Five startups present at Agtech Demo Day

The culmination of the Iowa Agritech Accelerator came on Tuesday as the five companies in the 2018 cohort presented their businesses to an audience of over 100 people.

The accelerator is a three-month program that provides agtech startups with financial support, mentorship and professional resources needed to help make their ideas a reality.

Each company presented about a problem they identified, their business idea, product, financial projections, marketing strategy and ability to scale.

Here are the companies that participated in the 2018 cohort:

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 a farrowing notification system that boosts employee efficiency and increases the number of piglets born.

U.S. Design Consultants. Located in Osceola, Iowa, U.S. Design Consultants develops broadcast dispensing granular products that address 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.

Takeaways from the accelerator

“Never just think that what you have is good enough,” said Ryan Kruse, co-founder of Krobel Corp. We want through several iterations of things that we initially thought were not going to be improved upon. We’ve proven that wrong time and time again and the mentors at the accelerator have done a really great job of instilling that in us.

Many of the mentors in the accelerator say that they also benefitted from participating in the program

“Those who are mentoring get as much value from this as those who are being mentored,” said Wendy Srnic, Research Director at Corteva Agriscience. “I’m a second-year mentor and the thing that resonates the most with me from these startups is their focus. That reminds me daily that that level of focus is exactly what we need at Corteva.