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.
The Ag Startup Engine effort was launched two and one half years ago 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 Iowan and Midwestern entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2012 by David Edwards and Samira Davoodi, automed started with the focus to complete the development of the automatic medication delivery system previously conceived by David back in 2008. Since then the company has successfully established facilities in Canberra Australia and Ames, Iowa, and is now working on the strategy of developing its third branch in Germany, with the aim of servicing the European market.
“The Ag Startup Engine has opened up doors with other potential investors and industry partners for automed,” said CEO and Founder David Edwards. “Being new to the country, the group has also provided a great platform for automed to network with the local business networks and industry leaders.”
Automed joins their fellow Iowa-based startups Performance Livestock Analytics, Nebullam, Gross-Wen Technologies, Smart Ag, and FarmlandFinder in the portfolio of companies in the Ag Startup Engine Fund. ASE aims to provide agricultural entrepreneurs a structured means of moving from a startup concept to a seed-ready business. Working in partnership with ISU’s Startup Factory Accelerator, the program has an infrastructure for mentoring, rapid prototyping, product development, customer acquisition, and financing.
“We’re already seeing the fruits of our labor in mentoring and promoting companies beginning or establishing a presence in the Ames community,” said Joel Harris, Co-director of Ag Startup Engine. “More than $8.5 million in follow-on funding has occurred across our initial investments. The progress and innovation that our portfolio companies continue to drive will to prove our thesis that technical disruption can and does happen in the heart of Iowa. automed and other startups we’re currently evaluating continue to cement Ames and the ISU Research Park as the capital of Ag Technology.”
Over the next one to two years, the ASE hopes to add four to eight more agriculture technology startups like automed to the portfolio ranging from animal health to precision agriculture.