Technology Acceleration Partners, or TechAccel, advanced two deals that significantly boost the group’s investment effort into the agriculture sector.
The deals include a licensing agreement with Kansas State University for a patent on a bio-pesticide, and an equity investment in Benson Hill Biosystems. The private capital development company — founded by Michael Helmstetter and the Bicknell Family Holding Company — announced the deals on Sept. 9, less than a year after TechAccel’s inception. TechAccel focuses on the agriculture, animal health and food sectors.
The Kansas State bio-pesticide builds on “a naturally occurring and biodegradable platform,” while doing its job of preventing crop damage from insects. TechAccel leaders hope to sublicense the technology to global leaders in the crop agriculture industry.
The investment in Benson Hill comes after the biosystem company’s new crop platform was named as the breakthrough technology of the year for 2015 by The MIT Review. Benson Hill focuses on boosting photosynthetic efficiency in crops in tumultuous environments like drought or high temperatures.
“We spent much of our first year assessing the complex and evolving agriculture and animal health ecosystem, understanding scientific and market gaps as well as potential innovation solutions,” TechAccel CEO Michael Helmstetter said in a news release. “Both of these transactions demonstrate TechAccel’s fierce commitment to collaboratively advance transformative science. Our diverse and expanding portfolio of investments remains focused on highly impactful technologies in need of scientific advancement and acceleration to the global marketplace.”