Sam Fiorello | St. Louis Public Radio

Sam Fiorello

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
mshipp via Flickr

Several factors are helping St. Louis make a name for itself as a startup city.

“First of all is talent,” Thomas Osha told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Thursday. Osha is managing director of innovation and economic development for Wexford Science + Technology. “Talent trumps everything. That’s why it is the fuel of entrepreneurial activity. Innovation is totally a social enterprise, so the more folks you can bring into that orbit, the more chance you have of being able to scale those entrepreneurial businesses.”

Courtesy Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

KWS, a German agricultural company, is opening a research center at BRDG Park in the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center’s campus.

The company, which specializes in plant breeding, has 4,800 employees in 70 countries. The new facility will be its first molecular plant research space in North America, hiring 25 positions in the first year and another 75 in following years.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When Jane Hill came to the Danforth Plant Science Center for the first time last month, she was impressed by what she saw. That's good, considering the distance she traveled.

Hill is the chief executive officer for CropLogic, a New Zealand-based company that provides online crop management services for potato farmers. She was in St. Louis for the Ag Innovation Showcase, which has become a major event for the plant sciences industry.

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Tom Laurita had options when picking out a location for his company.

Laurita is part of a cadre of people that started NewLeaf Symbiotics, a small company that seeks to harness a certain type of plant bacteria for commercial use. After considering Boston, North Carolina and several places in California as home bases, Laurita decided the St. Louis area was “the obvious choice.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 8, 2012 - When Rebecca Messbarger, the daughter of Irish-Catholic parents, announced to her family at the age of 19 that she was going to "become Italian," neither she nor they envisioned that she would one day organize an international conference on a little known pope who was a major influence on the Italian Enlightenment.