GREATER DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator is pleased to announce five AgTech startups selected for the program’s Accelerator’s Class of 2018:

  • U.S. Design Consultants (Osceola, Iowa) — A startup that has developed an innovative method of broadcast dispensing granular products that addresses fundamental challenges and eliminates negative consequences attributed to conventional broadcast dispensing equipment. 

  • AgHelp (Grand Rapids, Mich.) — A mobile platform designed to address the agricultural labor shortage with a holistic approach. The app connects agricultural employers with available local labor, source labor and support services nationally at a fraction of the cost of what is currently available. 

  • BirdPreneur (Abeokuta, Nigeria) — A one-stop shop aviculture platform focused on helping individuals and corporate organizations raise birds to increase meat and egg production across the value chain in Nigeria. 

  • VakSea (Baltimore, Md.) — 
A novel oral vaccine delivery platform for aquaculture designed to be more affordable and effective and easier to deliver.
  • Krobel Corp (Mankato, Minn.) — 
A startup developing a low-cost, easy-to-manufacture device that monitors the respiratory rate of an individual hog from nursing to finishing which will help notify farmers of potentially sick animals.

“We received a number of great applicants from around the country and the world,” says Megan Vollstedt, executive director for The Accelerator. “We look forward to welcoming this year’s cohort to central Iowa, where we will offer our local strengths and expertise in the AgTech industry and the region’s growing entpreneuerial scene to provide the startups the resources they need.” 

The program will begin May 29 in Des Moines’ Historic East Village and conclude on Aug. 30. The startups participating in the program will receive intensive mentoring, $40,000 in seed funding, field trips to investor and mentor companies, outreach, networking and presentation 
opportunities. This year’s cohort will have the opportunity to present their innovations at the nation’s largest outdoor farm show, the Farm Progress Show, in August and at The Accelerator’s Demonstration Day, which will once again be hosted during the World Food Prize on Oct. 16.

The Accelerator has support from some of the largest and well-known AgTech companies in Iowa, including DuPont Pioneer, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company, Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corporation, John Deere, Peoples Company and Sukup Manufacturing, in addition to a mentor pool of 120 agribusiness professionals who represent a majority of the ag supply chain.