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ETALYC selected for 2020 University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase

Ames-based startup ETALYC is one of 22 startups to have been selected to participate in the 2020 University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase.

The virtual event is designed to highlight the role of federal funding for university-based research. The event targets members of Congress, their staffs, and national leaders in economic development and innovation policy.

ETALYC’s innovative technology is focused on improving traffic flow and safety.

Dr. Anuj Sharma is an Iowa State associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering. In 2016, Sharma and Vishal Mahulkar founded ETALYC, which evolved from a traffic incident management system, called TIMELI (Traffic Incident Management Enabled by Large-data Innovations).

Using machine learning and data analytics, TIMELI sorts through real-time traffic data to quickly find problems and alert the staff in traffic management centers.

In 2016, the research team was awarded a three-year $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) grant to advance, adapt, and integrate the technology into a specified, human-centered smart service system. More recently, ETALYC was awarded $225,000 in Phase I SBIR funding from NSF to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of its adaptive traffic signal solution technology.

This marks the third year that Iowa State and one of its affiliated startups have been selected to participate in the showcase since the annual event’s 2017 inception. Gross-Wen Technologies presented in 2017 and N-Sense presented and 2019.

Watch ETALYC’s full showcase below.


ETALYC is using technology to improve traffic flow, was accepted into Arcadis accelerator -March 27, 2019

ETALYC selected for 2020 University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase | 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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