Missouri Minute: Monsanto faces probe; Blues bettor nears big payday

Good morning, MBA readers,

Happy Hump Day — especially for St. Louis Blues fans. The Blues, who had the worst record in the NHL as of early January, are now headed to the Stanley Cup finals. Talk about hockey-stick growth. Elsewhere, U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri continues his salvos against big tech firms with a new bill that would limit data collection. Meanwhile, in St. Louis, a key member of the Better Together merger effort has voiced serious concerns over the group’s future.

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Severe weather prompts state of emergency
Gov. Mike Parson cited ongoing and potential damage associated with tornadoes, hail and flash flooding. (Columbia Missourian)

Hawley introduces data tracking bill
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s bill would allow internet users to opt out of data collection by clicking a setting in their browser or by downloading an app. (Associated Press)

Better Together board member calls for dissolution, resignations
Vice Chairman Will Ross has expressed “major reservations” that the group, started to support a city-county merger in St. Louis, may “repurpose” its existing proposal without community input. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Bayer probes Monsanto data collection
The German pharmaceutical giant has tapped law firm Sidley Austin to investigate a Europe-wide data collection scheme run by Monsanto, which allegedly targeted journalists, politicians and others to influence the debate on pesticides. (Reuters)

Save-A-Lot could sell to strategic buyers
Onex, the Canadian private equity firm that owns Save-A-Lot, reportedly told investors it had interest from “multiple strategic partners” that could include another supermarket operator. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Angel Capital Association names new CEO
Patrick Gouhin will work from North Carolina, but the Overland Park, Kansas-based angel investors association will retain its local headquarters. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Cardinals star to launch cereal brand at Schnucks
Carpenter’s Crunch, a honey nut cereal brand from St. Louis Cardinals player Matt Carpenter, will launch exclusively at the Maryland Heights-based grocer later this week. (St. Louis Business Journal)

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How’s this for buying low and selling high? Back in January, Scott Berry placed a $400 bet on the St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup, according to The Action Network. The Blues had the worst record in the NHL on Jan. 2, and the Las Vegas odds of them winning a title when Berry made his wager were 250-1 (that is, a $1 bet would have earned $250). Now, the Blues are four wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history, and Berry is on the verge of a $100,000 payday.

Show me

Say you’re a developer looking to enhance your earnings or even a beginning coder seeking to develop marketable skills — what’s the best language to master? Today’s graphic digs deeper into our recent look at programming languages, and it suggests UNIX and Python are the way to go for programmers who want to optimize their earnings.

Say that again

“Kansas City is still an undiscovered secret. Austin and San Francisco are overcrowded. They’re too much. It comes down to having opportunities here, then using everything else the city offers as an added bonus.”

The Kansas City Startup Foundation is taking over Back2KC, a two-day entrepreneurship gathering in Kansas City, Startland News reports. Super Dispatch founder and CEO Bek Abdullayev, who served as a Back2KC ambassador last year, told attendees at Startland’s Innovation Exchange event Monday that Back2KC is aimed at bringing together entrepreneurs to introduce them to new opportunities.

Go figure

7.5 percent
That is how much Kona, a Hawaiian craft beer brand, grew by volume last year. Kona’s growth, which is rare for the stagnant beer industry, has caught the attention of Anheuser-Busch InBev, whose North American volume fell 2.5 percent in 2018, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Anheuser-Busch could pick up Kona by acquiring Craft Brew Alliance, Kona’s Portland, Oregon-based parent company. Anheuser-Busch already owns 31 percent of Craft Brew Alliance and has the option to buy the rest by late August.

Hello, my name is

The student startup, which uses artificial intelligence to assist the visually impaired, won the $20,000 grand prize at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Regnier Venture Creation Challenge earlier this month, Startland News reports. The company’s prototype uses smartphone cameras to capture visuals and translate them into audio information for the DeepLens user.


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