IOWA AGRITECH ACCELERATOR 2019 COHORT
Otrafy helps companies manage the collection and transfer of certification data across the food supply chain with insights from an artificial intelligencedriven algorithm.
Des Moines, Iowa
droneSar enables farmers to access agronomic insights derived from radar technology with a more affordable solution that is also simple to use.
|Raks Agricultural Technology
São Leopoldo, Brazil
Raks develops intelligent water management solutions with affordable sensor technology to help farmers use water more efficiently and be more profitable
College Park, Maryland
Farmatronix technology combines greenhouse management records, crop-specific growth requirements, and a searchable information database to enhance the digitization and value of indoor growth facilities.
Imagine you own a new tech startup company. Now, imagine you need to present your innovative tech product to a room full of potential investors, who have the power to take your business to the next level. It can be more than a little intimidating.
That’s where a program like the Iowa Agritech Accelerator (IATA) comes in. The IATA, based in Des Moines, is a 90-day mentor led program focused on AgTech innovation. Led by innovators and industry leaders in agriculture, the Accelerator seeks startups who are committed to changing the status quo through technological advancement.
FMH is a founding investor in the IATA and, as part of the company’s ongoing involvement, multiple FMH employees volunteer their time to help mentor the Accelerator programs cohorts. The company recently hosted a practice Demo Day at the Farmers Mutual Hail home office in early August.
The FMH Demo Day allowed founders from each of the four 2019 cohort startups to present their innovation and products to the mentors and leadership at FMH who played the role of venture capitalist. The audience asked questions, critiqued and offered insights about their innovations, and then “invested” in each startup based on their demo.
"The purpose of the fictitious investment fund was twofold. First, it gives the FMH employees who attended the opportunity to express which innovative technologies FMH as a company may have an interest in. Second, it gives the startup companies feedback on their innovative ideas and proof of concepts. After all, who knows America’s farmers better than FMH?"
- Scott McEntee, Senior Vice President of Accounting
In addition to the practice demo day presentations, the startup visitors had the opportunity to hear about FMH’s latest innovative products, technology, and strategies.
Next up for the 2019 Accelerator cohort will be preparing for the Accelerator’s Demo Day in October, held in partnership with the World Food Prize and 2019 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa. This Demo Day is the real deal for these young companies and is also the final event to close out their term with the Accelerator program.
“FMH’s leadership recognizes that the current challenges facing the American farmer extend far beyond products designed to protect their crops. We saw in the IATA a path forward to help solve those challenges, and that’s why we are proud to be a founding investor in the IATA. We’re excited about this year’s cohort that will most certainly build on last year’s success of innovation in the industry,” added McEntee.
FMH is also a founding investor in the Global Insurance Accelerator, a mentor-driven business accelerator designed to foster innovation in the insurance industry by supporting insurtech startups targeting the global insurance industry.