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Business Briefs

Eden Green Technology Opens First Vertical Greenhouse in Cleburne

Plus: Colossal Biosciences launches new independent company; Jordan Spieth gifts Children's Medical Center Plano $500,000 for expansion efforts; and more.
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Eden Green Technology Opens First Vertical Farming Greenhouse in Cleburne

Dallas-based vertical farming company Eden Green Technology has completed construction of its first vertical farming greenhouse, a 2-acre facility, in Cleburne. The facility uses vertical farming to reduce the space needed for urban farming. It will produce 1.8 million pounds of greens annually in a 62,500 square-foot growing space.

“The demand for locally-grown healthy produce is at an all-time high. The last few years have seen tremendous investment in the industry at large, and in Texas specifically. We’re proud to have been one of the earliest—and now one of the largest—leaders in the space, creating fresh food and new opportunities for workers,” said Eddy Badrina, CEO of Eden Green Technology.

Eden Green also announced the construction of an expansion to the new facility, which, when completed, will triple production to more than 5 million pounds of greens annually. The $31 million expansion will encompass 125,000 square feet of grow space and will employ 50 additional workers.

Each of these new facilities can produce 11 to 13 harvests per year and grow more than 200 products. The company donates 10 percent of this yield to philanthropy.

Finally, Eden Green will soon launch a Series B funding round and has appointed Matt Hemsley, CEO of Minneapolis-based Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital to its board of directors in preparation for the round.

Woolly Mammoth De-Extinction Company Launches Spin Off Business

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John Davidson Photography

Dallas-based de-extinction company Colossal Biosciences—which is working to bring back the woolly mammoth and thylacine—launched spinoff company Bio Form, an independent company offering a breakthrough computational life sciences platform. Bio Form enters the marketplace with an oversubscribed $30 million in Series A funding.

Form Bio’s main initiative is to provide scientists with a streamlined software platform that replaces code-heavy processes with simpler user-friendly software.

“Form Bio is the missing piece in scientific discovery,” Ben Lamm, Colossal co-Founder and CEO, said. “When you have a big scientific endeavor like de-extincting a species, you not only need the smartest scientists in the world, you need powerful software, much of which simply hasn’t existed until now. After reviewing everything available on the market, we chose to create our own software solution. Now, we want to share this modern, comprehensive platform with the broader community to impact other areas of scientific innovation, including human health.”

The Bio Form platform is designed to be deployed for drug discovery, gene and cell therapy, manufacturing efficiency, academic research, and more.

“Science is entering an entirely new era in which advancements will not just treat diseases but cure them,” said John Spinale, managing partner at JAZZ Venture Partners—which headlined Bio Form’s Series A funding round. “Every scientific discipline tied to these types of innovations will unavoidably require rapidly analyzing enormous volumes of data. Form Bio has developed a cutting-edge solution to squarely address this data deluge while responding to the industry’s acute need for a simple, user-friendly platform to replace mountains of code, cumbersome data wrangling processes and underdeveloped tools.”

With the launch of Form Bio, Kent Wakeford will transition from Colossal’s COO to Form Bio Co-CEO,  where he will work alongside Co-CEO Andrew Busey. Former Biolabs COO Adam Milne, will join Colossal as its new COO.

Amber Venz Box’s LTK Con Covers Key Retail Takeaways and Celebrates More Than 350 Influencers

This week, influencer platform LTK hosted more than 350 influencers at its 10th annual LTK Con, held at The Adolphus Hotel. The three-day event featured speakers including the CEO of cosmetics giant Tarte, Maureen Kelly; executive director, digital at Anthropologie, Barbara Sainsurin; Shea McGee from Netflix show Dream House Makeover; and more.

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Amber Venz Box addresses a crowd of more than 350 influencers at the Adolphus Hotel on Tuesday.

Venz Box opened the conference with a recap of the industry’s evolution over the past decade and recent research findings. “In the last one year, brands have invested $800 million in LTK creators,” she said, spotlighting the marketing investment that influencers have become for corporations.

Box also emphasized the importance of artificial intelligence’s roll in social media and content creation and shared that recent studies suggest consumers trust influencers’ recommendations more than their family and celebrities. “Today, we’re in another really big transitional period and this is one where content is the driving force,” she said.

She highlighted LTK’s growth from 300 to 670 employees before introducing LTK consumer general manager Kit Ulrich to announce three new brand updates. Ulrich revealed that LTK will be enabling a feature that will allow consumers to buy products directly through the LTK platform, rather than redirecting them to the vendor’s site.

Additionally, LTK announced it has redesigned the app that influencers use to post their content and given them a new way to organize and highlight their content within that app. The final day of the conference featured the Creator Awards, which recognized influencers across categories including beauty, home, wellness, and more. The awards were held at The Thompson downtown.

Children’s Medical Center Receives $500,000 Donation from PGA Tour Pro Jordan Spieth

The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation has gifted Children’s Medical Center $500,000 to go toward the expansion of Children’s Medical Center Plano. The gift is the largest donation Spieth’s foundation has made to date.

“Annie and I are very grateful to the incredible oncology staff at Children’s Health for their life-saving work,” Spieth said. “We have a personal connection to pediatric cancer, and to this hospital specifically. While we hope research continues to make this issue nonexistent in the future, for now, our focus is on improving each family’s experience as much as possible.”

Children’s Medical Center Plano campus expansion broke ground in October 2021 and is expected to be completed during the second half of 2024. Expansion plans for the Plano campus include a new 395,000-square-foot tower, which will house expanded specialty care programs, including cardiology, oncology, gastroenterology, and neurology, among others. The new tower—which will nearly double the size of the hospital facility—will increase the total number of available beds from 72 to 212.

In recognition of the gift, the family support lounge, located in the newly expanded Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center Plano, will be named the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation Lounge. 

DFW International Airport Orders Emission-Free Buses

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DFW International Airport, which is the first carbon neutral airport in the world, will be getting 26 new emission-free busses in 2023 provided by California-based ENC, a subsidiary of $1 billion company REV Group.

ENC’s Axess buses are in commission at 33 airports across the country. Four of the 26 busses coming to DFW are the company’s latest line of EVO-BE busses—a line of zero emission battery electric buses which boasts an industry-leading 738 kilowatt hours of battery energy storage.

“Over 70 million travelers pass through our airport every year, and we continue to focus on using renewable energy sources to safely transport them while we focus to reduce carbon emissions and achieve the goal of net-zero by 2030,” said Ken Buchanan, executive vice president of revenue management and customer experience for ENC.

Authors

Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the assistant editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500
Kelsey Vanderschoot

Kelsey Vanderschoot

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Kelsey J. Vanderschoot came to Dallas by way of Napa, Los Angeles, and Madrid, Spain. A former teacher, she joined…

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