Designing Crops to Change the Plant-Based Food System - Matt Crisp, Benson Hill

Benson Hill is designing crops and ingredients for some of the world’s most popular plant-based food brands. But the company has no intention of becoming a brand itself. Instead, it’s focused on revolutionizing the entire food system, from how plants are grown, to what they taste like, to the range of crop varieties on offer.

Founder and CEO, Matt Crisp, started Benson Hill nearly a decade ago as a plant biology company, using analytics and machine learning to increase yields. Now it has grown to become a technology platform as well as a vertically integrated food and ingredients business, designing high protein soybeans and yellow peas to fuel the growing plant-based protein industry.

In this episode Matt also talks about:

  • Matt’s journey from venture capital in the life sciences industry, to becoming an agtech startup founder.

  • How the business model of Benson Hill has evolved and why it’s betting on the growth of the plant-based protein industry.

  • How to involve farmers in testing crops and products on a commercial scale so growers benefit, as much as the company.

  • Benson Hill’s recent $1.35B SPAC deal and upcoming public listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Useful Resources 

Benson Hill

Benson Hill to go public in $1.35B SPAC deal. - Food Dive

CRISPR- Based Crop Improvements: A Way Forward to Achieving Zero Hunger - Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Amazon Innovates with its Business Model, Not Drones - Wired

Dakota Ingredients

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