Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Rantizo is using drone technology to sanitize stadiums

Agtech company Rantizo is preparing to use its drone spraying technology in new ways this spring.

The Iowa City based startup has began partnerships with several large venues for sanitization efforts. The efforts will utilize Rantizo’s drone spraying platform to sanitize open areas and seating for the return of spectator events that have been closed for several weeks as a result of COVID-19. 

Rantizo plans to roll out its stadium spraying services nationwide within the next week. Sports organizations and other open area venues needing to be sanitized will be charged an initial setup fee, as well as a per unit price determined by area or number of seats. After a location is mapped, repeated applications can be made in between events. 

Rantizo told Clay & Milk it is currently unable to disclose the organizations that it is partnering with but can say that they include Major League Baseball teams and some of the largest spectator venues in the country.

“We had a large professional sports organization reach out to us a few weeks back looking to use our drone sprayers as a way to sanitize their stadium,” said David Pieper, Director of Sales at Rantizo. “From there, we reached out to a few local organizations who confirmed the need and interest as well. We completed some initial autonomous testing with them just last week and it went very well.”

A Rantizo drone flying and applying sanitizer at Principal Park in Des Moines.

With the company’s primary focus on agriculture, spraying this time of year would typically be done in farm fields preparing for planting. Right now, the landscape looks a little different. 

“We are very much an agricultural drone spraying company and we’ve built our reputation on the ability to deliver solutions in the field,” said Michael Ott, CEO of Rantizo. “It just so happens with everything going on right now, our technology has the ability to deliver solutions in another application. When situations arise like these, innovation is key to overcoming them. I’m very pleased that the Rantizo platform is a means for doing that and that we are able to help protect our communities and hopefully help facilitate some normalcy in the near future.” 

Labor availability in agriculture was a problem before and it is now exacerbated across all industries as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Automated equipment such as drones are a prime tool used to deliver disinfecting materials safely. 

“To sanitize stadiums at this magnitude traditionally would require dozens of workers and hours of time. That simply isn’t practical right now,” Ott said. “With our drone sprayers, we can get into the stadiums, spray the seats quickly, efficiently, and accurately, with minimal exposure or need for human effort. Once we map out the field, it’s really easy to repeat.”

Previous coverage

Rantizo partners with Sony on agtech collaboration -March 25, 2020

Rantizo named finalist for Ag Professional 2019 New Product of the Year -Dec. 16, 2019

At Clay & Milk, we want to tell stories about the many ways entrepreneurs and startups are adapting and stepping up to combat coronavirus. Fill out this form to tell us your story and we will be in touch.

Rantizo is using drone technology to sanitize stadiums | 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
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now