Speaking Startup: Cultivating ‘the future of food’ in St. Louis

Fast-growing plant science startup Benson Hill cut the ribbon on a new headquarters in the St. Louis area last month, officially opening a facility the company dubbed “a new home for the future of food.”

Founded in 2012, Benson Hill takes a data-driven approach to developing seeds and crops in an effort to more efficiently breed them for desired traits. The company works extensively with soybeans, but it uses its approach with other crops.

Jason Bull, who became Benson Hill’s CTO earlier this year, joined the Speaking Startup podcast to discuss his company’s trajectory and the significance of its new headquarters, which he called “a symbol of our growth and how our innovations are panning out.”

Beyond serving as a symbol, Bull said, the new facility can be a “magnet … in terms of creating really exciting new jobs” in a St. Louis region brimming with plant science talent and companies.

Plus, as local governments across Missouri have grappled with how to regulate businesses during the pandemic, entrepreneurs in the bar and restaurant industry have been forced to navigate an evolving set of challenges. Lydia Melton, the owner of Columbia bar and cafe Gunter Hans and former president of the Mid-Missouri restaurant association, shared the story of how she has worked to keep her business going amid changing regulations.

The Speaking Startup podcast explores news and issues important to Missouri entrepreneurs. Find more Speaking Startup on our website or wherever you get podcasts.

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