A look at the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator 2018 class

This story is the first part of multi-part series that will look at each startup in the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator 2018 class individually.

The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator recently announced the five AgTech startups selected for the program’s class of 2018.

Based in Des Moines, the accelerator is a mentor-led program that focuses on ag-based technology innovations. This year’s class is the second to go through the 100-day program.

The training and learning program began May 29 and will end August 30. The startups accepted into the program each receive $40,000 in funding along with intense mentoring and training. The program also includes field trips to investor and mentor companies, outreach, networking and presentation opportunities.

“We’re very excited about this year’s class,” said Scott McEntee, Sr. Vice President of Farmer’s Mutual Hale at the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator Breakfast Kickoff on Thursday morning. We couldn’t be more happy to see how this class will change the face of the ag industry.”

Here is a quick look at the five groups participating in this year’s Iowa AgriTech Accelerator:

AgHelp. Based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, AgHelp is a mobile platform designed mobilize the farm-worker ecosystem to address the agriculture labor shortage. The app connects ag employers with available local labor, source labor and support services nationally at a cheaper cost than what is currently available.

BirdPreneur. BirdPreneur was established in June 2016 with the aim and vision of becoming the one-stop shop “aviculture” platform focused on helping individuals and corporate organizations raise birds such as broilers, layers, and turkeys for sales and consumption in order to increase meat and egg production across in Nigeria.

Krobel Corp. Based out of Mankato, Minnesota, Krobel Corp is developing a low-cost, easy-to-manufacture device to monitor the respiratory rate of an individual hog from nursing to finishing. The device will notify farmers of potentially sick animals, allowing for better treatment and containment.

U.S. Design Consultants. Located in Osceola, Iowa, U.S. Design Consultants develops broadcast dispensing granular products that addresses fundamental challenges and eliminates negative consequences associated with standard broadcast dispensing equipment.

VakSea. VakSea has developed a unique vaccine delivery platform for aquaculture that is more affordable, more effective, and easier to deliver. VakSea’s products can be fed directly to fish, eliminating the need for expensive, labor intensive, and invasive injection vaccines.


This year’s startups will first present their innovations and share their ideas at the Farm Progress Show, Aug. 28-30 at Boone in central Iowa.

Following that, this year’s class will also present and explain their innovations at the annual Accelerator’s Demonstration Day on Oct. 16 during World Food Prize week in Des Moines.