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BioGenerator company logo
Non-Profit Foundation
BUSINESS PRODUCTS & SERVICES | Consulting & Outsourcing / Business Performance Management
biogenerator.org

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Investments

62

Portfolio Exits

10

Funds

2

About BioGenerator

BioGenerator is a privately funded, non-profit organization created to facilitate the formation of life science companies in the St. Louis area. BioGenerator provides assistance at the very earliest stages of new company formation, investing up to $50,000 for pre-seed companies and up to $250,000 for seed stage companies.

BioGenerator Headquarter Location

4340 Duncan Ave. St.

Saint Louis, Missouri, 63110,

United States

314-615-6355

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Latest BioGenerator News

Nicklaus: CoverCress deal is a big win for St. Louis' ag-startup effort

Aug 8, 2022

Aug 8, 2022 1 of 2 Kristine Menn of CoverCress (then known as Arvegenix), cleans out dead leaves from some field pennycress plants on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, at the company's laboratory in the Danforth Plant Science Center. Pennycress is a winter-growing weed with seeds that produce a high-quality oil for potential use in industrial and renewable fuels. Christian Gooden, Post-Dispatch Kristine Menn, greenhouse co-ordinator for CoverCress (then known as Arvegenix), separates the male and female parts of a field pennycress flower crown on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, at the company's laboratory in the Danforth Plant Science Center. There was a problem saving your notification. {{description}} Save The pitch sounded audacious: Turn a plant that most farmers considered a weed into a cash crop. It was 2012, and some visiting scientists made a presentation about field pennycress at the Danforth Plant Science Center’s innovation showcase. The seeds’ oil content showed promise for renewable fuel production, and the federal government had funded research. Former Monsanto executives Vijay Chauhan, Dennis Plummer and Mike Roth were intrigued enough to form a company around the idea. They got early backing from BioGenerator, a seed fund and business incubator, and would eventually raise money from other local investors including Cultivation Capital, Yield Lab, the St. Louis Arch Angels, St. Louis County’s Helix Fund and the state-backed Missouri Technology Corp. People are also reading… Creating a new cash crop is a tall order, but the startup would improve pennycress’ yield enough to make it commercially viable. It also found partners willing to process the seed into biofuel. Last Monday, their efforts paid off when agribusiness giant Bayer bought majority ownership of CoverCress Inc., now a 25-employee company based in Creve Coeur. Financial terms weren’t disclosed but Charlie Bolten, senior vice president at BioGenerator, said the investors all made big gains. “I think everyone’s very happy,” he said. The CoverCress acquisition comes less than a year after Benson Hill, another local agriculture startup, made its stock market debut . That makes two high-profile exits for investors who bet on St. Louis as a center of ag entrepreneurship. “This is another big moment,” Bolten said. “It proves that we have the talent to do this in St. Louis. Nothing counts until you start getting returns.” “It’s a heck of a St. Louis story,” echoed Jerry Steiner, CoverCress’ chairman and former chief executive. In its early days, he recalled, the company had cheap office space at the county’s Helix Center and was able to “squat” on lab equipment owned by St. Louis Community College. “This area has a really good system for getting companies going,” Steiner said. No one has introduced a major cash crop in North America since canola was developed from rapeseed a half-century ago. CoverCress plans a commercial introduction this fall, planting 10,000 acres. CEO Mike DeCamp said the plan is to expand to 250,000 acres in three years and 3 million acres by 2030. Farmers will be won over by “the economics we’re able to offer,” he said. CoverCress is planted in fall and harvested in spring, so it lets farmers profit from a crop when their corn and soybean acres would otherwise be idle. It also serves as a cover crop, reducing winter soil erosion. Jennifer Ozimkiewicz, senior vice president for corn and soy strategy at Bayer Crop Science, said the prospect of producing low-carbon fuel while improving soil health made CoverCress a compelling investment. “It is a great and tangible example of our commitment to sustainability and innovation,” she said. Bayer owns 65% of CoverCress, with Bunge and Chevron remaining minority shareholders. Each owner brings strategic value. Bayer knows how to sell seed to farmers, Bunge knows how to process oilseeds, and Chevron knows how to produce and sell biodiesel. “We think we’ve built a strong team,” DeCamp said. It’s also a team with deep roots here. The majority of CoverCress employees formerly worked for Monsanto, which Bayer bought in 2018. Plenty of non-employees, at institutions such as BioGenerator and the Danforth Center, also contributed to the homegrown success story. Decades from now, when historians describe how a weed became a valuable crop, they’ll know it happened in St. Louis.

BioGenerator Investments

62 Investments

BioGenerator has made 62 investments. Their latest investment was in Geneoscopy as part of their Series B on November 11, 2021.

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BioGenerator Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

11/16/2021

Series B

Geneoscopy

$50.5M

Yes

2

11/16/2021

Series A

Plastomics

$7.1M

No

2

11/30/2020

Series A - II

SentiAR

$5.6M

No

1

2/4/2020

Series D

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$99M

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10

11/21/2019

Series A

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$99M

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10

Date

11/16/2021

11/16/2021

11/30/2020

2/4/2020

11/21/2019

Round

Series B

Series A

Series A - II

Series D

Series A

Company

Geneoscopy

Plastomics

SentiAR

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Amount

$50.5M

$7.1M

$5.6M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

No

No

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Co-Investors

Sources

2

2

1

10

10

BioGenerator Portfolio Exits

10 Portfolio Exits

BioGenerator has 10 portfolio exits. Their latest portfolio exit was CoverCress on August 01, 2022.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

8/1/2022

Corporate Majority

$99M

1

11/15/2021

Acquired

$99M

4

5/10/2021

Acq - Pending

$99M

7

10/15/2020

Acquired

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$99M

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10

9/11/2020

Acquired

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$99M

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10

Date

8/1/2022

11/15/2021

5/10/2021

10/15/2020

9/11/2020

Exit

Corporate Majority

Acquired

Acq - Pending

Acquired

Acquired

Companies

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Valuation

$99M

$99M

$99M

$99M

$99M

Acquirer

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Sources

1

4

7

10

10

BioGenerator Fund History

2 Fund Histories

BioGenerator has 2 funds, including Biogenerator Seed Fund.

Closing Date

Fund

Fund Type

Status

Amount

Sources

Biogenerator Seed Fund

Early-Stage Venture Capital

Open

1

Biogenerator Spark Fund

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10

Closing Date

Fund

Biogenerator Seed Fund

Biogenerator Spark Fund

Fund Type

Early-Stage Venture Capital

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Status

Open

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Amount

Sources

1

10

BioGenerator Team

1 Team Member

BioGenerator has 1 team member, including current President, Eric Gulve.

Name

Work History

Title

Status

Eric Gulve

Pharmacia Corporation, and Washington University School of Medicine

President

Current

Name

Eric Gulve

Work History

Pharmacia Corporation, and Washington University School of Medicine

Title

President

Status

Current

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