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Four startups receive funding from IEDA

Four startups received funding from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board on Friday.  In total, the board awarded $600,000 to the four startups.

Here are the startups that received funding:

automed (Ames) 

Automed is a supplier of hardware devices and software systems for medication delivery, compliance, disease prevention and traceability for the livestock industry.

The company was awarded a $300,000 loan from the Innovation Acceleration Fund. automed will use these funds for product refinement and to ramp up operations by hiring key personnel and increasing production and distribution.

IAM AGTECH (Ottumwa) 

IAM AGTECH has developed field-portable instruments that deliver real-time, lab-quality, soil nutrient and moisture analysis.

The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan, primarily for product refinement and key personnel.

Nebullam (Ames)

Nebullam is a product-as-a-service company, providing High-Pressure Aeroponics growing units, paired with artificial intelligence. Their technology is designed for commercial producers in leafy green, microgreen, and pharmaceutical production.

The company received a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for product refinement.

Pitchly, Inc. (Des Moines)

Pitchly is a web-based content service platform used by law firms, banks and accounting firms to store proprietary information about the advice and outcome of client services performed by their firm.

The company received a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for hiring key personnel, market planning and market entry activities.

Previous coverage

Pitchly completes seven-figure seed investment round –August 21, 2018

Nebullam: Indoor Farming –April 17, 2018

Four startups receive funding from IEDA | 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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