Kent Corporation, a leader in agribusiness, has been an investor in the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator since its inauguration in 2017. The Greater Des Moines Partnership and Cultivation Corridor approached Kent Corporation, the parent company of Grain Processing Corporation (GPC), Kent Nutrition Group (KNG), Kent Pet Group (KPG) and Kent Precision Foods Group (KPFG), because of its established commitment to furthering innovation in agriculture across Iowa and the world.

Innovation is core to Kent Corporation. Recently, the company created an Innovation Team, tasked with fostering strategic development. The Innovation Team anticipates what the market and customers want in order to deliver on those needs before the market arrives. Additionally, in 2018, Kent opened the Kent Innovation Center at the Iowa State University Research Park, which complements the work being done by startups within the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator.

“The startups in this program have some very novel and interesting technologies that are going to revolutionize the ag industry globally,” said Kent Corporation Vice President of Enterprise Innovation, Jeff Underwood, who is based in Ames, Iowa at the Kent Innovation Center and sits on the Innovation Team. “It’s mutually beneficial for Kent Corporation to partner with startups in the development of new agritech ideas.”

Kent Corporation was one of the first investors to apply for the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator because of the shared mission for fostering quality, sustainable growth. Kent Corporation employees serve as volunteer mentors for the startups in each annual cohort. They contribute leadership, agribusiness expertise and a network of professional connections to help startups establish their place in the ag industry and to help their innovation gain foothold among potential customers.

“The Accelerator is for any potential entrepreneur that has a business model that they think is related to the ag industry,” said Underwood. “There are participants in all areas of the ag industry in the program, from biotechnology to manufacturing tractors and equipment. We’re excited to contribute our knowledge and expertise to advance their mission and to strengthen and enhance the future of the ag industry.”

Kent Corporation, headquartered in Muscatine, Iowa (USA) is a diversified, family-owned corporation with operating subsidiaries involved in corn wet milling, the production of animal feeds, and the manufacture of food and beverage products. Kent Corporation is owned by the Kent family and led by third generation family member, Gage A. Kent. Kent serves customers across the world and employs approximately two thousand people in its 23 locations across 13 states and three countries.

The Accelerator thanks Kent Corporation for their support and involvement in its program. The Accelerator’s success wouldn’t be possible without Kent Corporation’s commitment to the organization’s mission to foster innovation and help position Central Iowa as one of the top regions in the nation for agtech startup companies.

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