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ABC Labs, now EAG Laboratories

In 2015, ABC Labs was bought by EAG Inc., a private, global scientific services firm headquartered in San Diego, California.

ABC Labs and its more than 400 employees will remain in Columbia, according to ABC Labs officials quoted in this July 9, 2015 article in the Columbia Daily Tribune.

ABC Labs got its start in 1968, long before technology transfer was a buzzword or even a concept. It was begun by Charles W. Gehrke with David Stalling and Jim Ussary.

To start the company, the men approached friends, family members and colleagues. In six months, they’d raised $200,000 — $1.2 million in 2009 dollars —  a sum Stalling and Ussary credited mainly to Charles.

At first the staff consisted of one – Ussary, who hung curtains, repaired the roof or whatever else had to be done to keep the company going. Eventually Ussary would move on to take a position with another company. It wasn’t until 1995 that ABC Labs turned a profit.

Yet it wasn’t profit that Charles bragged about – it was how many people the company he founded employed, especially the number of University of Missouri graduates. Charles said more than one-third of ABC Lab workers had earned their degrees at MU. He pointed to information that showed the total salaries at ABC from 2004-2008 added $55.2 million to Columbia’s economy.

Not bad for a $200,000 investment from friends, family members and colleagues.

 

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