By Nathan Rubbelke, St. Louis Business Journal | June 14, 2022
The co-founder of a life sciences startup that in 2020 sold to a publicly traded company has joined St. Louis startup investor BioGenerator in a newly created role.
Crystal Winkeler, formerly chief operating officer and vice president of research and development of Canopy Biosciences, has been hired as managing director of BioGenerator Ventures. BioGenerator Ventures is part of BioGenerator, the startup creation and investment arm of local innovation hub BioSTL.
The new post marks a return for Winkeler to BioGenerator Ventures, where she was a senior investment analyst prior to launching Canopy Biosciences.
“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.”
As managing director at BioGenerator Ventures, Winkeler will oversee the company’s investment initiatives around companies focused on human disease and biopharma, the investor said. Winkeler has a Ph.D in molecular cell biology from Washington University.
"I am thrilled to return to the BioGenerator team," said Winkeler. "I look forward to building great companies that will bring solutions to care providers, alleviate disease, and provide excellent returns to investors."
At Canopy Biosciences, Winkeler was responsible for an international team and oversaw several key aspects of the company, BioGenerator said. Winkeler launched Canopy Biosciences, founded in 2016, with Ed Weinstein and David Smoller. Created out of BioGenerator, Canopy Biosciences provides gene editing, gene expression and bioprocessing products and services and in 2020 was purchased by Billerica, Massachusetts-based scientific instrument maker Bruker (NASDAQ: BRKR).
BioGenerator launches and supports companies through its ventures arm and the BioGenerator Labs, located at the BioSTL Building in the Cortex innovation district. BioGenerator has backed more than 50 companies currently in operation, with its portfolio including geotech firm Benson Hill, cancer treatment startup Wugen and life sciences firm Geneoscopy.