Dane Kuper and Dustin Balsley
"We didn’t look at competitive software and think that we could succeed by adding 10 percent more functionality or 10 percent more usability. We started with a blank slate. We asked ‘what is the most usable, functional system? That's what we set out to do and that's what we continue to do."
Colin Hurd and Joel Harris
"There's certain times in a startup's life where you question the future -- really, really question if you're going to survive. And that can be extremely hard. It's emotionally tolling. You can't teach it in a textbook. It's like a great education and if you do it right, instead of paying for it, you'll actually get paid to do it."
Ag Startup Engine values mentorship highly. Learn from our members about entrepreneurship through their own experiences in agtech.
Ag Leader Technologies
"I see big opportunities for those businesses that make information more available or more importantly, more usable, whether that's the crop farmer or the livestock farmer. The ability to make decisions using data in agriculture needs to get better."
"Successful people are always learning. They always want to know what you know, and they're not telling you how the world works... I've tried to be willing to help young people out and lend an ear, and be willing to give advice. Every time I do that, I think I learned more from them than they learned from me!"
Iowa Farm Bureau Rural Vitality Fund
"Entrepreneurial people hit every obstacle that comes along and continue to plow forward and continue to figure out a way around the obstacle... I can see a night and day the difference between early stage entrepreneurs in terms of whether they have an inquisitive mind and are willing to go that extra step."
"New programs like the Ag Startup Engine and ISU Startup Factory have definitely played a role in advancing me, not just as a scientist-engineer, but as someone that knows how to run a business. It seems like the ecosystem here at ISU now is a completely different place than when we started."
The Midwest Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Opportunities and Challenges
We launched the Ag Startup Engine to fill a gap in funding and mentoring agtech startups in Iowa. While we’re excited about the progress the existing portfolio businesses have made to date, we recognize that our work fills only one niche in what could be a much more vibrant ecosystem for agricultural entrepreneurs.
Precision Agriculture Technologies
Perspectives from Brazil
We just returned from Brazil, where we accompanied twelve Iowa State University students who are a part of a travel course that is examining farmer perspectives on current and future precision agriculture technologies for crop production. Our time was spent in Mato Grasso, one of the frontiers of agricultural production in Brazil.
Farming Algae with Martin Gross
Farm & Rural Ag Network
In this edition of the podcast Future of Agriculture, Farm & Rural Ag Network sat down with Martin Gross of Gross-Wen Technologies to discuss algae farming and how it will shape the future.