On Sunday, March 5, 2017, twelve Israeli agtech companies visited St. Louis to make pitches to investors and to meet individually with Monsanto, KWS, and others. The delegation also toured the Danforth Plant Science Center, the world’s largest plant science research institution, based in St. Louis. This first of its kind event, hosted by the BIRD foundation and GlobalSTL, showed companies that St. Louis is a global player in the plant and bioscience research and innovation space.
Testimonials of Attendees
“St. Louis offers Israeli companies an ideal landing site in the U.S. The city provides a wide array of corporate strategic partners, research facilities, and organizations such as GlobalSTL offering assistance and guidance to newcomers.”
-Guy Cohen, Consul, Head of Economic & Trade Mission to the Midwest for Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry
“It was very helpful to meet and hear from the experience of Israeli companies that recently set up their U.S. base in St Louis, to understand how practical and what kind of support a company can expect.”
-Ofir Schlam, Taranis CEO
“St. Louis never ceases to amaze you with its focus on agriculture and the depth of the Ag ecosystem. Before visiting St. Louis, I was sure it was important ag-hub, Now I know it’s the global Ag hub.”
-Tal Amram, Smart! Fertilizer Head of Business Development
By Meital Stavinsky of The Miami Herald
For a model of the economic growth that innovative food and agriculture companies can bring to a community, St. Louis, Missouri is a good example. Through BioSTL, the St. Louis organization dedicated to growing the region’s bioscience and innovation ecosystem, the city lured leading Israeli Agtech companies focused on genome research and genetic technology in the area of plants.
Among other inducements, companies were provided with incentive packages. In return, those rapidly growing companies have created new jobs.
Investing in Agtech takes patience. Uncontrollable elements like bad weather can impact field trials. Agriculture is a tightly controlled regulatory environment. But the reward potential is there. Strategic and financial investors are racing to capture value from technological innovations in food and agriculture.
Leading food companies are also reaching out directly to Agtech entrepreneurs through incubators and corporate venture capital funds.
By David Shamah of The Times of Israel
Israel is quietly becoming a world center of genome research and genetic technology, especially in the area of plants. Many of the Israeli companies in this area are looking to another center of genome research: St. Louis, Missouri, home of several institutions and companies – among them Monsanto – that specialize in gene-based “plant engineering,” in which genomes are manipulated to develop hardier, more nutritious, and more tasty versions of familiar grains, fruits, and vegetables.