ISU Startup Factory announces eighth cohort

The Iowa State University Startup Factory has announced the eighth cohort of entrepreneurs that will join the Iowa State-based program.

Those accepted in the Startup Factory receive formal training, resources, and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors and investors in two 26-week blocks. The first block will consist of a formal curriculum centered on business validation, with the second block more customized to their individual business needs.

Eleven teams joined the program. The following are the names of the participating startups in the eighth cohort:

AeroSeeder, LLC – is a drone system manufacturer for heavy lifting farming applications, concentrating on seeding of cover crops and spot spraying.

AgTech Innovations Labs – develops innovations to modernize farmers’ production practices allowing access credit and quality inputs, reducing risk of crop failures, and increasing yields.

BrainSoft – specializes in developing technologies for interacting with the human brain including software using brain waves to control physical objects. 

Citizen Scientist – enables researchers to hire verified experts through a web-based platform that offers service agreements compatible with academic, federal, and industry partner requirements.

The FarmHand App – is a platform giving farmers the ability to connect with “Farmhands” for day-to-day or seasonal employment.

FoMA – an online marketplace for peer-to-peer trading of perishable products like fruits and vegetables directly from consumers’ refrigerators.

Legov Systems Group, LLC – is developing scalable energy harvesting systems to convert thermal energy into electrical.

Quantum Control Works – commercializes the fruits of prior research and development into uniquely capable actuators.

seedBiome – exists to explore and harness the microbiomes of commercial and wild seeds to design microbiological solutions to boost food production, quality, and safety.

TdVib – designs and manufactures technology-driven, high-value systems based on electromagnetics including magnetostrictive smart materials Terfenol-D and Galfenol.

WashWright – is developing a hands-free system to automate swine producers’ power washing and sanitation process.

ISU Startup Factory celebrated the new cohort by hold kick-off reception on January 16 at the ISU Alumni Center, followed by an afternoon of programming Tuesday at the Startup Factory’s space at the Iowa State University Research Park.

More than 100 individuals, including past and present cohort members, program mentors, advisors and investors, attended the reception held to celebrate program successes, honor past and graduating cohort members, and introduce the incoming cohort.

“The Startup Factory is an important part of a vibrant ecosystem – a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship – we are building under President Wintersteen’s leadership at Iowa State,” said David Spalding, Dean of Iowa State’s Ivy College of Business. “In this rich environment, companies are provided the resources and support to help them innovate and grow.”

The evening also included a presentation by Smart Ag Founder Colin Hurd. Smart Ag, a Startup Factory inaugural cohort member, was recently acquired by Raven Industries.

Hurd shared Smart Ag’s journey going from an idea to an exit, and provided personal insights and advice to the incoming cohort.

The descriptions of the ISU Startup Factory companies listed above have been provided by ISU.

Previous coverage

ISU Startup Factory announces 12 new team for its sixth cohort -Jan. 23, 2019

ISU Startup Factory continues to grow, announces two new cohorts -July 2, 2018