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AgriSync expands into new sectors as it continues to grow

For the last three years, AgriSync, a Waukee based agtech company, has been helping farmers receive expertise they need in real time.

The company started when Casey Niemann, who then worked at Microsoft, began to notice that farmers had access to a lot of new technologies but lacked the tools and expertise to implement them.

“I started thinking about building a service that would help farmers get assistance from their expert advisors. That was really the brainchild of how we got started with AgriSync,” said Niemann. “The notion was how can we make it easy for farmers that we all depend on every day to eat to get help with all this technology.”

Today, AgriSync has over 250 companies paying to use their service from all around the world. The company now has 20 employees, up from six when Clay & Milk first covered AgriSync in July 2017.

“Essentially we’ve found this niche for customer service in the agtech space,” Niemann said.

Expanding into new industries

AgriSync recently announced plans to begin expanding their services into two new sectors — animal agriculture and construction.

“That decision was really driven by our customers. A lot of our existing ag equipment dealers, they also have a construction division. They came to us saying ‘we’ve got guys who are fight the same problems on a construction site that you’re solving on a farm, said Niemann. “So one of our goals this year is to release a construction version of our service.”

The company has made two strategic personnel moves over the last month that will help the company with these new developments. Brought on as a corporate advisor, Jeff Bowman will provide guidance as AgriSync expands platform to service the construction sector and new hire Kelly McComb will help AgriSync advance its presence in animal agriculture.

Previous coverage

AgriSync announces new seed investment -May 31, 2018

AgriSync offers farmers customer support from anywhere -July 19, 2017

AgriSync expands into new sectors as it continues to grow | 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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