Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

MiddleBit: Farm Progress Show set to take place August 28-30

The 65th Farm Progress Show is set to take place back in Boone, Iowa this week.

This is the sixth time the Farm Progress Show will be held in Boone. The show will begin Tuesday morning and run until Thursday afternoon.

The three-day event will have 80 acres full of 600 exhibitors, offering those who attend displays and demonstrations by top agribusinesses not only from across the United States and abroad, showcasing the latest updates in agtech.

Iowa Agritech Accelerator

The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator will be at the Farm Progress Show in booth 1120. This will be the Agritech Accelerator’s first appearance at the Farm Progress show, giving startups that have participated in the accelerator the chance to show off their products and attendees to a chance to witness the inner makings of an accelerator program.

The accelerator’s booth will include startups from this year’s class as well as startups from the 2017 class. Startups on-site will include:

Krobel Corp.
Rabbit Tractors
U.S. Design Consultants

What else is happening?


10 startups a year who are refining marketing plans for sports-related tech ideas will get three-month residencies at a new Techstars accelerator in Indianapolis. At the end, they’ll have a pitch meeting with larger companies and venture capitalists. Indiana Sports Corp president Ryan Vaughn says the products could cover any aspect of sports, from event management to wearable tech like the Fitbit. –WIBC


Kansas City based Athlete Network, a provider of athlete services technology for intercollegiate, professional and Olympic athletics, recently announced a collaborative partnership with Kansas State University, Arkansas State University, and Lindenwood University Athletic Departments. Leaders from each athletic department joined Athlete Network to develop the game-changing software, with the goal of enhancing the student-athlete experience and increasing the engagement of alumni athletes. –Silicon Prairie News


The Midwest can now call itself home to another member of the unicorn club. Columbus, Ohio car insurance startup Root Insurance announced today that it has raised a $100 million series D round. That’s a larger-than-usual raise for many Midwestern startups, but today’s raise was made even more notable by the fact that it now values the company at $1 billion. –VentureBeat



MiddleBit: Farm Progress Show set to take place August 28-30 | 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