Doug Moore is an Iowa transplant originally from Erie, Pennsylvania. In 1993, Doug founded EuroSource LLC to market a device he co-developed for the manufacture of composite wood products, the CasTalon blending tool. In the 25+ years, Doug has operated EuroSource, he has been able to travel extensively throughout the world in support of that product and its successors. Doug and his wife, Amy, relocated to Iowa from Chicago in 2006.
Doug served as President of Ames Seed Capital, Iowa’s oldest community-based venture fund. He is also active in Iowa’s biofuel industry, having served on the Lincolnway Energy Board of Directors. He served recently on the Story County Planning and Zoning Commission and is a current Franklin Township Trustee.
Doug is a serial entrepreneur, having founded several businesses, as well as mentoring startups. He is a frequent guest lecturer at Iowa State’s College of Business on distressed assets and liquidation. Doug, Amy, their 2 children, and 2 large dogs live in Ames.
Moore also serves as the entrepreneur in residence for the Cultivo Virtual Academy program coordinated by America’s Cultivation Corridor, which provides a unique opportunity for global agricultural scaleup companies to interact with experts as they prepare for a U.S. market entry.
“By nature, people are geocentric. Cultivo reminded me that there’s a vibrant community of ag entrepreneurs worldwide and that we need to open our eyes to opportunities across the globe,” said Moore. “In our cohorts we have met founders who are working for the betterment of the planet via food security, innovators who are using machine learning to reduce irrigation water use, and a University professor who is using biomass to develop plant-based chemicals. It was a great reminder that we don’t hold the exclusive on good ideas.”
Iowa is the epicenter of connections and innovation
Moore noted that the opportunities to connect and collaborate with other innovators and entrepreneurs in Iowa makes it the perfect fit to host an experience like Cultivo.
“There is not another place in the country where you can connect with so many leaders in the ag industry within the borders of the state, in addition to the resources at Iowa State University,” he said. “Across the board, everyone is willing to help startups because they see the opportunities that everyone brings to the table.”
For startups, an important development in the state is the availability of capital for early-stage firms as well as accelerators and incubators in the state such as Ag Startup Engine and Techstars. In addition, a strong network of professionals needed by early-stage firms, such as accountants, business advisory firms, and top-quality attorneys can assist founders in every aspect of their growth.
“In a nutshell, every resource a startup needs is available within the borders of Iowa,” said Moore.
In addition to the business advantages, Iowa offers a number of quality of life benefits.
“While I enjoyed the vibrancy of living in a big city like Chicago, the challenges of everyday living such as traffic and housing costs were too much to deal with when raising a family. Here in Iowa, my kids can ride their bikes safely and I know my neighbors,” said Moore. “In particular, the cost of housing is a huge plus for us. With what we save on the cost of housing and other living expenses, we can afford to travel extensively.”
Doug Moore’s advice for anyone considering a move to Iowa:
“Throw away any preconceived notion you may have of Iowa and be prepared to learn about the state and its people. Buy your first home in a dynamic, evolving neighborhood and make the effort to build professional and personal relationships and get involved in your community. In towns and cities of all sizes, there is a myriad of volunteer, community, and statewide boards and commissions … all of which need active participants. Learn at least a little about agriculture in Iowa, and why our soil is among the very best in the world.”