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McClatchy-Tribune  08/29/2014 1:41 PM ET
Private capital firm launches in KC area for ag science research, development [The Kansas City Star :: ]

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Aug. 29--Kansas State University, Bicknell Family Holding Co., and Michael Helmstetter, former president of MRIGlobal, have founded a private capital development firm to assist research and business development in animal health, agriculture and food science.

Helmstetter, who led a Florida startup, BTR Labs Inc., before he joined MRIGlobal, is serving as chief executive of the new company, Technology Acceleration Partners LLC.

"Having worked in the research sector my entire career, I know all too well the pain point between proof of concept discoveries and the stage at which industry takes a technology into their pipeline," Helmstetter said.

Founding investors in the Leawood-based firm, dubbed TechAccel, include: Terry Dunn, CEO of JE Dunn Construction Group; Marty Bicknell, CEO of Mariner Holdings; Paul DeBruce, CEO of DeBruce Companies; Gary Forsee, former CEO of Sprint; Greg Graves, CEO of Burns & McDonnell; Cliff Illig, vice chairman of Cerner; Roshann Parris, CEO of Parris Communications; and John Sherman, CEO of MLP Holdings.

K-State president Kirk Shulz said the university views TechAccel as a way to "more rapidly commercialize the results of research and development" in food science.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to


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