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ISU graduates launch app to make online shopping faster

Two Iowa State University graduates have created a new app designed to make online transactions faster and more convenient for consumers.

Founded by Aaryaman Anerao and John Jago, PeachPay is an application consumers can download on their smartphones to connect with online merchants to complete their purchases. Users enter their credit card information, shipping address and name into the app. Then, they can shop on websites that utilize the application.

When users want to make a purchase, they can hit a website’s “PeachPay Button” and be directed to a QR Code. They can scan the code with their smartphone and complete the transaction without having to enter their information over again.

“The checkout is just part of the equation,” said Anerao. “After that, there are still a lot of post-payment experiences like tracking and sharing the item. We address that aspect and make those easy as well.”

Not only do the PeachPay founders want to improve the shopping experience, they also want to improve the selling experience for merchants. Right now, the company founders are reaching out to small businesses that may have little to no e-commerce presence. The platform would allow smaller businesses to sell their products conveniently during a time when online shopping is overwhelmingly popular. Anerao said PeachPay is working directly with businesses to build their e-commerce availability.

Earlier this year, PeachPay was one of eleven companies to be accepted into the 2020 cohort of the ISU Startup Factory.

PeachPay is available for free download on iOS and Android devices.

Previous coverage

ISU Startup Factory accepts 11 teams into its ninth cohort -June 30, 2020

ISU graduates launch app to make online shopping faster | 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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