The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator hosted its second annual AgTech Day in late March in West Des Moines. From across the country, nine early-stage ag tech startups gathered to showcase their innovations to the Accelerator’s community of mentors and supporters.
The 2019 AgTech Day class came from areas as close as Des Moines and as far as California. The participating startups and their innovations in this year’s program include:
1. Ag-EZ. The Des Moines company is delivering a platform to enable virtual farming. This application lets farmers identify needs of their fields and connect with custom service providers in the area.
2. Big Data in a Box. Made in Ames, Iowa, this product is a one-stop-shop data and analytics tool for organic farmers.
3. DroneSAR. Based in Des Moines, Iowa, this product aims to improve crop yields with radio cameras for drones.
4. Dynamic Motion. This robotic power washer made in Herman, Neb., helps sanitize hog buildings.
5. Gym-N-Eat Crickets. This company in Ames raises and processes crickets for protein snacks.
6. Industrial Hemp. The company in Ankeny, Iowa, offers supply chain services and a platform for hemp production.
7. ShiftAero. This company in Sunnyvale, Calif., uses unmanned aerial vehicles for crop spraying.
8. Tractor Zoom. Based in West Des Moines, this company is a heavy-equipment auction marketplace.
9. Vilicus Capital. The company in Des Moines and Dubuque, Iowa, offers a platform and service for regenerative, ecological farming. This firm offers support and training for farmers to switch to profitable organic farming.
Mentors lend helping hand
The startups had a full schedule of events throughout AgTech Day, which includes one-on-one mentor meetings, a networking reception and remarks from Hank Norem, president of Ramco and CEO of Maple Ventures. The Accelerator hopes to build on the momentum from AgTech Day to support innovative ag tech startups through the organization’s 2019 program, which is slated to begin the first week of June.
The Accelerator’s 2019 program has support from some of the largest and most well-known ag tech and ag-related companies in Iowa, including Corteva Agriscience, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co., Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp., John Deere and Sukup Manufacturing Co., in addition to more than 130 mentors.
If you are an ag tech startup interested in a mentor-led residency program to help grow your business, visit agiowa.com.