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Startup Spotlight: Elemental Enzymes partners with Bayer

Startup Spotlight: Elemental Enzymes partners with Bayer

On the left, crops without Elemental Enzymes treatment; on the right, crops with an EE enhancement.

Drs. Brian and Katie Thompson, of Elemental Enzymes Ag and Turf LLC, want to feed a world population expected to surpass 9 billion by 2050.

The couple’s company, a client of the Missouri Innovation Center, announced a research initiative with Bayer CropScience, one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies. The initiative aims to utilize Elemental Enzymes’ patented agricultural products to improve crop productivity.

“Our technology is a way to stabilize enzymes, proteins and peptides. It’s one of our main technologies that our company is founded on,” Katie Thompson says. “Since we’ve gone into [agriculture], we’ve really started to develop other products and technologies around that initial base.”

Reaching a licensing deal with a top agricultural company was no easy task. In 2011, the couple made the leap to commercialize their research and technology. They worked with Bill Turpin and Quinten Messbarger, respectively the CEO and assistant director of the MIC, as well as Commercialization Specialist Paul Bateson at the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers, to avoid early business mistakes while they polished and tested their product.

The MIC and the MSBTDC advised Elemental Enzymes to not only provide the best product, but also maintain their business model.

“Almost everyone we’ve met has had an idea about how we can use an enzyme in a different market, and we are still getting those ideas,” says Katie Thompson.

For now, Elemental Enzymes develops their products and technologies around that initial agricultural base, with applications potentially including reduction of air and soil toxins. The company’s first product boasts a 10 percent crop yield increase in harsh conditions.

The Thompsons are no strangers to creativity. They received the Missouri SBTDC Rising Star of Innovation award in 2012, and they hope to use their talents with Bayer. “[Bayer CropScience] really brings a lot to the table, and we can mix that with some of our technologies and expertise,” Brian Thompson says. “It’s really a win-win collaboration to get together and develop the best products.”

Photos provided by Elemental Enzymes. 

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