Kzoo-based Vestaron Corp. develops safe bioinsecticdes for agriculture industry

Fred Molnar

Monday, March 14, 2016

Kzoo-based Vestaron Corp. develops safe bioinsecticdes for agriculture industry

“Vestaron is a perfect case study of a pioneering biotech startup that has the potential to dramatically impact an entire industry,” said Fred Molnar, VP of entrepreneurship and innovation at Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Kalamazoo-based biotech, Vestaron Corporation, is a leader in the development and marketing of safe and effective bioinsecticides derived from naturally occurring peptides. Their Spear™ formulations employ naturally occurring venom peptides as the basis of a highly effective bioinsecticide that presents no harm to mammals, honeybees or other beneficial insects, birds or fish. 

The advanced technology applied by Vestaron isolates venom from spiders and extracts the components that are safe for human and environment interaction, which are then used to make insecticides. These groundbreaking venom-based products offer a solution to the industry challenge of growing insect resistance to existing synthetic insecticides.

Increasingly, consumers are becoming more aware of – and sensitive to – the chemicals employed throughout the agriculture industry, from crop growing to animal feed. As a result, the demand for safe and environmentally friendly solutions, such as biopesticides, is growing rapidly.

“We’re proud to have them in our state and to be one of the many partners supporting their ambitious, innovative endeavors,” he said.

As an agriculture-focused company, Vestaron’s Michigan location has played a major role in its ability to develop and test products due to the abundance and diversity of crops grown in the state. Local access to a thriving agriculture economy has streamlined formulation analysis and accelerated innovation. Additionally, company leaders praise the region for several assets that have helped them build a successful team.

“The facilities [in Kalamazoo] are tremendous and we’ve been able to recruit amazing talent from a number of universities in Michigan,” said Bob Kennedy, CSO of Vestaron.

An MEDC portfolio company, Vestaron has been working closely with the organization for years. The venture-backed company also received PreSeed 1.0 funding managed by Ann Arbor SPARK, and is a Michigan Accelerator Fund recipient.

Vesatron is one of 15 startup companies in Michigan to be featured in a webisode through Start Up, a PBS program that offers an up-close and personal look into the world of the modern American entrepreneur. Check out the webisode below to learn more about Vesatron and their innovative drone technology.

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