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NexSteppe: BIofuels Digest’s 5-Minute Guide

| December 17, 2012

Year Founded: 2010

Company description: 

NexSteppe is dedicated to pioneering the next generation of scalable, reliable, cost-effective feedstock solutions for the biofuels, biopower and biobased products industries. Using advanced breeding techniques and cutting-edge analytical technologies, NexSteppe is developing sweet sorghum, high biomass sorghum and switchgrass to produce feedstocks tailored for these biobased industries. NexSteppe is also refining crop management practices and supply chain operations to provide optimized, fully-integrated feedstock solutions. Through the development and commercialization of these tailored crops and fully-integrated feedstock solutions, NexSteppe is laying a foundation for a more secure and sustainable future for our economy, our environment, and our energy supply.

Major Investors:

Braemar Energy Ventures

DuPont

CYM Ventures

Zygote Ventures

3 Top Milestones for 2009-11: 

Founded company; assembled industry-leading team and germplasm collection; initiated operations in U.S. and Brazil

Closed Series B financing ($14 million)

Signed strategic partnership with DuPont. The collaboration will focus on the development of new sweet sorghum and high biomass sorghum hybrids which will create additional feedstock options for these rapidly evolving industries.

Business Model:

Seller of seed and provider of project development services.

Competitive Edge(s):

  • Focus: NexSteppe is a purpose-built company focused solely on the optimization of sugar and biomass crops that will serve as feedstocks for biofuels, biopower and biobased products.
  • Technology Platform: We have an industry-leading germplasm collection, breeding team and technology platform, including our collaboration with DuPont.
  • Commercial Orientation: We are dedicated to overcoming the difficulties faced by processors of our crops, from process-specific compositional optimization to location-specific crop management practices to project-specific feedstock supply-chain solutions.

Research, or Manufacturing Partnerships or Alliances: 

DuPont has made an equity investment in NexSteppe, and through its Pioneer Hi-Bred business, will provide knowledge, resources and advanced technologies to help the company accelerate the breeding and commercialization of new hybrids of these crops in the United States and Brazil.

Stage:  

Commercial

Company website

Product information

Product Brand Name:

Malibu (sweet sorghum)

Palo Alto (high biomass sorghum)

Product Description: 

  • Malibu: A crop optimized for production of cheap, easily accessible sugars for production of advanced biofuels and biobased products.  MalibuTM sweet sorghums can complement sugarcane by extending the crushing season, and can be harvested, crushed and fermented using the same equipment and yeasts.
  • Palo Alto: A crop optimized for combustion, featuring high dry-matter yields and low moisture levels at harvest.  Palo AltoTM high biomass sorghums’ low moisture at harvest reduces harvest and transport costs and increases effective BTU levels, making them a cost-effective feedstock for production of renewable electricity and industrial steam power.

Product Applications: 

Feedstocks for biofuels, biopower, biobased products

 

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Category: 5-Minute Guide

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