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St. Louis-based CoverCress Inc. named to Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator’s agtech program

The CoverCress team

St. Louis-based CoverCress Inc. has been selected for Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator’s (IN2) first agtech cohort. IN2 is a $30 million technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

CoverCress Inc. is one of only five agtech companies selected for the incubator, and will receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding and support from scientists at NREL and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (Danforth Center), the world’s largest independent plant science institute, to test and validate their technology.

“The companies involved with IN2 might be small, but they’re solving big problems,” said Trish Cozart, IN2 program manager at NREL. “CoverCress Inc. was an extremely strong applicant, and we cannot wait to see the strides they make by being a part of our program.”

IN2’s goal is to advance technologies that can reduce agriculture’s carbon, energy and water impact, which collectively account for as much as 70% of water and 14% of energy usage worldwide. CoverCress Inc. was selected for their innovative new cash cover crop that grows during the winter to protect soil while producing an oilseed for harvest in spring, all without displacing corn or soybean production.

“This is such a unique program, and we appreciate the opportunity to work together with the Danforth Center. Both their intellectual capital and best-in-class facilities will add value to our novel crop,” said Jerry Steiner, CEO of CoverCress Inc. “It’s a great validation of our team’s work to be one of only five companies selected for this prestigious invitation-only program.”

Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings, IN2expanded its focus in 2018 to advance innovations in agtech, or the application of software and hardware technology to farming.

In launching this first agriculture cohort, IN2 seeks to help the agricultural sector overcome the substantial challenges, barriers and costs of implementing new technologies and to speed their paths to market.

For a complete list of IN2 portfolio companies, visit

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