Iowa State University has been invited to participate as a Channel Partner in the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) – the first, and currently only, Channel Partner from the state of Iowa.
IN2, funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation, follows a proven model to assist agriculture and clean technology companies in accelerating their paths to market by offering the technology validation support needed to attract the attention of the investment community. IN2 harnesses the world-class expertise and facilities of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (Danforth Center). Selected startups receive $250,000 non-dilutive grants to validate their technologies at NREL or the Danforth Center, while also gaining the invaluable benefit derived from making business connections across the entire IN2 network.
As an IN2 Channel Partner, Iowa State has the ability to refer companies to the program. Once referred, companies participate in a highly competitive application and selection process to determine which will be invited into the next cohort. The upcoming Cohort 11 is focused on sustainable agriculture. Referrals begin in mid-September 2021 and companies will be selected in April 2022.
Through the IN2 program, cohort participants will find technical support across a wide range of areas of expertise that include, but are not limited to: genomic modeling/bioinformatics; predictive analytics/planning; artificial intelligence; image processing and management; farm management; and data analytics.
Nadilia Gomez serves as Chief Technology Officer for the Digital and Precision Agriculture Biosciences platform at Iowa State. She believes the university’s participation as an IN2 Channel Partner will open important new opportunities for agriculture technology.
“On campus and around the state, there’s no shortage of innovative entrepreneurs who are discovering and developing novel solutions for increasing agricultural sustainability using digital and precision agriculture technologies,” Gomez said. “I’m thrilled that Iowa State is part of the IN2 network, and look forward to connecting with startups in the state that can benefit from this resource.”
IN2 Channel Partners are able to submit referrals for the sustainable agriculture cohort from September 16 through October 15. The sustainable ag cohort will focus on startups with products and services that have an environmental impact in greenhouse gas emissions, energy savings, soil protection, and biodiversity. Entrepreneurs and startups throughout Iowa that would like to be considered for referral to IN2 are asked to contact Nadilia Gomez (email@example.com) no later than October 6, 2021.