Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Techstars Iowa announces 2022 cohort

The 2022 cohort of Techstars Iowa officially kicked off its 2022 cohort this week at Gravitate Coworking in Downtown Des Moines. Ten companies from a variety of industries join the 2022 program.

Founders in this year’s class are building products using artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, radar, big data, and blockchain technologies. These companies are addressing challenges in industries such as construction, real estate, healthcare, transportation, drone services, developer tools, and the future of work.

This year, the Techstars Iowa Accelerator is adding on Daniel Pfeil as an Investment Associate, who will help founders collaborate with investors and grow their businesses. He joins Managing Director, Kerty Levy and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Builder, Ben McDougal.

Two Iowa companies—d20 Solutions and Emigrait—were accepted into this year’s cohort.

Demo Day of the accelerator will take place on Oct. 13.

Meet the Techstars Iowa 2022 cohort:

Alvee (Florida)

AI-driven tools to advance health equity and improve health outcomes for all – (California)

A next-gen platform to build apps using a combination of customers’ creative ideas and AI efficiency –

CAHill TECH (New York)

Empowering construction workers with 24/7 mobile training tools in the palm of their hands –

Cambrian Protocol (California)

Web3 community focused on decentralizing collaborative work using blockchain technology –

d20 Solutions (Iowa)

Intuitive tools to empower truck drivers moving the logistics industry with data-driven insights –

DroneAdair (Wisconsin)

Lifting drone operations to new heights –

Emigrait (Iowa)

Forecasting consumer behavior in real estate –

InspectoBot (Florida)

Automated structural inspection – (Canada)

Accelerating the pace of software automation in the construction industry –

Touca (California)

Open source developer platform to help engineering teams continuously test their software for regressions –

Techstars Iowa announces 2022 cohort | 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