Ag Startup Engine– A Development Program for Ag Technology Companies

Matthew Patane reported in today’s Des Moines Register that, “Iowa State University and a group of investors have teamed up to boost the number of successful startups focused on innovative farming.

“Combined, the university and investors have created Ag Startup Engine, a development program for agriculture technology companies.”

The Register article noted that, “Ag-tech startups have sprouted across Iowa as the field is seen as a way to grow new businesses out of one of the state’s main industries. The Greater Des Moines Partnership, for instance, is working on its own accelerator program for ag-tech companies.

“Meanwhile, ag-tech has drawn the eyes of investors nationwide. Funding to food and agriculture technology startups hit $4.6 billion in 2015, according to a report from AgFunder. That was almost double investments made in 2014.”

Today’s article added that, “Even though it’s connected to Iowa State, [Kevin Kimle, director of Iowa State’s Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative] said the accelerator is a private venture owned by its investors. He said Ag Startup Engine is trying to line up about 10 investors.

“So far, at least three have come on board, including Alden-based Summit Agricultural Group, whose CEO is Bruce Rastetter, the Board of Regents president. The other two investors are Ames-based Ag Leader Technology and Mason City-based Ag Ventures Alliance.”

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