Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Middle Bit: Growers Edge wins Agtech Finance Solution of the Year award

Growers Edge, a provider of data-driven financial technology solutions for the agricultural industry, has won the 2020 AgTech Finance Solution of the Year.

Run by AgTech Breakthrough, a market intelligence organization, the inaugural AgTech Breakthrough Awards program recognizes innovative companies, technologies, and products in a range of agricultural and food technology categories.

“Generally, farmers and some of their bankers want to avoid financial risk – even when it could boost profitability and long-term sustainability – so adoption of advanced technologies on farms and in fields has been challenging,” said Dan Cosgrove, CEO of Growers Edge in an announcement. “Growers Edge is leading the drive to increase technology adoption by incentivizing farmers to take the leap – giving them a way to both manage risk and gain access to capital.”

In July, Growers Edge closed a $40 million Series B round of financing to accelerate the development of its financial technology products, solutions, and tools for the ag industry. This is the largest investment round an Iowa-based company has raised so far in 2019.

Prairie Crest Capital participates in $4 million investment round in TradeLanes

TradeLanes, a software provider that helps exporters manage the logistics and compliance elements of trades to increase profit margin per shipment, has raised a $4 million investment round.

The new investment round will enable TradeLanes, which applies advanced technology and machine learning to digitize global trade for large B2B transactions, to deepen the functionality of the platform and expand service to exporters in additional commodity verticals.

The round was led by S2G Ventures with participation from iSelect Fund, Innova Memphis, Prairie Crest Capital, Bread & Butter Ventures, Closed Loop Partners, Techstars Ventures, Turas Mara, and 5G.

2021 Des Moines Charity Hackathon cancelled

For the first time in seven years, the dsmHack Hackathon is cancelled due to concerns over increasing rates of COVID-19 infections in Iowa.

“As a non-profit organization ourselves, the dsmHack board will take this opportunity to work on some things internally- update systems and processes, recruit new board members and reach out to past participants to check in during these difficult times,” wrote the organization in an announcement. “Keep up with things via social media platforms and feel free to reach out to the board with any questions.”

Middle Bit: Growers Edge wins Agtech Finance Solution of the Year award | 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