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Salin 247 receives $50K investment from Ag Startup Engine

Ames startup Salin 247 has received an initial $50,000 investment from Ag Startup Engine.

Founded by Dave Krog and Saeed Arabj, Salin 247 is developing small-scale, light-weight, electric-powered, autonomous farm equipment used for growing crops. 

“We want to help growers improve the health of their soils and increase the profitability and sustainability of their farm operations,” said Krog in a statement. “Our platform for using smaller, lighter, less costly equipment in the field will help growers reduce soil compaction, lower capital and operating costs, increase asset utilization, alleviate labor issues, and contribute to a cleaner environment.”

The company is testing its prototype planter this year and will begin conducting field trials with growers next year.

“Autonomy as a solution for labor and a deliberate effort to preserve or improve soil health are important missions for agriculture,” said Joel Harris, Executive Director of Ag Startup Engine. “We look forward to seeing the results from Salin’s pilot program next spring.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Ag Startup Engine portfolio of innovative businesses, and we are excited about the chance to interact, learn, and grow within the ASE ecosystem,” said Krog.

Ag Startup Engine launched four years ago to help address two fundamental gaps that prevent agricultural startups and entrepreneurs from being more successful: early seed-stage investment and organized mentorship from successful entrepreneurs. The program raised its second fund of $2.25 million earlier this year with the goal of accepting and investing in 45 agriculture and animal health startups over the next five years. To date, Ag Startup Engine has invested in 21 companies.

Previous coverage

Ag Startup Engine invests $50,000 in Nebraska-based Birds Eye Robotics -Sept. 22, 2021

Ames startup Farmers Risk receives $50,000 investment from Ag Startup Engine -July 30, 2021

Ag Startup Engine raises second fund of $2.25 million to invest in startups over the next five years -Feb. 9, 2021

Ag Startup Engine announces two $50,000 investments -March 1, 2021

Salin 247 receives $50K investment from Ag Startup Engine | 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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