Comstock's magazine 1218 - December 2018 - Page 94

GREATER SACRAMENTO es and Intrexon, all operating within Davis that the truth,” Marrone says. “But it’s im- city limits; Bayer in West Sacramento; and proved dramatically.” S&W Seed Company in Sacramento. Yolo In the ensuing years, Marrone has seen County is also home to the UC Davis-HM. the Sacramento region shake off much of CLAUSE Life Science Innovation Center in its torpor. Davis and the Bayer Crop Science CoLabo- rator in West Sacramento. “There’s just a lot of entrepreneurial energy now,” Marrone says. Pam Marrone, CEO and founder of Like Shafizadeh, whose company oc- biopesticide-maker Marrone Bio Innova- cupies lab space previously employed by tions, understands the opportunities and Marrone Bio Innovations, Marrone notes challenges of developing that cluster of in- that UC Davis’s presence in the region was dustries as well as anyone. Since founding crucial to bringing businesses at the inter- the now-global provider of bio-based pest section of food, agriculture and technolo- management and plant health solutions gy, into the greater Sacramento area. She in Davis in 2006, Marrone has seen the notes that the area has made great strides region’s industry grow despite what she in encouraging entrepreneurship in these describes as ongoing challenges to entre- sectors over the course of the last three preneurship. decades. Since 2010, $211 million has been in- vested in ag and biotech startups in the “The Sacramento region really is this burgeoning hotbed of the food, ag and health tech and biotech industry right now. Being in the Davis area and being able to network and cross-pollinate, if you will, with that growing segment is incredibly important and very useful and helpful for us as a growing company.” - Tracy Shafizadeh, director of scientific communications, Evolve BioSystems Sacramento region, according to the Greater Sacramento Economic Council. The area has a unique mix of resources that position Sacramento as an innovation hub at the crux of technology, life science, agriculture and food production. UC Davis, a university with premier life science and agricultural studies programs, is just one of the draws bringing ag tech- and life science-related business, invest- ment and talent to the region. Sacramento sits squarely in one of the most fertile growing regions in the world. California is the largest agricultural econ- omy in the United States. The 28-county Central Valley region of California is among the most productive farming regions in the world, with approximately $43.2 billion in food and beverage manufacturing out- 94 | December 2018 “Back when I first moved to Davis — 28 put and $11 billion in agricultural exports, years ago — someone asked me about the according to AgPlus, a food and beverage culture of Sacramento, and I said it lacked manufacturing consortium designated by entrepreneurial energy. And boy, wasn’t the U.S. Economic Development Adminis-