Iowa’s AgriTech Startup Accelerator Attracts California Startups
Earlier this spring we reported on the new Iowa Agritech accelerator. The startup accelerator is grooming agriculture focused startups through a cohort based program. With the backing of John Deere, Dupont, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, Farmer’s Mutual Hail Insurance Company, Kent Corporation, Sukup Manufacturing, and People’s Company, AgriTech is putting six agtech startups through the accelerator program. Each startup will receive a seed investment of $40,000 in capital and go through a 100 day, intense entrepreneurship program.
The accelerator just named Megan Vollstedt as the new accelerator’s new Executive Director. Vollstedt has spent six years in the Iowa startup community, growing with local startup Workiva (formerly Webfilings), a cloud platform for reporting compliance and data management.
“I learned what it takes to be in a startup and as the company grew and scaled, so did my role,” Vollstedt said. “Eventually I got to the point where I was a senior editor, managing internal communications. I got to work with the company as it grew and went through a name change, and I’m grateful for those experiences that helped me develop professionally.”
“I am honored and excited to take on the role of Executive Director for the Iowa AgriTech accelerator,” Vollstedt said in a statement. “I look forward to using my experience in the ecosystem to help startups in the program work with mentors, investors, and advisors to advance innovations in AgTech.”
Here are the startups in the 2017 cohort:
WISRAN: A Sunnydale, CA, company that measures time variations of farming activities. WISRAN uses a software platform to increase operation efficiency.
Pyur Solutions: Based out of Los Angeles, Pyur Solutions is developing non-toxic, plant-based herbicides and pesticides.
Rabbit Tractors: An Ann Arbor, MI, startup building miniature autonomous farm equipment.
Hintech: Based out of St. Joseph, MO., Hintech has built Decimator, a cornstalk remover and crusher used in no-till farming.
Phenomics Labs: A Burnsville, MN, startup that makes portable labs with data collection cameras that evaluate plant growth.
You can find the AgriTech accelerator online here.