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ETALYC is using technology to improve traffic flow, was accepted into Arcadis accelerator

A new Ames-based company, ETALYC, is looking to use new technologies to improve traffic operations.

“We wanted to do something where ETALYC can provide mobility to improve quality of life overall,” said Anuj Sharma, CEO of ETALYC. “So to start we started looking into different areas that would have the most immediate effect.”

One of the first ways in which ETALYC will look to offer traffic improvements is by providing adaptive traffic signals.

“Traffic stoplights solutions are really a pinpoint of ours because they have such a high cost-to-benefit ratio,” Sharma said. “The question is can we make it adaptive and scalable so that as demand changes the traffic light automatically changes.”

ETALYC’s software takes in and processes a variety of data streams and then provides feedback with suggestions on which signals should be retimed.

“If traffic lights are made demand-responsive, you can cut travel time from anywhere from twenty to forty percent,” Sharma told Clay & Milk.

ETALYC was recently accepted into the in the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator. The three-month accelerator, powered by Techstars, kicked off in early March, accepting 10 startups into the program.

“The experience has been really useful,” Sharma said. “Over the last three weeks, we’ve met with close to 90 mentors who’ve come in and provided us with feedback in terms of how good our product-market fit is, how we should approach our pricing model and what our financial model should look like.”

ETALYC is using technology to improve traffic flow, was accepted into Arcadis 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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