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Ten companies to take the stage at Techstars Iowa Demo Day

The Techstars lowa Accelerator will showcase the startups that are finishing up the 2022 accelerator program this Thursday, as 10 startups take the stage to pitch their companies for Demo Day 2022.

Demo Day is the chance to hear from, and connect with, the startups who have completed this year’s program. The event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 5 pm at the Science Center in Downtown Des Moines. The event is free and open to everyone.

Here are the 10 startups that are in the 2022 program:

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 –

MetaFuel (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 –

Ten companies to take the stage at Techstars Iowa Demo Day | 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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