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SwineTech accepted into Pearse Lyons Accelerator

Cedar Rapids-based agtech startup SwineTech has been accepted into the 2019 cohort of the Pearse Lyons Accelerator.

SwineTech was one of 10 startups chosen and will spend the next 16 weeks working with mentors to accelerate its business development, including three weeks at Dogpatch Labs in Dublin, Ireland. Dogpatch Labs is a startup hub that offers mentors with expertise in various areas including investment and international expansion strategies.

At the end of the program, all 10 startups will pitch their companies at the ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference. Now in its 35th year, the annual international conference will be held in Lexington, Kentucky from May 19–21 and will welcome more than 4,000 agriculture industry leaders from over 70 countries.

“The SwineTech team saw a lot of value in the opportunity to be a part of an accelerator that focuses on growth stage companies. It is an entire different experience from past accelerators that we have been a part of, and they really challenge you to take everything to the next level,” said Matthew Rooda, CEO and founder of SwineTech Said. “We also saw a lot of value in having the opportunity to collaborate with Alltech and its many great leaders. The accelerator has already helped introduce us to large producers in the US that are looking to improve survivability.”

More than 250 applications from 43 countries were sent in for the 2019 cohort. SwineTech is the first Iowa-based company to be accepted into the program.

Last October, SwineTech raised $1.5 million to allow them to begin to expand their product into other states and countries. The company’s product, SmartGuard, was named one of the top 3 new products showcased at the Iowa Pork Congress in January.

SwineTech is currently raising $5M in funding to support its growth throughout North America, Rooda told Clay & Milk.

Previous coverage

SwineTech raises $1.5 million -Oct. 23, 2018

SwineTech is using artificial intelligence to save piglets -Sept. 13, 2018

1 Comment

  • goaway
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    What the hell are they hiding with the black square??!!!

Comments are closed.

SwineTech accepted into Pearse Lyons Accelerator | 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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