Native Traits, a Michigan based bio tech company, has received a $250,000 commitment from Northern Michigan Angels investment group. Founded in 2013, Native Traits set up shop in Kalamazoo and specializes in the utilization of proprietary NT Recovery technology to isolate the traits that make heirloom corn more capable of enduring drought and more tolerant of hot and cold temperatures.
“The problem with the old heirloom varieties … is that they are tough as nails in a stress situation, but they have very low productivity in an ideal environment,” said Native Traits President and CEO, James Friedrich. “You have to basically move the trait you’re interested in into the common hybrid and leave the junky genetics behind.”
NMA Chair, Ron Hurd, led the Native Traits deal and says the current commitment is part of a $350,000 total he hopes to raise for the company. He and a several angel investors pooled money for this beginning round and hopes the company will either find success in selling genetic traits or be bought by a big seed company.
Native Traits joins 13 other companies who have received investments from NMA, including, Local Orbit, an Agtech company which provides software that connects farmers more directly with customers.
Michigan itself is also home to FarmLogs which raised $10m late last year from Drive Capital, Huron River Ventures, Hyde Park, SV Angels, and Hyde Park Venture Partners.
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Photo courtesy of Native Traits.