Backed by GOED funds, ag-biotech startup spins out of DRI

In 2014, Reno native Brian Speicher took a job that brought him back to the Biggest Little City. After carving out a 20-year career in the life sciences private sector on the East Coast, primarily in R&D in the pharmaceutical industry, Speicher returned home to be the Desert Research Institute’s first-ever business development lead.

“My mandate was to walk the halls and find opportunities to steer innovation toward the private sector, and take a standard innovation or entrepreneurial path you’d see in the private sector,” Speicher said in a phone interview with the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

Six years later, one of the concepts Speicher led the creation of has become the first research-based company that DRI has successfully spun out. Tu Biomics, inspired by DRI’s expertise in microbial ecology, is an agricultural biotechnology startup that targets the soil health challenges associated with industrial-scale farming, according to DRI in a June 25 press release.

In a nutshell, Reno-based Tu Biomics is seeking to scale up its creation of “organic crop protection protects,” Speicher told the NNBW.

Read more at Nevada Appeal.

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