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Agtech

Nebullam expands deliveries to Iowa City and Coralville
Indoor farming startup Nebullam has expanded its services to Iowa City and Coralville the company announced this week. Nebullam was founded in 2017, with a focus on improving indoor farming technologies. Today, Nebullam owns and operates its flagship indoor farm and corporate headquarters within the Iowa State University Research Park. The company's first delivery to…
Rantizo becomes first company approved to operate T-30 Drones
Iowa City agtech company Rantizo announced today that it has become the first company approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for operation of the DJI Agras T-30 drone for agricultural applications. The T-30 drone launched earlier in 2021, but could not be operated due to the FAA regulation only allowing the use of drones 55 pounds…
Ames startup N-Sense receives $50k investment from Ag Startup Engine
N-Sense, an Ames-based startup that is developing a soil nitrate sensor system for on-the-go nitrogen management, has received a $50,000 investment from Ag Startup Engine. Founded in 2017, N-Sense's soil nitrate sensor system can be attached to farm implements and used to determine in-real-time on-the-go soil nitrate concentrations with enough accuracy to facilitate precision application…
Growers Edge acquires FarmlandFinder’s software assets
Growers Edge, a provider of data-driven financial technology (fintech) solutions for the agricultural industry, announced today the acquisition of the lending and appraisal software, as well as the farmland sales website from FarmlandFinder. The acquisition by Growers Edge will build on the company’s innovative warranty-backed Crop Plans and financial software and services for the ag industry.  FarmlandFinder was…
Nebullam partners with Omni Analytics Group, plans to launch its next farm in Des Moines next year
Nebullam, an emerging indoor farming company based in Ames, is partnering with Omni Analytics Group (OAG) ahead of its upcoming launch of additional Nebullam Farms throughout the U.S.   Nebullam was founded in 2017, with a focus on improving indoor farming technologies. Today, Nebullam owns and operates its flagship indoor farm and corporate headquarters within the…
Mazen Animal Health closes seed round, announces new hires
Mazen Animal Health announced today the close of its Series Seed Round led by Next Level Ventures and joined by Kent Corporation, ISA Ventures, Ag Startup Engine, Ag Ventures Alliance and Summit Ag. The company is developing orally-delivered animal vaccines that revolutionize animal disease prevention. All six first tranche investors came into the second tranche…
Summit Agriculture Group launches project to reduce carbon footprint of biorefineries
Summit Agricultural Group—an Alden, Iowa-based agricultural investment and farm management company—has announced the creation of Summit Carbon Solutions, a new business platform intended to develop the world’s largest carbon capture and storage project. Expected to be operational in 2024, the Summit Carbon Solutions project will significantly lower the carbon footprint of biorefineries and other carbon…
Iowa Agritech Accelerator ends after 4 years
After four years, the Iowa Agritech Accelerator will not return in 2021 and the governing board has decided to dissolve the program, organizers of the program announced today. Launched in 2016 by the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Cultivation Corridor, the accelerator graduated a total of 18 companies throughout its four cohorts. The Des…
Cultivation Corridor launches Cultivo Virtual Academy
America’s Cultivation Corridor announced today the launch of the Cultivo Virtual Academy for international startup companies and entrepreneurs. The six-week virtual program will provide participants with mentorship, interaction with Iowa’s agricultural leaders, and an online curriculum focused on U.S. market entry, regulatory and financing systems, and customer perspectives. All educational sessions will be facilitated by Iowa business…
Agtech Archives | 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 mpatane@clayandmilk.com.
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