- Origin: MO
- Grant awarded in: 2019
What is Edison Agrosciences?
Edison AgroScience uses standard biotechnology to make natural rubber – from sunflower. Natural rubber is used in thousands of products because it has properties that can’t be matched with synthetic materials, but the supply is at risk – 90% comes from one geography and all comes from a single plant species. And just like in Brazil in the early 1900’s, disease is starting to set in. At Edison, we’re increasing the amount of natural rubber already produced by the sunflower plant to provide a more profitable crop for farmers and a reliable domestic supply of a critical resource.
Tom has 30 years of leadership experience in the development and commercialization of agricultural biotechnology products. He is a recognized expert in the biosynthesis of plant/fungal isoprenoid products with 65 publications and patents. Prior to co-founding Edison Agrosciences, he was responsible for R&D portfolio development in the Agricultural Biotechnology Division of Intrexon Corporation, a major synthetic biology company. Before joining Intrexon, he founded Dorsan Biofuels, Inc. and participated in its sale to Novozymes. At Dorsan Biofuels, he helped raise seed funding and led a metabolic engineering project for the development of a fungal isoprenoid production platform. In the 11 years prior, Tom was at Syngenta and one of its legacy companies where he held various technical, regulatory, and business development roles. While Director of Disease Control Traits, he led the development of crop disease traits based on the genetic engineering of plant immunity to pathogen-produced toxins. Before joining Syngenta, as a Research Scientist at the USDA - Agricultural Research Service, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Tom authored the first published report for a cloned terpene synthase gene from any source. He also cloned and characterized the key genetic and metabolic regulatory factors responsible for a fungal isoprenoid toxin pathway. He holds a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry from Central Michigan University and Ph.D. in Microbiology from Washington State University.
Matt is an accomplished executive with a strong background in the rapid growth and early commercialization phases of technology companies. Prior to co-founding Benson Hill , he was the President of the Agricultural Biotechnology Division and Senior Vice President at Intrexon Corporation (NYSE:XON), a leading synthetic biology company. In addition to launching the company’s agbiotech efforts, Matt worked with Intrexon for more than five years, serving in multiple executive roles and on its Board of Directors. Prior to formally joining Intrexon in early 2011, Matt was a Managing Director at Third Security, LLC, a globally recognized venture capital firm. During his time there, Matt focused on corporate development and worked closely with numerous private and public companies in the life science and technology sectors, as well as with NewVa Capital Partners, LP, an early-stage private equity fund focused on investments in southwestern Virginia. He also served on numerous boards of companies representing first-in-class and best-in-class technologies and led the firm’s West Coast operations from 2008 until 2011. Matt holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Radford University.
David founded bio-Growth, LLC, to help life science companies and their investors with corporate development, new market assessment, and business planning, which is what he did as CEO of Blue Prairie Brands and Vice President of Finance & Development at Chromatin, Inc. Prior to this, David was a sell-side research analyst for 10 years, most recently publishing investment research on companies in the areas of alternative fuels and water technology for boutique investment bank ThinkEquity. Earlier, David provided research coverage of Specialty/Generic Pharma and Global Pharma for Prudential’s institutional equity business, being named in the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Street survey and frequently being quoted by Barrons, Reuters, Dow Jones, The New York Times, the Boston Globe, and others. David's eleven years of healthcare industry experience include corporate strategy and merger integration at Searle Pharmaceuticals, and product design, global marketing, and business development within various divisions of Baxter Healthcare. David remains a co-owner of a Midwestern grain farm, Maplewood Farm, LLC. David is a graduate of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.