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Third cohort of Iowa G2M Accelerator announced

The Iowa Go-To-Market (G2M) Accelerator has announced the three startups that will participate in its third cohort.

The following companies have been accepted into the June 2022 G2M cohort:

  • Janas Materials (Ames) — Janas Materials is developing sustainable technology for the coating industry, including a type of additive that can help commercial water-based wood stains improve color consistency and ease of application.
  • NanoSpy, Inc. (Ames) — NanoSpy develops a rapid detection biosensor platform with application in food tech, ag tech and animal/human health.
  • Zymosense, Inc. (Ames) — Zymosense enables rapid and accurate enzyme characterization for researchers discovering next-generation biocatalysts in pharmaceuticals, food and agriculture.

“Growing a research-driven business takes support,” said BioConnect Iowa President and CEO Steve Brody in an announcement. “We’re proud to partner with ISU Startup Factory, VentureNet Iowa and Iowa G2M’s support network to help these companies continue their growth beyond the accelerator stage, and connect them with more resources.”

The accelerator is specifically designed to support Iowa companies developing technology-driven innovative products or services that have participated in another incubator, accelerator, or business assistance program, but could benefit from additional focused, customized guidance getting to market.

“I am excited to see these three companies join G2M as they continue their commercialization journey bringing university-funded research to the marketplace,” said Peter Hong, director of the ISU Startup Factory. “Each company validated their business hypothesis during their participation in the ISU Startup Factory incubator and developed an executable business model around it. Building a company around innovating deep tech is no small task, but the G2M team will meet each venture where it is at and provide access to the resources and mentoring to move these companies to scale-up, investment, and revenue.”

The G2M Accelerator now offers three start dates each year, in February, June, and October. Registration is now open for the fourth cohort set to begin in October. Cohort members will participate in group workshops, receive one-on-one mentorship and benefit from pro bono business support in a range of areas, including law, finance, branding, marketing, HR and recruiting. For more information or to apply, visit

Third cohort of Iowa G2M Accelerator announced | 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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