News

McKee, Voorhees & Sease becomes the First Golden Grade Sponsor to Ag Startup Engine

May 12, 2020

AMES, Iowa, May 12, 2020 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that it is welcoming their first Golden Grade Sponsor, McKee, Voorhees & Sease (MVS), a Des Moines, Iowa Intellectual Property boutique law firm of attorneys specializing in procurement and enforcement of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and more, is excited to support ASE’s efforts in early seed financing and mentorship of agricultural entrepreneurs and Iowan innovation. 

Ag Startup Engine Accepts Haber Technologies, Inc. into Startup Program

April 21, 2020

AMES, Iowa, April 21, 2020 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced an initial $50,000 investment in Ames, Iowa based and Iowa State University startup Haber Technologies, Inc, a company founded by a pair of Iowa State University alumni which is commercializing grain bin drying technology to eliminate post-harvest loss.

Ag Startup Engine Accepts Skroot Laboartory, Inc. into Startup Program

February 10, 2020

 AMES, Iowa, February 10, 2020 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced an initial $25,000 investment in Ames, Iowa based and Iowa State University startup Skroot Laboratory, Inc. – that makes wireless sensor systems for animal and human health biotherapeutic companies and vendors. Their sensor systems enables upstream process developers who utilze microorganism (cells) to be more efficient, decrease costs, and reduce time to market by providing real-time, actionable data. 

Ag Startup Engine Annouces Initial Investment in Sentinel

January 28, 2020

AMES, Iowa, January 28, 2020 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced an investment in Ames, Iowa based startup Sentinel – which combines artificial intelligence and computer vision to accurately track animal inventory and animal well-being in real time.

FarmlandFinder raises $3 Million in Series Seed Funding

December 04, 2019

AMES, Iowa, December 4, 2019 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that another of their portfolio companies, FarmlandFinder, a three year old Des Moines, Iowa-based startup known as “the Zillow for Farmland,” has raised $3 million in Series Seed funding. The round was led by Cultivian Sandbox of Chicago, Illinois with participation from Iowa Farm Bureau’s Rural Vitality Fund and Next Level Ventures

Ames Iowa Based Smart Ag is Acquired by Raven Industries

November 05, 2019

AMES, Iowa, November 5, 2019 – Ag Startup Engine, in the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that their first Iowa-based investment, Smart Ag, has been acquired by Raven Industries (NASDAQ: RAVN). Smart Ag’s driverless tractor technology empowers farmers to upgrade existing equipment and complete operations faster and with less labor than ever before. 

Ag Startup Engine Annouces Follow-on Investment in Tractor Zoom

July 08, 2019

AMES, Iowa, July 8, 2019 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE) announced that it has made a follow-on investment in Des Moines based agricultural technology startup Tractor Zoom. The investment comes in a year after the their initial investment. Tractor Zoom is an online marketplace that connects farm equipment auctioneers and buyers. 

Ag Startup Engine Announces Initial Investment in VetMeasure

June 11, 2019

AMES, Iowa, June 11, 2019 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that it has made an investment in Ames, Iowa based startup VetMeasure, Inc. - which is commercializing technology in the $70 billion a year pet-care space by monitoring dogs post-surgery. 

Nebullam and LEAH Laboratories Present at Y Combinator Demo Day

March 19, 2019

AMES, Iowa, March 19, 2019 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that two of their Iowa-based portfolio companies, Nebullam and LEAH Laboratories, were selected in Y Combinator’s (YC) winter cohort accelerator program which includes an early seed investment of $150,000, mentorship, and educational resources through a 90 day program that culminates in a two-day demo located in San Francisco, CA. This is the first time that two Iowa-built, Iowa-based startups were selected for Y Combinator.

Ag Startup Engine Announces Initial Investment in ClearFlame Engines

January 30, 2019

AMES, Iowa, January 30, 2019 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that it has made an initial seed investment in Chicago, Illinois based ClearFlame Engines - which is commercializing technology that integrates low-carbon alternative fuels into Diesel engines, using a novel, high-temperature combustion process.  This is the ninth startup ASE has invested in since formation in 2016.

Ag Startup Engine Annouces Initial Investmnet in LEAH Laboratories

January 15, 2019

AMES, Iowa, January 15, 2019 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that it has made an initial seed investment in LEAH Laboratories - an animal health startup focused on a breakthrough treatment that will control and cure B cell lymphoma in dogs with lower costs and side effects when compared to traditional treatments. This is the eighth startup ASE has invested in since formation in 2016.

Ag Startup Engine Protfolio Companies Reach Milestone: Raising over $10 million in follow-on investments

November 13, 2018

AMES, Iowa, November 13, 2018 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), located within the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that the seven agricultural startups in their portfolio of companies collectively raised over ten million dollars in follow-on investments. A milestone that President of Iowa State University, Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, declared as, “impressive!”

Performance Livestock Analytics raises $2.25 million to scale platform

November 08, 2018

By Jake Slobe of Clay & Milk:

 

Ames-based agtech company, Performance Livestock Analytics, recently raised $2.25 million that will allow them to scale their current platform.

September 06, 2018

By KEITH LORIA

Tractor Zoom, a Des Moines, Iowa-based online marketplace that connects farm equipment auctioneers and buyers, has completed a $1 million seed investment round. The seed capital follows an earlier family & friends round.

Tractor Zoom becomes Ag Startup Engine's 7th portfolio company after initial investment

July 31, 2018

AMES, Iowa, July 31, 2018 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE) announced that it has made an initial investment in Des Moines based agricultural technology startup Tractor Zoom. Tractor Zoom is an online marketplace that connects farm equipment auctioneers and buyers.

July 11, 2018

AMES, Iowa, July 11, 2018 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that it has made an second seed investment in FarmlandFinder (formally known as Terva) which is building a nationwide search engine for land real estate and has been referred to as, “the Zillow for farmland.”

July 10, 2018

AMES, Iowa, July 10, 2018 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that it has made an initial seed investment in automed - a supplier of hardware devices and software systems for medication delivery, compliance, disease prevention and traceability for the livestock industry. This is the sixth startup ASE has invested in since their formation in 2016.

June 26, 2018

Gross-Wen Technologies has received a $2 million investment from Doerfer Corporation.

Gross-Wen Technologies is an Ames-based company that has developed an algae system capable of cost-effectively recovering nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater. The company was started in 2014 by Martin Gross and Zhiyou Wen and is based on a technology they developed at Iowa State University. 

From PrecisionAg: Stine Seed Farm has invested $5 million in Smart Ag Inc., an Iowa technology firm that has developed a full stack software platform and aftermarket kit for driverless tractors. The Stine Seed investment In Smart Ag’s Series Seed Round comes just five short months after Smart Ag unveiled its technology with the release of AutoCart, a software application that fully automates a grain cart tractor for use during harvest.

Highway Equipment Company Becomes the First Platinum Harvester Sponsor

May 21, 2018

AMES, Iowa, May 21, 2018 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that it is welcoming their first Platinum Harvester Sponsor, Highway Equipment Company. The Cedar Rapids company, in business since 1939, is excited to support ASE’s efforts in early seed financing agricultural entrepreneurs and Iowan innovation. 

May 14, 2018

By Tom Block - Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman
5/14/2018

Self-driving tractors can help farmers be more efficient by solving labor challenges during the busiest times of the year, says Smart Ag CEO and founder Colin Hurd.

April 17, 2018

Farm Bill conversation and international trade talk continue to dominate discussions in Washington D.C., while weather concerns continue to dominate a lot of conversations in coffee shops and elevators across the corn belt. And Delaney wants to know how you deal with milk that is approaching (or past) it's labeled expiration date...

 

We take a look at another program designed to help entrepreneurs get a jump on things with Ag Startup Engine. Joel Harris explains how the program provides some funding for startups as well as matches them with mentors and leadership, while introducing them to the next level of growth for their businesses.

Outstanding Startup of the Year: Performance Livestock Analytics (PLA) is an Iowa based agriculture software company founded in June 2015. PLA’s company mission is to build easy to use software tools that help livestock producers increase efficiencies and improve profitability. Performance Livestock Analytics aims to create the premier business operating system for the livestock industry and to help livestock producers become more sustainable and profitable through the power of big data and software analytics. Photo from TAI Facebook

Terva is now FarmlandFinder.com!

The software update to FarmlandFinder.com essentially split the product into two sides, Brockshus explained. The customer-facing side allows users to search and find any property for sale in Iowa, for free. Properties can be compared to others in the same county and a new feature allows users to contact a local agent to get more information about the land.

Precision Farming Companies to Watch in 2018 (Opinion)

My friends, as many of you told me repeatedly throughout the last 12 months, 2017 was an interesting year in Ag Tech.

We witnessed needle-moving mergers and acquisitions (Deere-Blue RiverAGCO-Precision PlantingFieldReveal, etc.), intriguing product launches (SmartFirmer, Sentera’s Phoenix Drone, Bayer Digital Farming’s Agritechnica splash, etc.), and venture capital buy-in like the Ag Tech industry has never seen before (FBN’s whopping $110 million round of Series D Funding).

7 Agtech Start-ups to watch in 2018

If you build it, he will come. While that message may have worked for Ray Kinsella in Field of Dreams, the advice can prove disastrous for a start-up. 

Ag Startup Engine Announces Initial Investment in Terva

August 21, 2017

AMES, Iowa, August 21, 2017 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that it has made an initial seed investment in Terva - sometimes referred to as the “Zillow of agricultural farm real estate.” This is the fifth Iowa-based startup ASE has invested in since its formation.

Peterson Genetics joins the Ag Startup Engine Effort

August 09, 2017

AMES, Iowa, August 9, 2017 – The Ag Startup Engine (ASE), located at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, today announced Peterson Genetics has joined the effort to bring education, mentoring, and financing resources to Iowa entrepreneurs and startups focused on agriculture technologies.

Veridian Credit Union joins the Ag Startup Engine Effort

July 10, 2017

AMES, Iowa, July 10, 2017 – The Ag Startup Engine (ASE), located at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, today announced that Veridian Credit Union (Veridian) has joined the effort to bring education, mentoring, and financing resources to Iowa entrepreneurs and startups focused on agriculture technologies. 

The Ag Startup Engine Announces Initial Investment in Nebullam and Follow-on Investment in Performance Livestock Analytics

Ag Startup Engine (ASE), located at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that it has made an initial seed investment in Nebullam, an aeroponic and machine learning technology company for crop producers. The ASE has also made a follow-on investment in Performance Livestock Analytics (PLA), a cloud-based application aimed at bringing solutions to livestock producers. 

Hertz Associated LTD. and Hertz Farm Management join Ag Startup Engine Effort - Ag Startup Engine at Iowa State University Research Park Brings Education, Mentoring, and Financing to Iowa Startups

Hertz Associates Ltd. and Hertz Farm Management (Hertz) have joined forces with the Ag Startup Engine (ASE) at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park to bring education, mentoring, and financing resources to young Iowa entrepreneurs and startups focused on agriculture technologies.

Iowa Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa (RRIA), a statewide economic development initiative done in partnership with Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa, Iowa Agriculture Finance Corp., and CIPCO, has teamed up with the Ag Startup Engine (ASE) at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park to bring education, mentoring, and financing resources to young Iowa entrepreneurs. 

An Ames-based agricultural technology fund is about halfway toward its fundraising goal for startups based in the Iowa State University Research Park.

 

The Ag Startup Engine was founded last year to support fledgling companies working in the agricultural sector, co-founder Joel Harris said. The goal of the fund is to fill a gap for startups between initial idea and the first round of fundraising despite a boom in formal entrepreneurial support in the state, Harris said.

AMES, Iowa – The Ag Startup Engine, an initiative at the Iowa State University Research Park, has attracted an investment from Next Level Ventures, a Des Moines venture capital firm.

 

The Ag Startup Engine was created to help address two fundamental gaps that prevent agricultural startups and entrepreneurs from being more successful in Iowa:  early seed stage investment and organized mentorship from successful Iowans.

The Ag Startup Engine (ASE), located at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, has announced that Davis Brown, LWBJ, and LS2group are the initiative’s preferred legal, accounting, and public relations firms, respectively.

Ag Startup Engine has secured four investors for its ag-tech startup program, organizers told Clay & Milk this week, but is hoping to line up eight to 10.

A new initiative at the Iowa State University Research Park will identify and fund innovative agricultural startups. The accelerator program, called the Ag Startup Engine, is part of a broader Iowa State initiative that is working to foster business startup, innovation and technology transfer.

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