The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator has a new executive director, Nadilia Gomez. Gomez joins the Accelerator from Corteva Agriscience, one of The Accelerator’s six investor companies, where she served as a senior research scientist in Predictive Ag and as digital pillar leader of the Disruptive Business Innovation Portfolio.
At Corteva, she was responsible for tactical and strategic planning of digital solutions for breeders, agronomists and farmers. Gomez has also spent time serving on industry association boards and committees, including the Technology Association of Iowa and the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Board.
“Nadilia has an excellent perspective on ag tech, having been a mentor at the Accelerator for two years and shepherding Corteva’s digital solutions innovation for the past 18 months,” says Kerty Levy, interim executive director of the Accelerator. “She will bring great value to the startups, helping further their innovations, connecting them with industry expertise and helping them accelerate their businesses.”
Gomez took over as executive director on Aug. 1 and is responsible for the overall management and direction of the program. Her primary duties are program execution and management of the startups, investors, mentors, and entrepreneur in residence, in addition to managing connections with ecosystem partners and industry groups.
Four startups are in Des Moines participating in the 2019 program, including:
- Otrafy of Vancouver
- droneSAR of Des Moines
- Raks Ag Technology of São Leopoldo, Brazil
- FarmatroniX of College Park, Md.
Launched in 2016 by the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Cultivation Corridor, the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator is designed to build upon one of the region’s key industries — agriculture — and Greater Des Moines’ success in advancing startups and technology through its resources available to entrepreneurs. The program fosters innovation and helps central Iowa continue to be one of the top regions in the nation for startup companies.
Cultivation Corridor growing
America’s Cultivation Corridor recently announced that Land O’Lakes Inc. has joined the Iowa-focused organization as a stakeholder. Matt Carstens, vice president of Land O’Lakes Sustain, joins the corridor’s board of directors.
Investors and partners of America’s Cultivation Corridor are working together to accelerate development of new technologies, strengthen Iowa’s ag bioscience workforce and attract economic development, all aimed at meeting the challenge of feeding a growing world population in a sustainable way.
“We are excited to welcome Land O’Lakes as a stakeholder to America’s Cultivation Corridor,” says Charles Sukup, president of Sukup Manufacturing Co. “Together we are working to elevate Iowa’s status as the leading region for research, development and commercialization of new innovations in agriculture.”
“Farmers are innovators, entrepreneurs and a core pillar of Iowa’s economy,” Carstens says. “As one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives, Land O’Lakes works hard each day to support farmer-led innovation. We are thrilled to participate in America’s Cultivation Corridor to help strengthen economic resiliency for the American farmer and American agriculture, starting here in Iowa. “
Other stakeholders of the Cultivation Corridor include Iowa State University, Corteva Agriscience, Deere & Co., Greater Des Moines Partnership, Iowa Pork Producers, Kent Corp., MidAmerican Energy, Ames Economic Development, Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Iowa Farm Bureau, ISG, Kemin, REG, Sukup Mfg., Summit Agriculture and Vermeer Corp.
Iowa’s agriculture industry includes global leaders in all sectors — advanced manufacturing, ag processing, animal health, biobased processing and fuels, plant sciences, predictive agriculture and more — as well as startup companies with new technologies that will boost productivity, animal care and sustainability for farmers in Iowa and around the world. Visit cultivationcorridor.org for more information.