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Cider Finder: connecting people who love craft cider with people who sell it.

A new app is looking to help people who love craft cider with the people connect with cider makers and sellers.

Cider Finder is an app currently in development that connects local craft cider makers and cider enthusiasts through the United States. It will serve as an advertising platform for cider makers and a discovery platform for cider enthusiasts.

Users will be able to select their favorite ciders, keep up with their favorite cideries, and find their favorite ciders at bars and restaurants near them.

Cider makers and retailers will be able to update the list of ciders being produced and sold and will be able to more easily connect with the people that consume cider.

Cider Finder plans to begin beta testing by mid-September and continue testing through the end of 2018.

“We’ll be testing both ends, said Jay Cooper, founder of Cider Finder. “We want to make sure it works for the people who like beverages and that it’s working for the cider makers because they’re the people who will be paying the $50 per month subscription fee.”

They plan to release their full product at the beginning of 2019 at which point they’ll begin signing on more cider makers and start advertising more heavily to cider drinkers.

“We’ll start booking from Iowa and grow out. We’re thinking we’re going to be able to get more midwestern cider makers at the beginning,” said Cooper. “We are hoping to take this thing completely nationwide and eventually expand into Canada and other English speaking countries.”

Click here, if you are interested in signing up for Cider Finder’s beta test.

Cider Finder: connecting people who love craft cider with people who sell it. | 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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