ST. LOUIS – BioGenerator Ventures announced today that Crystal Winkeler, Ph.D., is joining the team as Managing Director. Prior to founding Canopy Biosciences, Winkeler was a Senior Investment Analyst for BioGenerator Ventures.
BioGenerator Ventures is the only investor that invests exclusively in St. Louis companies. Its portfolio of more than 50 active St. Louis startup companies is comprised of many of the region’s most promising and fastest-growing companies, Benson Hill, MediBeacon, Arch Oncology, Geneoscopy, CoverCress, SentiAR, Plastomics, and Wugen.
“As BioGenerator helps build the next generation of great St. Louis companies, we need highly talented individuals to lead this challenging process,” said Charlie Bolten, Senior Managing Director of BioGenerator Ventures. “Crystal is a proven investor and company builder, and it is an honor to welcome her back to the BioGenerator team.”
Crystal was previously Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of R&D of Canopy Biosciences, a Bruker Company (Nasdaq: BRKR). Crystal co-founded Canopy Biosciences in the BioGenerator Labs and was instrumental in the growth of the company, including PE-backed acquisitions of both Zellkraftwerk and Core Diagnostics. She led efforts in fundraising, technology sourcing and licensing, commercialization, operations, and business development. At the time that she joined BioGenerator, Crystal led a large international team across sites in St. Louis, Leipzig and Hannover in Germany, and the Bay Area.
“As Canopy’s Board Chairman, I witnessed Crystal’s leadership of the Canopy team through critical product launches and business development milestones,” said Frank Witney, Operating Partner at Ampersand Capital Partners. “I look forward to an opportunity to work with her again in this new role.”
“Of all of the people I have met as a venture capitalist, Crystal is one of the most talented,” said Bill Schmidt, Managing Director of Cultivation Capital Life Sciences Fund. “I look forward to working on exciting new companies with Crystal and the BioGenerator team.”
In her role at BioGenerator Ventures, Winkeler will lead investment teams focused on human disease with an emphasis on biopharma.
"I am thrilled to return to the BioGenerator team," said Crystal Winkeler, Ph.D., Managing Director of BioGenerator Ventures. “I look forward to building great companies that will bring solutions to care providers, alleviate disease, and provide excellent returns to investors.”
Winkeler holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Cell Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, where her research focused on molecular pathways that govern cell growth and proliferation in cancer. Since her graduate studies at Washington University, she has been an active member of the St. Louis entrepreneurial ecosystem, including work with The BALSA Group, Saint Louis University’s MEDLaunch program, Washington University’s LEAP program, and various other efforts that promote the region’s pipeline of life science deal flow and talent.