An AgTech Accelerator was launched during the 2016 Farm Progress Show by the the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Cultivation Corridor. Four initial investors have provided funding for the initiative including DuPont Pioneer, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company, John Deere and Peoples Company. Each company has committed to providing $100,000 for the first year.
Kathryn Kunert, Vice President of Economic Connections and Integration at MidAmerican Energy Company and Cultivation Corridor Officer said The Accelerator is modeled after the Global Insurance Accelerator and will build upon the one of the state’s key industries, agriculture. The new ag tech start-up program will be closely aligned with the goals of the Cultivation Corridor, launched in 2014, the home of many leading and start-up agbioscience, agritechnology, biorenewables, plant sciences and advanced manufacturing
Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership noted, “Today’s announcement is an example of Central Iowa celebrating its agricultural roots and leveraging that key industry into further global economic growth. Our state is at the top in so many areas in terms of agriculture, and The Accelerator will help ensure that we are a world leader for years to come.”
The four investors will have company representatives on the board, of which will select the first set of companies to participate in the program in 2017. Companies from around the world are encouraged to apply. If accepted, the start-ups will send team members to Iowa for 100 days where they will receive mentoring from experts who work in the ag industry’s leading companies.
“John Deere has long been dedicated to those who are linked to the land, and is always ready to embrace change that leads to new opportunities,” added Lane Arthur, Deere Information Solutions Business Director. “Being able to support the continuing progress in the field of precision ag is important both here in Iowa, as well as around the world.”
The Accelerator is calling for additional ag companies to support the initiative. Those interested in investing should contact Mike Colwell.
Listen to the Ag Tech Accelerator press conference here: Ag Tech Accelerator Press Conference