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Iowa AgriTech Accelerator announces dissolution


Five years after launch, the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator is dissolving, Executive Director Nadilia Gomez announced in a statement sent to the Business Record this afternoon. 

The governing board cited the emergence of new, regional entrepreneurial support resources that have been established since the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator was formed by the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Cultivation Corridor. The accelerator welcomed its first cohort in 2017 and was based in the East Village next to the Global Insurance Accelerator, which the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator was modeled on. 

“We are proud to have played a role in the development of new technologies in the U.S. agriculture sector and look forward to seeing the continued work of the startups who had the opportunity to participate,” Gomez said. “Startups who have participated in the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator in the past will continue to be supported by the fund. We will simply not be continuing with additional programming in the future.” 

The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator hosted the 2020 cohort digitally for four startups, three of which were based in Ames. 

“I hope the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator will be remembered for the vision, creativity and leadership that has characterized it since its inception,” said Gomez, who joined the accelerator as executive director in 2019. 

The announcement is the first dissolution in Central Iowa following a period of rapid accelerator announcements starting in late 2019: the Cultivo Global Ag Innovation Program, Techstars Iowa and BrokerTech Ventures all welcomed inaugural cohorts virtually in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cultivo, managed by America’s Cultivation Corridor in Central Iowa, announced in December plans for a six-week virtual program called Cultivo Virtual Academy that will target international agriculture startup companies seeking entry into the U.S. market. 

In 2020, Bioconnect Iowa, Iowa State University’s Startup Factor and VentureNET Iowa announced the Go-to-Market Accelerator would launch with an inaugural cohort in 2021, while BrokerTech Ventures, which targets the broker/insurtech market, will partner with Insurtech Israel to launch a Tel Aviv-based accelerator later this year. 

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