The Yield Lab: New St. Louis Accelerator with $100K Investments for AgTech Startups

September 4, 2014 marked the official launch of the Yield Lab, an Agriculture Technology accelerator program based in St. Louis.

The Yield Lab invests $100K in each of four to eight companies per year that will participate in an exclusive nine-month AgTech curriculum focused on direct training, mentoring, and networking opportunities.

The St. Louis region located in the heart of U.S. agriculture production is home to many progressive agricultural organizations major industry players such as Monsanto, Novus International, and Nestle Purina and research organizations such as Washington University, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

The objective of the Yield Lab is to bridge the critical gap between innovation and fruition of new agricultural technology by supporting early stage companies. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, agricultural production must increase by 60% by 2050 in order to meet the world’s growing population.

The Yield Lab founding members include:

Thad Simons, Board President of the International Food and Agribusiness Association (IFAMA) and former President and Chief Executive Officer of Novus International, Inc.

Jeff Peterson, Former Vice President of Strategic Development at Monsanto, board member of the Center for Emerging Technologies in St Louis

Tom Adamitis, Former Global Vice President of Raw Materials and Energy Procurement for Anheuser-Busch InBev

Thad Simons, a managing director of the Yield Lab, sees the creation of an AgTech accelerator as a strategic decision for the St. Louis area.

“The time is right to provide new AgTech companies with mentors and support to successfully grow and continue to influence our area and beyond,” said Thad Simons. “We plan to embrace the unique agricultural networks and resources the region offers. We think this can be a powerful opportunity to take innovative companies to the next step.”

“The Yield Lab team has a track record of success and a diverse set of strengths to share with these young companies, helping them to achieve their goals. In the process it will further strengthen the AgTech ecosystem in our region,” said Sam Fiorello Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance at Danforth Plant Science Center.

Fiorello serves an advisor for the Yield Lab.

The Yield Lab is now accepting applications for its inaugural 2015 class. Applications are due online by October 24th, 2014.

For more information on the Yield Lab or to apply, please visit www.theyieldlab.com.

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