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Continuum Ag receives $50,000 investment from Ag Startup Engine and Ag Ventures Alliance

Washington, Iowa based startup Continuum Ag has received an initial $50,000 investment from Ag Startup Engine and Ag Ventures Alliance.

Founded in 2016, Continuum Ag gives farmers prescriptions for practices and products proven to work with biology — increasing soil health, removing guesswork, and facilitating a profitable transition to regenerative agriculture. 

“I’m excited to continue my entrepreneurial journey with ongoing support from the Iowa ag community,” said Mitchell Hora, founder and CEO of Continuum Ag. “Investment from the Ag Startup Engine and the Ag Ventures Alliance brings a feeling of community and a network of strategic folks to align with.”

Continuum Ag’s TopSoil software integrates agronomic data from many sources and compiles the information into a consistent system, a “common soil language.” This data allows for benchmarking metrics that include nutrients, organic matter, and microbial activity based upon different geographies, soil types, and cropping systems. TopSoil also identifies soil health drivers and provides growers a high confidence roadmap to soil improvement through practices and products known to work in analogous geographies, soil types, and growing conditions. The team is now expanding their data offerings to connect farmers and their data to sustainability initiatives and data-driven supply chains. 

“We’ve known Mitchell has been developing Continuum Ag since his second year at Iowa State University,” said Joel Harris, Executive Director of Ag Startup Engine. “In the last six months he has had access to our advisory resources and has been super engaged in the program. Regenerative agriculture practices are getting a lot of attention right now and we believe he has the entrepreneurial spirit and regional expertise and access to make his vision successful.”

Continuum Ag is the fifteenth startup to receive investment from Ag Startup Engine.

“Mitchell is a leader in the soil health movement and passionate about quantifying the impact of regenerative ag practices for use by farmers, consumers, and the supply chain. This tool is needed to enable other high-impact technology that is being built,” said Spencer Stensrude, Executive Director at Ag Ventures Alliance.

Previous coverage

Ag Startup Engine invests $25,000 in FarmHand App -June 30, 2020

Ag Startup Engine invests $50,000 in Haber Technologies -April 22, 2020

Continuum Ag is offering soil health solutions at scale -Nov. 6, 2019

Continuum Ag named “best of show” in ISU pitch competition -Aug. 19, 2019

Continuum Ag receives $50,000 investment from Ag Startup Engine and Ag Ventures Alliance | 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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