Startup News

Architectural Planning Works Starts on Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Here’s a recap of STL startup news this week.

Growth

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.

Funding

Pulse Therapeutics has raised around $10 million from a group of investors, according to Tom Hillman, chairman of the medical device startup’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.

Acquisitions

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, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Terms of the deal were not released.

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Brian Heffernan is St. Louis-based freelance journalist who has been published by Al Jazeera America, Riverfront Times and St. Louis Magazine. He also runs product and communications for Joojoo, a St. Louis startup that helps friends share recommendations about where to go, what to do and whom to hire. Brian earned both a master's and bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and loves corndogs.

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