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Fourth cohort of Iowa G2M Accelerator announced

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

The following companies have been accepted into the fourth G2M cohort:

  • Hexcrete (Ames) — Hexcrete makes harvesting wind energy possible where the demand is high by increasing the hub height of today’s towers by mounting them on a universal platform, reducing the cost of energy for wind farm developers and consumers.
  • eLegalls (Ames) — eLegalls automates case assessment and case research for lawyers and equips them with legal analytics to solve their challenges in seconds.
  • Farmers and Robots (Dubuque) — Farms and Robots aims to expand the production of food for human consumption in the Midwest by making advanced automation affordable and accessible to family farms.

“We are pleased to see the continuing flow of companies into the G2M program,” said Peter Hong, director of the ISU Startup Factory in a release. “This fourth G2M cohort represents scalable business startups who have gone through the ISU Startup Factory.  While G2M is not limited to only ISU SUF graduates, the latest cohort members chose the G2M accelerator as a continuation of the customized mentoring and business development approach they received in the ISU Startup Factory program to help them along the path to commercialization.” 

The G2M Accelerator now offers three start dates each year. Registration is now open for the fifth cohort set to begin in May.

The descriptions of the companies listed above were provided by Iowa G2M Accelerator.

Fourth 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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