Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

This Cedar Falls startup is a one-stop shop for your data science needs

This story is the first in a series titled “Innovation in Cedar Valley,” an exploration of startups, individuals and innovative trends in the Cedar Valley. The series is sponsored by Launch Cedar Valley, a nonprofit connecting the starters, creators, and builders in the Cedar Valley.

For the past several years, Ehrich Pakala and Stephen Bowser have been helping companies better manage, understand, and navigate their data. Pack Moose is a Cedar Falls-based company that provides database setup and management, data visualization, statistical modeling, and machine learning services to companies throughout the Midwest.

“Initially, we’re just doing a lot of ad hoc projects — projects in data science, data management, forecasting, some spreadsheet work, you name it,” said Pakala. “And then, in the last couple years, we started to get pretty serious about scaling the operation up and getting more focused on just building predictive models using the most cutting-edge machine learning techniques.”

Pack Moose currently has three AI-powered products for realtors listed on its site.

  • MAP Score, the probability that an individual will buy at home in the next six months.
  • REPS Score, the probability that a homeowner will sell their home in a period of time, four to 12 months from the time the scores generated.
  • RCAP Score, the probability that somebody will move into a specific region.

Looking forward

“We recently partnered with a data aggregator that gives us a relatively unique market opportunity with real-time collision data,” said Pakala. “We’re able to capture ithe vast majority of all accidents that occur in North America, within a matter of hours from the time that happens, down to real specific information about the vehicle and what parts were ordered, things like that. And so what we hope to accomplish with that is enter into the automotive space, along with the real estate space.”

Pakala says that he takes a lot of pride in Pack Moose’s positive company culture and that the company has developed agreements for its team member that compensates them based on the success of the products that they work on.

“Right now, that’s as simple as paper contracts that are profit-share oriented but we’ve got big ideas for how we want to scale this forward in the future,” said Pakala. “And I think tokenizing all of our production, and having tokenized digital assets that are owned by the community group, rather than by an individual is something that we’d like to pursuein the future. I think blockchain technology is something that is going to continue to be more and more relevant as time goes on. So that’s a direction that we’re looking at with some anticipation and we’re excited about it, we have a work culture that we all are really proud of.”

This Cedar Falls startup is a one-stop shop for your data science needs | 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