St. Louis AgTech Hub Urged to Focus on Community Development

Steph Kukuljan reported last week at the St. Louis Business Journal Online that, “39 North, St. Louis’ agtech innovation hub, should focus on community development and diversity in order to truly succeed, Danforth Center Chief Operating Officer Sam Fiorello said [Feb. 21st] at Venture Cafe’s latest program.

“Fiorello was part of a panel discussion on the future of agtech that featured Monsanto Co. Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley, BioSTL GlobalSTL Lead Vijay Chauhan and KWS’ Derek Bartlem at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur. It was a standing-room only crowd at the discussion, which was the first event of the inaugural Venture Cafe: 39 North, a monthly networking and discussion program. It was the first of two new local programs put on by Venture Cafe, the nonprofit that hosts gatherings that attract more than 500 people weekly in the Cortex innovation district.”

The update added that, “Fiorello advocated for 39 North to reach out to the community, especially people of color, to broaden the innovation hub’s economic impact. Fraley echoed the community engagement sentiment, relating Monsanto’s struggles of maintaining broad public support for its work after it neglected to educate the community on genetically modified products when they first came to the market.”

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