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Agtech

Growers Edge Closes $40 Million Series B round
Growers Edge has announced the close of a $40 million Series B round of financing to accelerate the development of its financial technology products, solutions, and tools for the ag industry. Based in Johnston, Iowa, the company has pulled together a range of fintech and analytics tools. The system combines data from local growers,…
Rantizo receives FAA approval to operate drone swarms
Iowa City-based startup Rantizo has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for operation of multiple drone swarms nationwide. This allows Rantizo to operate three autonomous drone sprayers by a single pilot and one visual observer.  “Our vision is to Fly & Apply on large areas with autonomous drone sprayers, so swarming is…
Iowa AgriTech Accelerator announces four startups for 2020 cohort
The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator has announced the five agtech startups selected for the program’s class of 2020. Based in Des Moines, the accelerator is a mentor-led program that focuses on ag-based technology innovations. This year’s class is the fourth to go through the 100-day program. Two Ames-based companies — N-Sense and Curiosity Labs — made this year's…
Ag Startup Engine invests $25,000 in FarmHand App
Ag Startup Engine (ASE) has made an initial $25,000 investment in DeWitt, Iowa based startup FarmHand App, a mobile web application that connects farmers with quality farmhands. Farmers and ranchers can use this app to post jobs when needing help around the farm, and review multiple applicants, including a five-star rating and review system,…
New FarrPro trial shows 20% reduction in mortality of piglets
FarrPro, an Iowa City-based agtech startup, has released the results of the second independent trial of its flagship Haven product. The results of the trial showed reductions in both pre-wean mortality (20.6 %) and energy use (68%) compared to the heat lamp control. The trial was conducted in Illinois by Carthage Innovative Swine Solutions, the…
Corteva Agriscience announces 2030 sustainability goals
Corteva Agriscience announced earlier this month a list of sustainability goals the company plans to achieve by 2030. The list includes 14 goals that span a wide range of initiatives for farmers, the land, communities where employees and customers live and work, and in its own operations. "Our mission to lead the entire agriculture…
Rantizo is using drone technology to sanitize stadiums
Agtech company Rantizo is preparing to use its drone spraying technology in new ways this spring. The Iowa City based startup has began partnerships with several large venues for sanitization efforts. The efforts will utilize Rantizo’s drone spraying platform to sanitize open areas and seating for the return of spectator events that have been…
Ag Startup Engine invests $50,000 in Haber Technologies
 Ag Startup Engine has made an initial investment of $50,000 in Ames based startup Haber Technologies, a company founded by a pair of Iowa State University alumni which is commercializing grain bin drying technology to eliminate post-harvest loss. “This seed round will allow us to bring Haber fully into the market, to commercialize the technology which,…
Rantizo partners with Sony on agtech collaboration
Iowa City-based startup Rantizo has been named one of four agtech companies partnering with Sony Electronics to integrate its Smart Agriculture Solution into its farming solutions.  Sony's Smart Agriculture Solution revolves around a combination of sophisticated dual camera technology and analytics software, designed to support day-to-day crop management by collecting and analyzing growth data. Version 2.0 combines high-resolution drone…
Cultivo Global Ag selects Australia as country for inaugural cohort
Australia will be the first country to participate in its Cultivo Global Ag Innovation Program, Cultivation Corridor announced yesterday. Cultivation Corridor first announced the launch of the 10-day immersion program for international startups and entrepreneurs last October. The new program will bring international startups to Iowa for 10 days of experience, training and networking. The program…
Agtech Archives | Page 2 of 4 | 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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