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Agtech Startups Selected for Iowa AgriTech Accelerator Cohort
Iowa Ag Connection - 05/15/2019

The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator announced it has selected five agtech startups for this year's program. The Accelerator's Class of 2019 is:

Otrafy (Vancouver, Canada) -- Otrafy is building the data infrastructure that enables seamless transfer of goods between different parties and jurisdictions, thus becoming the gold standard for authenticity and transparency in the food industry.

droneSAR (Des Moines, Iowa) -- droneSAR develops radar imaging technology for commercial drones and small aircrafts that can sense below the crop canopy.

Vitalgia (Heerlen, Netherlands) -- Vitalgia's in-plant navigation system guides robots within a plant's 3D structure, enabling robots to approach human performance of tasks on complex plants.

Raks Agricultural Technology (São Leopoldo, Brazil) -- Raks Agricultural Technology provides a system to improve irrigation control based on new TDR sensors to measure the soil moisture, presenting all information on a web platform or mobile app.

FarmatroniX (College Park, Md.) -- FarmatroniX aims to tackle the skilled labor shortage by providing growers an artificial intelligence system that can control the growing process without any human input.

"We're excited to welcome a diverse group of startups from all over the world to Central Iowa this summer," notes Kerty Levy, interim executive director for The Accelerator. "The Accelerator will be a catalyzing experience for these entrepreneurs. Throughout their time in our program, they'll gain valuable connections, constructive feedback from industry players and a clearer path forward in their business pursuits."

The program will begin June 3 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. Their time in Central Iowa will allow them to collaborate with agriculture industry leaders and present their solutions to refine product market fit, perform customer discovery within the industry and build strategic partnerships. In October, The Accelerator will welcome the startups back to Des Moines for its annual Demonstration Day, which will once again be hosted during the World Food Prize.

The Accelerator has support from some of the largest and most well-known agtech and ag-related companies in Iowa, including Corteva Agriscience, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company, Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corporation, John Deere and Sukup Manufacturing, in addition to a mentor pool of 130 agribusiness professionals who represent a majority of the ag supply chain.

To learn more about the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator, visit www.agiowa.com.

The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator is a mentor-led accelerator focused on agtech innovations. Led by innovators and leaders in several areas of agriculture, The Accelerator seeks startups ready to change the status quo.

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