an ag tech company focused on using its integrated suite of technologies, including proprietary rubber pathway engineering technology, to increase the levels of rubber production in sunflower, creating a new, commercially viable rubber crop.
Edison has assembled a unique collection of assets that position it to succeed both scientifically and commercially. These assets include: a license to sunflower varieties engineered to have increased levels of rubber precursors, a collaborative agreement to evaluate sunflower rubber quality with a large rubber company, a federal grant-funded partnership with Purdue University to develop enhanced plant transformation technologies, and a partnership with EnergyEne, Inc. to access downstream rubber processing technologies. As part of this financing, Edison will move its business from North Carolina to St. Louis and expects to employ 5-8 people within the year.
“Edison has an exciting platform that has the promise to create a commercially established crop to produce natural rubber in the USA,” said Dan Broderick, vice president of BioGenerator. “Natural rubber has superior performance characteristics to synthetic rubber that are critical for a wide variety of consumer products. The fact that Edison already has significant strategic partnerships and government grants for validation was appealing to BioGenerator.”
Other investors include Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC). Edison will use the funds to establish operations in St. Louis, analyze the rubber content in samples of sunflower tissues collected over multiple growing seasons, and help devise further improvements.
“With the need for a source of natural rubber in the Americas we see Edison as a strategically important company and a great addition to the growing ag industry in St. Louis,” said Eric Gulve, president of BioGenerator. “St. Louis has long been an agriculture hub and BioGenerator and MTC have helped attract high-caliber companies through their investment and accelerator program, increasing the breadth and depth of quality companies and talent in the region.”
“St. Louis-based organizations including BioGenerator are very progressive in supporting the financial, facility, and talent needs of high-potential, early-stage agricultural companies like Edison. “We are thrilled to be relocating to St. Louis and initiating research and development activities,” said Tom Christensen, CEO of Edison.
BioGenerator produces a sustained pipeline of successful bioscience companies and entrepreneurs in St. Louis by creating, growing and investing in promising new enterprises, and cultivating a thriving bioscience sector, building regional capacity to capitalize on St. Louis’ world class medical and plant biosciences. Please visit www.BioGenerator.org for additional information. Follow BioGenerator on LinkedIn linkedin.com/company/BioGenerator and Twitter @BioGeneratorSTL.