Company News: Aptimmune, GROWMARK and Thought for Food

Company News
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Aptimmune Completes $6 Million Series B Funding, Moves Headquarters & Lab to St. Louis
Aptimmune Biologics announces it has completed its Series B funding initiative, raising more than $6 million from several investors, according to a news release. The company says this increases the combined total investment to almost $9 million, generated by the company through three rounds of funding.

“Aptimmune is thrilled to receive strong investor support during this critical time in our development,” said Aaron Gilbertie, Aptimmune CEO, in the release. “The Series B funds will provide the required resources to continue commercialization of Barricade, our revolutionary inactivated mucosal vaccine formulation. In addition, the fresh cash infusion will allow us to expand our vaccine platform to other antigens important to veterinarians and swine producers around the globe.”

Participants in the company’s Series B funding include St. Louis Arch Angels, Arsenal Capital Management, Missouri Technology Corporation, Cultivation Capital, The Yield Lab, and various Midwest-based angel investors.

In addition, the company announces it is relocating its headquarters and laboratory from Champaign, Ill., to the Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park in St. Louis, Mo. Gilbertie says the move was due in large part to the exceptional financial and logistics support the company has received from investors and other businesses in the St. Louis area.

The Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC), “which supports innovation and entrepreneurship in the state, helped bring Aptimmune to Missouri by investing in their Series B financing through its Missouri IDEA Fund Program,” the company said. The new address is 1005 N. Warson Rd., St Louis, MO 63132. For more information on Aptimmune Biologics and its innovative swine vaccine products, visit To learn more visit

GROWMARK Announces Nationwide Agriculture Scholarship Program
The GROWMARK Foundation is once again offering a $1,500 scholarship program for students in the United States and Ontario, Canada, pursing two- or four-year degrees or trade school certification in an agriculture-related field, the company recently announced.

“As our business has grown and evolved, we saw a need to provide a scholarship to students throughout the United States and Ontario, in addition to the scholarship programs already established in our core geography,” said Amy Bradford in a news release from the company. She serves as GROWMARK corporate relations manager and The GROWMARK Foundation manager. “

Applicants must complete an online application which includes academic information, community service and leadership activities, and essay questions regarding agriculture and cooperatives, the company said, and applications will be judged by a panel of agribusiness professionals.

High school seniors or students at any level of higher education may complete the application, which can be found at Applications are due by midnight on April 13, 2018 and recipients will be notified by July 1, 2018.

Thought For Food Launches Its 2018 Global Challenge
Thought for Food (TFF) “the world's leading organization dedicated to engaging and empowering the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs in food and agriculture,” recently launched the 5th edition of the TFF Challenge, the group announced in a news release. It invites “young leaders from around the world to sign up and develop new ideas and business concepts that tackle the challenge of sustainably feeding our world's growing population.” This year the competition is open to everyone under the age of 35.

The TFF Challenge was established in 2012 to find new solutions to feeding the estimated 9+ billion people who will be living on earth by 2050, states TFF.

“It calls on young innovators to address a wide range of food and agriculture challenges by encouraging technology and business model innovation in all parts of the food chain - from production to distribution, as well as consumption and waste,” the TFF news release said. “Previous entries have covered key areas such as vertical farming, logistics, breeding, agtech, open data, aquaculture and livestock, food waste, synthetic biology, new proteins and appropriate tech for smallholders.”

From January 15 to May 4, 2018, participating teams are invited to develop new ideas through an independent online platform that offers training tools such as a Design Thinking Lab and 12-week Startup Bootcamp.

According to TFF, no pre-existing idea or business is required. Teams of three to five participants will be formed and led through a series of exercises that will help them identify an opportunity, and develop an innovative solution. TFF will work with teams to nurture their concepts into workable businesses.

"Thought For Food believes we need transformative thinking to tackle food security. With so much untapped potential and a need for industry change in mind, our annual TFF Challenge disrupts the standard development of food security solutions by incentivizing and rewarding innovations developed by young people from around the world," says Christine Gould, Founder and CEO of the Thought For Food Foundation. "