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Koloni launches Smart Locker allowing contactless delivery

Pocahontas-based Koloni has officially launched its Smart Locker that can help reduce the COVID-19 contagion by eliminating human contact during deliveries.

The Smart Locker, which combines a physical, multi-compartment storage locker and software, gives delivery drivers the ability to pick up and deliver orders without any face-to-face interaction.

The technology makes it possible for small businesses to function safely during the pandemic as they begin to open back up with limited capacities.

In response to COVID-19, Koloni is waving all monthly software fees for their locker for 12 months to help businesses get back on their feet.

“Person-to-person contact is a major risk factor for the coronavirus, so in order for businesses to operate, they ideally need a contactless way to interact with customers,” said Kyle Sheker, Co-Founder of Koloni. “That’s the problem we solve with the Smart Locker.”

Koloni is now working with food delivery companies, restaurants, parcel companies, and others to help provide contactless delivery solutions through its Smart Locker. Drivers can quickly access multiple orders from a single locker via their smartphone.

In addition to reducing exposure by removing any face-to-face interaction, the Smart Locker also saves time on order pickup.

Koloni can provide a single locker or a bank of lockers that can work for any type of delivery. The software is flexible and scalable enough to handle a wide variety of customer interactions.

Previous coverage

Koloni partners with universities, distributes operations to students -Nov. 14, 2019

Koloni connects users to sharable products in their community -March 05, 2019

Koloni launches Smart Locker allowing contactless delivery | 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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