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Mobile app will allow fans at Iowa Cubs games to skip concession stand lines

Missing a part of the game to get something from the concession stand is no longer a worry.

Starting June 26, FanFood, a mobile concession platform, will allow fans attending Iowa Cubs games to use the app to order concessions and have it ready for pickup or delivered directly to their seat.

Brad Six, General Manager of Centerplate, handles all of the food at Principal Park and confirmed the partnership Friday morning.

Dustin Hemesath, President of FanFood, told Clay & Milk Friday that the app can be used for concerts, sporting events or anything where there is live action going on.

“We don’t want anyone to miss the big play,” Hemesath said.

He said anybody with a seat location at Principal Park can order for delivery or express pickup. The app is free to download and sends a notification to the customer’s phone when the order is ready for pickup or on its way for delivery.

Prices are the same as the concession stand but there’s a $1 convenience fee for pickups and a $3 charge for delivery.

Hemesath said FanFood launched on May 9 in Austin, Texas at the 360 Amphitheatre. They have since secured contracts with a raceway in Houston and with the San Jose Earthquakes, a Major League Soccer franchise in California, along with the Iowa Cubs.

He said more partnerships are in the works.

In Texas, Hemesath said FanFood partners with the Central Texas Food Bank who provides some volunteers that act as runners and prepare orders. In exchange, FanFood donates what the volunteers salary would be to the charity.

“For every dollar we give it equals out to about 11 meals that they are able to provide back to hungry people,” Hemesath explained. “So we’re working on trying to partner with the Iowa Food Bank in the same way.”

Hemesath said he’s actively looking for volunteers to form a similar partnership.

“Between now and October we have about 1,000 volunteer shifts in our four locations” Hemesath explained. “That would be over $40,000 in donations.”

He said FanFood could pay to have employees work but by partnering with the local charities ties into the FanFood brand.

“It’s feeding hungry fans and hungry Americans,” Hemesath says. “But we want to give back to people who are less fortunate. It’s part of our beliefs.”


Mobile app will allow fans at Iowa Cubs games to skip concession stand lines | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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