Coskata

Coskata is a biology-based renewable energy company whose low-cost platform technology allows for the production of fuels and chemicals from a variety of input materials. Coskata is one of the 2010 GoingGreen Silicon Valley 100.

Location: 
Warrenville, IL
Type: 
VC-Funded Company
Category: 
Biofuels
Website: 
http://www.coskata.com/

Coskata is a biology-based renewable energy company whose low-cost platform technology allows for the production of fuels and chemicals from a variety of input material (including biomass, agricultural and municipal wastes, and other carbonaceous material).

Using proprietary microorganisms and patented bioreactor designs, we are ready today to produce FlexEthanol™, or feedstock flexible ethanol, to fuel energy security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability.

Coskata was incorporated in July 2006 by GreatPoint Ventures. The company was the culmination of research Aaron Mandell and Andrew Perlman, two GreatPoint Ventures partners, had been doing since 2001 into alternative concepts for low cost cellulosic ethanol production. Mr. Mandell began following ethanol research taking place at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma with the help of founding scientist Rathin Datta. When the University’s scientific teams identified a potent set of anaerobic microorganisms for the conversion of synthesis gas to ethanol, Mr. Mandell secured rights to license the technology and began to formulate the development strategy. With the early backing of Advanced Technology Ventures and Khosla Ventures, and the tremendous dedication of its entrepreneur-in-residence Todd Kimmel, Coskata was born.

The team initiated experimental work at Argonne National Laboratories, and started their work to advance the organism and build a top-tier biofermentation technology team. In the spring of 2007, Coskata moved out of Argonne, and into its current headquarters in Warrenville, IL, approximately 40 minutes West of downtown Chicago. General Motors took an undisclosed ownership stake in Coskata in January of 2008, and announced the partnership as the centerpiece of the 2008 North American International Auto Show, gaining international exposure. The largest private equity fund in the world, The Blackstone Group, led our Series C equity raise in October of 2008. In 2010, oil major TOTAL led Coskata's round of equity financing.

Coskata is here today because of the hard work and effort of its employees and the contributions of its many external collaborators, from the researchers at Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, Brigham Young University and Argonne National Laboratory to the venture capitalists group that did the initial funding.

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