Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Rantizo: Precision drone spraying

Rantizo Drone

Be more effective while doing less…it’s what the AgTech startup Rantizo is attempting to do in the spraying industry.

“We revolutionize the spraying industry,” Co-founder Michael Ott told Clay & Milk. “Agriculture spraying is a big business and has big problems.”

To fix those problems, Rantizo pairs drone technology with an electrostatic spray to target and reach specific areas within a field.

“So if you have a gallon of Round Up you dilute that with over 800 gallons of water and you need a tractor because you have 801 gallons of liquid you need to spray,” Ott explains. “We don’t need that 800 gallons of water, we just need that one gallon. We can put our sprayer on a drone and spot apply where it needs to go.”

Electrostatic spray?

Ott says it was a professor at Princeton University who developed the electrostatic spray. What he did with Rantizo is find a way to use it to solve a problem.

“We got to thinking, it’s a cool way to do things, it’s low powered and low weight, where does that have an impact?” Ott says. “Looking at interesting technologies and finding ways to make a good business out of them.”

Ott is based in Iowa City and said him and his co-founder Matthew Beckwith are actively meeting with angel investors to raise capital. He’d like to raise $300,000 by the end of the summer and hire a Chief Technology Officer.

“It’s going to be a fun engineering project for the right person,” Ott says.

He said Rantizo has been in the works for the last 12 months but had been “ramping up” over the last three months. In March, Ott went through the Ag Launch Accelerator program in Memphis and won the pitch contest.

“I think people see there’s a problem and the way we can execute,” Ott says. “We are really going to be a systems play that integrates all the technology.”

Co-founder of Rantizo, Michael Ott presents at the Combine Mixer in Memphis, TN. Photo courtesy of Rantizo

Cotton focus

Because cotton is such a heavily sprayed crop—and Tennessee is a producer of cotton—the Ag Launch Accelerator was a logical fit.

“When you are looking at spraying things, that’s a pretty big opportunity,” Ott says. “So we wanted to go down there and there was a good opportunity to get capital and work with some people I had known for a long time.”

Ott said they are working to make sure the drone is easy and reliable to operate right from the box. Rantizo will be GPS based and gather imagery on a field. It will use that data to diagnose problem areas and autonomously deliver chemicals that are needed to solve the problem.

“We want to design a solution that reduces the number of people required because we all know it’s hard to get people working in farming while demand goes up,” Ott says. “Then also the equipment is getting more and more expensive so we want to design systems that are small and nimble.”

1 Comment

  • Jason
    Posted June 22, 2018 at 2:09 am

    A new intelligent and precision drone sprayer for agriculture. Please see our brochure at

Comments are closed.

Rantizo: Precision drone spraying | 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
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now