Arch Grants, Yield Lab form partnership for agriculture technology startups


Ben Burke, director of entrepreneurship, Arch Grants

Two St. Louis-based accelerator programs are partnering to work more with agriculture technology startups in St. Louis.

The Yield Lab, the new agriculture technology accelerator funded by Cultivation Capital, will help mentor LifePack, a Colombian startup brought to St. Louis after it won a $50,000 non-equity Arch Grant in May. It produces and sells plates made of natural fibers and seeds that can germinate into a plant.

Arch Grants Director of Entrepreneurship Ben Burke said LifePack will serve as a pilot program to see if similar mentorship programs between Arch Grants and The Yield Lab could take place.

LifePack is not receiving funding from The Yield Lab, which beginning in early 2015 will fund between four and eight startups by investing $100,000 in each company.

Burke said in the future a similar arrangement could be made with other agriculture technology companies that would be able to take advantage of The Yield Lab’s expertise in the industry.

The Yield Lab, meanwhile, would benefit from Arch Grants’ broad recruiting network, which could steer more quality agriculture technology startups its way.

“We have a long list of resources that will provide high value and growth potential for LifePack,” Thad Simons, managing partner of the Yield Lab, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with LifePack and a continued relationship with Arch Grants to tap into the growing Agriculture Technology sector.”

The Yield Lab was founded earlier this year. Its first group of early-stage agriculture technology companies should be named in early 2015. Applications for the program are being accepted through Oct. 31.

Simons, the former CEO of Novus International, co-founded the accelerator and is acting as its managing partner and co-founder.

Other founding members include Jeff Peterson, former vice president of strategic development at Monsanto and board member of the Center for Emerging Technologies, and Tom Adamitis, former global vice president of raw materials and energy procurement for Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Tomado de: EQ – St. Louis Business Journal

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