Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

ESHIP Summit 2017: The makers, the doers, the dreamers.

Clay & Milk was honored to attend the inaugural ESHIP Summit put on by the Kauffman Foundation this past week. Upon arrival, each attendee was given a handbook and something that stuck with me was the following excerpt:

“We pledge to pursue this vision together — to ensure that the makers, the doers, and the dreamers from all demographics of society have the opportunity to change their circumstances and to have a positive influence on themselves and the world.” – The ecosystem builders’ Declaration of Interdependence.

Our contribution to this vision is to help connect one another so that stories are easier to tell, to discover, and people can better build their future wherever that may be.

We believe progress begins with truly knowing one another and to that point, we focused our time at ESHIP on capturing the unique and beautiful personalities in attendance. We discovered some amazing people and are hopeful that in this body of work, you will too.

A special thank you to the Kauffman Foundation and especially Andy Stoll for being open to our unique perspective on connecting communities. We’re all grateful for your support of new ideas and of this community.

Photo credit: Jami Milne

1 Comment

  • Ben Milne
    Ben Milne
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Looks like a blast. Hope to make it next year!

Comments are closed.

ESHIP Summit 2017: The makers, the doers, the dreamers. | 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 mpatane@clayandmilk.com.
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now