AMES, Iowa, July 11, 2018 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced that it has made an second seed investment in FarmlandFinder (formally known as Terva) which is building a nationwide search engine for land real estate and has been referred to as, “the Zillow for farmland.”
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.
FarmlandFinder is the first and only land real estate website to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive database of every land sale transaction across the U.S. Using a proprietary record-aggregating process that requires no manual input from brokers, they’re able to provide access to a nationwide database of every active land sale and past sale transaction record, with just a few clicks.
“Engaging with the Ag Startup Engine has provided critical connections and mentorship to move my business forward,” said Steven Brockshus, Founder and CEO of FarmlandFinder. “When you’re building a business that touches the agricultural industry, it helps to have direct access to the movers and shakers in the industry. I’m grateful to the Ag Start Engine for being such a great connector.”
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 is implementing an infrastructure for mentoring, rapid prototyping, product development, financing, and customer acquisition.
“FarmlandFinder was able to show good traction and progress towards milestones of establishing a compelling business thesis,” said Joel Harris, Co-director of Ag Startup Engine. “The investors and mentors of ASE are committed to our startups and entrepreneurs journey. Watching our portfolio companies like FarmlandFinder grow enterprise value is key measurement of the success of the program."
Over the one to two years, the ASE hopes to add four to eight more agriculture technology startups like FarmlandFinder to the portfolio ranging from animal health to precision agriculture.