Middle Bit: Third ISU Startup Factory cohort starts with 11; Iowa AgriTech Accelerator adds sixth startup

A third cohort of 11 companies were announced Tuesday to participate in the Iowa State University Startup Factory program, according to a news release.

According to the release, entrepreneurs in the ISU Startup Factory receive formal training, resources and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors, and investors in two 26-week blocks. The first a formal curriculum centered on business validation, and the second is customized to their individual business needs.

The ISU Startup Factory is a 52-week intensive program at the Iowa State University Research Park that provides students, faculty and staff avenues to create technology-based businesses.

“We are looking for strategic partners who would like to surround themselves with successful startups, building essentially a network effect within the community we’ve started here,” program leader Bill Adamowski  said. “By co-locating here, stakeholders can build relationships with the startup companies right here in our ISU Startup Factory space.”

Companies in the program represent industries such as drone technology, biomedicine and agriculture.

Additionally, organizers shared that members of the first cohort officially graduated from the program. The first chohort started last summer with ten companies.

Iowa-City company joins AgriTech Accelerator

Iowa City-based Farrpro was added as the sixth startup for the AgriTech Accelerator program’s Class of 2017.

Executive Director Megan Vollstedt told Clay & Milk Thursday morning the company was added as the company started its fourth of a 100-day program.

According to a news release, Farrpro designed a type of heater for farrowing facilities that creates a microclimate for piglets with the aims of reducing energy costs.

It joins five other companies who were announced in June.

The release also announced KNL Works Strategy Advisor Kerty Levy, c.Results Founder Charise Flynn and former interim director of The Accelerator, Tej Dhawan as Entrepreneurs in Residence for the program. They spend dedicated time in the office mentoring the startups throughout the 100-day program.

Airport art collection is newsworthy

Travelers exploring the terminals at the Denver International Airport can view an art collection that has been the subject of conspiracy theories dating back to the airport’s construction, according to a story published Monday at hyperallergic.com.

The collection is collectively valued at over $14 million,

According to the story, new technical difficulties have emerged in the maintenance and display of its ambitious permanent installations.

The DIA art collection is managed by the city’s public art program and a cultural commission, who provide counsel to the airport about which works to purchase using funds from the city’s Percent for Art program, which sets aside 1% of the budget for any major municipal capital-improvement construction project for public art.

What else happened…


Chicago Sun Times sold – Reuters

Esquify, a Chicago, Ill. based provider of a legal technology platform for human document review, secured $710K in seed funding.


Bear reported in Iowa soybean field – Des Moines Register

City in Iowa looks to restrict panhandling – Associated Press

The Iowa Arts Council named its five fellows for 2017 – Iowa Arts Council


Minnesota’s AG sues Century Link over billing – Star Tribune

Target shares jump Thursdsy – tcbmag.com


Lake of the Ozarks resort sold – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

NewLeaf Symbiotics, a biological crop input startup closed a $24 million Series C round – Agfundernews.com

Kansas City is a place people want to stay – startlandnews.com

Lean Lan welcomes five new ed tech startups – startlandnews.com


Abercrombie takes itself off the block – Associated Press