1200 Research will become one of the leading growth accelerators in the U.S. and support efforts to create a better food system
ST LOUIS, MO / ACCESSWIRE / February 25, 2021 / St. Louis-based venture capital firm Lagomaj Capital, which invests in early-stage start-ups and entrepreneurs focused on solving today's biggest challenges, announced today that the firm is building a plant science research and development facility with its portfolio company, Benson Hill.
In leading this project, Lagomaj has done what few venture capital firms can do. With the firm's investment, Benson Hill will dramatically expand its research and innovation capabilities. The Crop Accelerator will be a state-of-the-art controlled environment research facility that will enable plant breeding to develop varieties up to four years faster than traditional research centers. Benson Hill will use the site to experiment and study plants in a perfectly controlled environment to create a more equitable food system.
"Lagomaj is committed to advancing the long-term growth of our portfolio companies," said Felix Williams, managing director and founder of Lagomaj Capital. "Planting this physical marker, this manifestation of commitment, is a step we've taken because we believe strongly in our partnership with Benson Hill and the company's goals."
With a dedication to driving change, a passion for innovation, and an aggressive focus on growth, Lagomaj deploys capital to fuel innovation that solves big problems. The firm is unique for the venture capital sector. "We believe that entrepreneurialism and technology hold the keys to solving many of today's biggest challenges," said Williams. "By pairing capital with innovative new solutions and the entrepreneurs who create them, we can empower companies to do great things and address issues ranging from inefficiencies in food distribution to medical waste."
The 47,000 square-foot cutting-edge Crop Accelerator is a significant project for St. Louis' start-up community and will support Benson Hill's ability to quickly adapt and respond to evolving market trends. The company's new differentiated food and ingredient product offerings deliver the improved experience and product attributes consumers want, including taste and nutrition, produced in a more sustainable way for a healthier planet. The Crop Accelerator will feature 20,000 square feet of dynamically adaptive Conviron growth houses and chambers, equipped with solar panels, electrical systems, multi-channel LEDs, additive CO2, temperature, humidity, and lighting controls.
"At Benson Hill, our vision is food that is better from the beginning - better for people, for farmers and for the planet," said Benson Hill CEO Matt Crisp. "The new Crop Accelerator facility will further our ability to leverage the combined power of food science, data science and plant biology through our CropOS technology platform to deliver on this vision, ultimately enabling faster and more responsive development of new food and ingredient options that meet rising consumer demand for healthier and more delicious food, with a strong sustainability profile. We're thrilled to work with local partner Lagomaj Capital to develop the Crop Accelerator, further expanding our presence in the 39 North Innovation District and in the St. Louis area."
Construction on phase one of the project has already begun. Lauren Talley and Jim Byrne are serving as the owner's representatives for development and construction. Partner, Four Palms Ventures, a financial contributor, has helped in its development. Craig R. Campbell of Anders CPAs+ Advisors is also a partner/advisor in the project. HOK is the designer and architect of the project and has worked closely with the city of Creve Coeur on zoning and planning. The facility is being built by BSI Constructors. "We're thrilled about this new facility, whose design and development were no small task," said Williams. "We thank our partners at BSI Constructors, HOK, and Cushman and Wakefield for all their work on the design, construction and development of this R&D site."
About Lagomaj Capital
Lagomaj Capital is a venture capital firm that combines practicality and versatility with idealism. Founded in 2017, Lagomaj partners with companies and entrepreneurs, making significant impacts in addressing areas of vulnerability and driving change where it's needed most. The firm's portfolio consists of innovative, disruptive companies operating in agriculture, software, transportation, and media, among others. The firm's unique investment strategy and approach is designed to help entrepreneurs thrive early in their startup's lifecycle. Through pairing innovation with ambition, Lagomaj hopes to redefine what venture can be.
Learn more at: www.Lagomaj.com.
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SOURCE: Lagomaj Capital
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