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VetMeasure: Accurate health monitoring for pets

An Ames-based company, VetMeasure, has developed a harness that will improve real-time monitoring of a pet’s health by allowing veterinarians and pet owners to monitor the pet’s health remotely.

Most of today’s health monitoring devices for pets are collar-based. By being closer to the heart, VetMeasure’s MeasureON! harness design allows for a more accurate detection of an animal’s health statistics for veterinarians and pet owners.

“We learned through the research process, that we could get more reliable information using a harness figuration that gets closer to the heart, lungs and chest,” Maher said. 

VetMeasure recently did a soft launch at the Wellington Veterinary Clinic, in Wellington, Colorado.

“Our focus has been on the veterinary profession first. We’re not really marketing directly to pet owners,” Maher said. “We want pet owners to learn about it from their veterinarians which will validate it and give it credibility rather than finding out about it online.”

Taking advantage of local resources

Maher is also the founder of GlobalVetLINK, a web-based software system that connects veterinarians, animal owners and producers, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, feed distributors, auction markets and animal health officials.

VetMeasure and GlobalVetLINK were both founded in Iowa State University Research Park, an innovation community for new and expanding businesses. 

“We’ve really benefited from the Pappajohn Center being able to provide us interns, resources, and other connections,” Maher said. “Just having a home at the research park gives us access to resources that we wouldn’t have if we were in some private office in Iowa.”

Biggest challenges?

“One of the bigger challenges has been how we interpret that data when we’re dealing with all the various breeds,” Maher said. “We’ve gone through iterations and a learning process and how to deal with that. So that’s probably been the biggest challenge because everyone doesn’t have the same kind of dog.”

Future Plans?

“We went through our first funding round last year and closed on $500,000,” Maher said. “By the end of 2018, our goal is to have our equity funding closed and be moving on to the commercialization stage, bringing on full-time employees, and beginning to launch in December through March tradeshow season.”

VetMeasure plans to eventually take the same platform and apply it to other species and have begun research at Iowa State’s dairy farm.

“We know that there’s a need of objective real-time data on calves,” said Maher. “So that you can, ahead of clinical signs, see that an animal is beginning to dip in terms of their health.”


VetMeasure: Accurate health monitoring for pets | 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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