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St. Louis research firm gains attention from Silicon Valley investors

Cofactor Genomics, a genetic research company, based in St. Louis received  $120,000 from accelerator program, Y Combinator, for a seven percent stake in the company.

Cofactor Genomics, a genetic research company, based in St. Louis received $120,000 from accelerator program, Y Combinator, for a seven percent stake in the company.

It’s rare for a company from the middle of the country to bechosen for Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s oldest and most prestigious boot camp for startup technology companies.

It’s even rarer when that company is seven years old, well beyond most people’s definition of a startup. Still, the founders of Cofactor Genomics, a genetic research company in the Central West End, spent the summer at Y Combinator’s offices in Mountain View, Calif., and they’re glad they did.

“These are incredibly talented folks who not only built companies of their own, but they’ve helped almost 1,000 companies that have gone through their doors,” says David Messina, Cofactor’s chief operating officer. “The whole culture is one of cooperation.”

Y Combinator’s alumni include Airbnb, the website that lets people rent spare rooms to strangers, and Dropbox, a cloud-storage business. Cofactor’s leaders — Chief Executive Jarret Glasscock, Chief Scientific Officer Jon Armstrong and Messina — met many high-profile people during their 14 weeks in Silicon Valley, but they’re reluctant to drop names. Many of the talks, they said, were confidential but very helpful.

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]