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RECUR app offers a new way to retain learning

A new mobile app is now available that automates the learning re-engagement process.

Matt DenHartog started his app RECUR after realizing the extent to which people weren’t retaining what they were learning.

“I was listening to the DREAM. THINK. DO. podcast and I heard three or four really successful people talking about rereading a book for the third or fourth time,” said DenHartog. “And it got me thinking about how crazy it was that even these really successful people weren’t remembering what they were taking in. How much of a waste is this that they’re reading an applicable book and not consuming it enough that they’re moving past it?”

Research shows that we forget anywhere between 75-90% of everything we learn in the first 30 days unless we reengage with it in some shape or form, DenHartog told Clay & Milk.

“Instinctively I think we know this,” he said. “We take notes, highlight things, underline things in books. But the truth is very rarely do we ever go back and look at those key learnings.”

The app, now available on Apple and Android devices, works by having users download the app and subscribe to their appropriate learning feed. RECUR then redelivers the key concepts and takeaways from learning events straight to your phone. These short re-engagements are delivered at strategic intervals to create higher retention and a higher return on learning.

“The whole idea is that you take those key learnings and, separate from any social interactions, create an app that alone is dedicated to reengaging people with learning,” said Denhartog.

The people curating the content are the teachers and organizers of the learning events. Users will then rate posts as they are delivered to them.

“The function of that [rating posts] is that data goes back to the content organizer and they get feedback of the posts they’re creating,” said DenHartog. “So not only does the end-user get value from it, but the content creator gets feedback so they can refine future posts.”

There are two types of groups RECUR is going after—group learning and individual coaching.

“With group learning, the learning is non-customized and everyone is on the same timeline. That could be corporate training, conferences, speakers, workshops, churches,” said DenHartog. “Then, on the other end of the spectrum is coaching, which is completely individualized content. I didn’t expect the coaching aspect to work in this first iteration, but it does which is really exciting.”

RECUR app offers a new way to retain learning | 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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