Startup News

Architectural Planning Works Starts on Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Hereโ€™s a recap of STL startup news this week.


St. Louis County has begun work to develop a 575-acre plant science innovation district in Creve Coeur. The county announced Thursday that it hired an architectural and planning firm to draft a master plan for the district, which would include the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, BRDG Park, Helix Center Biotech Incubator and the corporate campus of Monsanto.

The county received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration last year to create the master plan.

St. Louis-based LaunchCode has opened a hiring office in Kansas City. The non-profit, started by St. Louis native and Square co-founder Jim McKelvey, places aspiring programmers at apprenticeship jobs across the country. LaunchCode received a $150,000 investment from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation last year to support its expansion to Kansas City and help develop educational programming and resources.


Pulse Therapeutics has raised around $10 million from a group of investors, according to Tom Hillman, chairman of the medical device startupโ€™s board of directors. St. Louis venture firms FTL Capital, where Hillman is managing principal, and Cultivation Capital joined in the investment led by NanoDimension of Silicon Valley. St. Louis-based Pulse Therapeutics developed a technology that uses magnets to dissolve blood clots.

St. Louis venture capital firm Lewis & Clark Ventures has closed its first fund at $104 million. The new fund will be used for Series A and B round investments of $3 to $7 million in high-growth companies. The firm was founded by Tom Hillman, who is managing principal at FTL Capital and a former executive at Answers Corp.


St. Louis medical diagnostics company Cofactor Genomics has acquired San Francisco-based Narus Biotechnologies. The company focused on creating RNA diagnostic tests for neurological diseases that could help inform therapy selections for patients with Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimerโ€™s and Parkinsonโ€™s. Terms of the deal were not released.

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