Connecting early-stage agtech companies to a network of experienced ag and ag-related industry professionals is nothing out of the ordinary for the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator. Our 100-day incubator encourages frequent interactions and meetings between the startups who participate in our program and our dedicated network of volunteer mentors. And those connections don’t stop at the end of our program. We offer our mentorship and connectivity year-round through various means, including trade shows, speaking engagements and events, such as our second annual AgTech Day on March 26.
This year, we have selected nine startups to participate in AgTech Day — our abbreviated, day-long mentor program focused on connecting the startups with our network of agtech and startup professionals. We are excited to host these nine startups for this year’s AgTech Day:
Ag-EZ (Des Moines, IA): Delivering a platform designed to enable virtual farming
Big Data in a Box (Ames, IA): A one-stop-shop data and analytics tool for organic farmers
DroneSAR (Des Moines, IA): Improving crop yields with radio cameras for drones
Dynamic Motion (Herman, NE): Robotic power washer
Gym-N-EAT-Crickets (Ames, IA): Raising and processing crickets for development of protein snacks
Industrial Hemp (Ankeny, IA): Supply chain services and platform for hemp production
Shift.Aero (Sunnyvale, CA): Unique technology/approach to unmanned aerial vehicles for crop spraying
Tractor Zoom (West Des Moines, IA): Simple, trusted and transparent heavy equipment auction marketplace
Vilicus Capital (Des Moines/Dubuque, IA): A platform and service for regenerative, ecologically based farming
AgTech Day kicks off March 26 at Maple Ventures in West Des Moines, Iowa, with a welcome breakfast followed by one-on-one mentor meetings and a luncheon sponsored by Ramco. Additional one-on-one meetings will take place during the afternoon, where startups will receive tailored guidance on business and product development. Following the day’s activities, The Accelerator will welcome AgTech Day attendees, mentors, investors and sponsors to a reception from 5–6 p.m. to network with each other.
The Accelerator hopes to build on that momentum of a successful AgTech Day as they continue to support innovative agtech startups through their organization’s 2019 program, which is slated to begin the first week of June. The Accelerator’s 2019 program has support from some of the largest and well-known AgTech companies in Iowa, including Corteva Agriscience, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company, Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corporation, John Deere and Sukup Manufacturing, in addition to more than 130 mentors. Applications for the 100-day program are open through March 31. Interested startups can apply here.