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Agricultural Advocates and Adversaries

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

When longtime biotech insider Steve Burrill decided in 1979 to start a venture fund for new enabling technologies for agriculture, many in the industry thought he was making a bad move. So far, Burrill & Associates has invested $30 million of a $60 million fund and Burrill says that average returns are "north of 100% . '' But the fund made only two pure-play agricultural investments, with consumer concerns and protests pushing some opportunities off the table. Burrill, however remains interested in agriculture and so does his former business partner, who set up Bay City Capital. In February, BCC closed a $145 million fund dedicated to agribusiness and nutrition.

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