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Startup Profiles

ISU graduates launch app to make online shopping faster
Two Iowa State University graduates have created a new app designed to make online transactions faster and more convenient for consumers. Founded by Aaryaman Anerao and John Jago, PeachPay is an application consumers can download on their smartphones to connect with online merchants to complete their purchases. Users enter their credit card information, shipping address…
Hello Benji: A new financial management platform for the self-employed
Most finance applications tend to offer one of two things — personal finance software for individuals or business accounting software for medium-to-large sized businesses. A new financial management platform is looking to change that. hello benji, a new Des Moines-based startup is giving self-employed (sole proprietors, freelance workers, gig workers, independent contractors, etc.) the opportunity…
Coffee subscription club Lokoly launches in Iowa
Coffee fans looking for the best small batch craft coffee across the country will have a new convenient option to choose from thanks to a new coffee of the month club. Lokoly Coffee Club is a bi-monthly subscription club offering hard-to-find small-batch coffee made in limited quantities, tucked away in local communities, and delivered in…
Neapolitan Labs is working with county auditors to create election websites
In response to COVID-19, Neapolitan Labs is working with multiple County Auditors across Iowa to build and launch election-specific county websites. Neapolitan Labs launched its first elections-centric website a little over a year ago in February 2019 with Pottawattamie County. Beginning in March, Neapolitan Labs started receiving attention from multiple County Auditors across the state…
Startup Profiles Archives | Page 2 of 8 | 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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