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Seven Scaleup Companies Complete CULTIVO® Virtual Academy Program

DES MOINES, IOWA – Seven scaleup companies from Australia and Canada have successfully  completed the Cultivo® Virtual Academy, speeding their planning for U.S. market entry. The six-week  virtual program is hosted and coordinated by America’s Cultivation Corridor®, providing participants a  unique experience featuring mentorship, interaction with Iowa’s agricultural leaders and an online  curriculum that included regulatory and financing systems, and customer perspectives. The Iowa  Economic Development Authority was the presenting sponsor of the program. 

“The Cultivo Virtual Academy attracts some of the most exciting and innovative international scaleups  as they move toward bringing their products and technologies to the U.S. agricultural marketplace,”  said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Finance  Authority. “We are excited to help them build valuable connections with Iowa’s research, farming and  business leaders as they refine products and business strategies for a launch to U.S. farmers, livestock  producers and ag companies.”  

The seven cohort members included: 

  • BioScout (Australia) develops patented technology to detect fungal diseases in crops before they  appear by sampling disease spores in production fields.  
  • Data Farming (Australia) develops digital products to help manage crop variability, weed  management, variable rate fertilizer and yield data, including a product to detect weeds using  satellite imagery.  
  • Farm Health Guardian (Canada) offers biosecurity management technology to help farms and  food companies improve animal heath using facial recognition technology and real-time alerts. FeedFlo (Canada) develops sensors and AI-backed software tools to enable pork producers to  automate feed orders, optimize animal health and welfare and raise higher quality pigs.  GrainFox (Canada) creates a data-driven farm wealth solutions platform designed to help  producers build a clearer path from bin to bank, including personalized sales recommendations  and other tools. 
  • Pairtree Intelligence (Australia) is an ag tech, farm app and imagery integrator, enabling  agribusinesses to connect to the data from behind the farm gate for compliance, reporting and  productivity insights.  
  • Zetifi (Australia) develops novel connectivity solutions that unlock the power of digital  technology by extending and optimizing coverage from existing networks to make it accessible  wherever it is needed by farmers and their machinery. 

“It is exciting to see the range of technologies and innovations that the cohort companies are advancing  to benefit farmers around the world,” said Kevin Rasmussen, chair of America’s Cultivation Corridor  Board of Directors, owner of Owl Lake Production Company, and former president of Iowa Pork  Producers Association. “From animal health and pork production to autonomous equipment and in-field  crop management, there is no better place in the world to research, develop, test and bring to market  new ideas for agriculture than Iowa.”  

Applications for future cohorts of Cultivo Virtual Academy are now being accepted. For more  information on the program, or to learn about opportunities to sponsor or participate in a future  cohort, visit or contact Billi Hunt, executive director of America’s  Cultivation Corridor at

“The Cultivo Virtual Academy is the best investment a scaleup company can make as they develop a  path to entering the U.S. market,” said Billi Hunt, executive director of America’s Cultivation Corridor.  “Entering the U.S. marketplace can be overwhelming, but Cultivo’s focused curriculum, networking 

and connections with Iowa’s researchers, business leaders and farmers provide the knowledge and  introductions to successfully navigate market entry.”  

Investors and partners of America’s Cultivation Corridor are working together to accelerate the  development of new technologies, strengthen Iowa’s ag bioscience workforce, and attract economic  development, all focused on meeting the challenge of feeding a growing world population in a  sustainable way. 

Stakeholders in America’s Cultivation Corridor include Iowa State University, Corteva Agriscience,  Deere & Company, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Ames Economic Development Corporation, Iowa  Pork Producers, Kent Corporation, MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa Corn Promotion Board, ISG,  Chevron REG, Scoular, and Sukup Manufacturing Co. 

Sponsors of Cultivo for 2024 include Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa State University  Economic Development and Industry Relations, BioConnect Iowa and Beck’s. 

More information is available at, or by following on Twitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Facebook

About America’s Cultivation Corridor 

Focused on further developing and marketing the world-renowned agricultural and bioscience  economy in Iowa, America’s Cultivation Corridor is building on a rich history of innovation to  accelerate value-added agriculture business development by attracting companies, talent and  capital from across the globe to the state. Representing a diverse public-private coalition of  stakeholders including Iowa State University, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Ames Chamber of  Commerce, nonprofits and private sector companies from across the region and state, the  Cultivation Corridor is one of the nation’s foremost cluster-based economic development  organizations. For more information, visit

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