Earlier this week, we were pleased to announce that the University of New Mexico, through its STC.UNM Co-Investment Fund, has invested $89,000 in EcoPesticides. This is great news for a startup company like ours, but for a startup company in New Mexico, it’s even better news.
We’ve been thinking about getting the EcoPesticides R&D team yellow bracelet with the letters “WWBD.” (What Would Bill Do?) There’s a good reason for this. In early November, EcoPesticides submitted a Phase 2 grant proposal to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We’re seeking $1 million to advance our “green” biopesticide encapsulation technology, and hope the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation shares our vision to make a positive impact on the livelihoods of subsistence farmers and the food security of millions living in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Startup companies operate on a very human scale – no matter how disruptive and potentially transformative the technology. Case in point. While most of the country is busy cooking Thanksgiving turkeys, pumpkin pies and sides, EcoPesticides is in our lab at the #SantaFeIncubator cooking up the perfect batch of fungi.
Grasshoppers – and their cousins the desert locusts – do tremendous damage to grain crops like wheat and corn as well as to rangeland grasses used to feed livestock. They can literally devour everything in sight as shown in these photos taken in our hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico this summer. At the time, Albuquerque was experiencing the worst infestation of grasshoppers in 20 years. They were so thick, they were detected on weather radar.
The life of a startup company entails pushing a big rock up a hill, or to put it another way, raising capital. Quite frankly, it’s a full time job as #EcoPesticides needs capital to advance our biologic pesticide and encapsulation technologies.