America’s Cultivation Corridor Launches New Cohort of Cultivo
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NEWS RELEASE: America’s Cultivation Corridor® Launches New Cohort of Cultivo® Virtual Academy with Seven Scaleup Companies


Billi Hunt, executive director
515-294-1127 or 515-480-2394



April 18, 2024   



Entrepreneurs from Australia, Canada are participating in program  
designed to build connections, accelerate U.S. market entry 

DES MOINES, IOWA – A new cohort of Cultivo® Virtual Academy hosted by America’s Cultivation Corridor® launched on April 15. Over the next six weeks, seven companies from Australia and Canada will participate in the virtual program that provides entrepreneurs with mentorship, interaction with Iowa’s agricultural leaders and an online curriculum focused on U.S. market entry, regulatory and financing systems, and customer perspectives.   

The program’s virtual sessions will be facilitated by Iowa business and university leaders. America’s Cultivation Corridor will host and coordinate the Cultivo Virtual Academy in partnership with its investors and supporting organizations. The Iowa Economic Development Authority is the presenting sponsor of the program.    

“The companies in this cohort of Cultivo Virtual Academy bring exciting new technologies and innovations to improve animal health, crop health, sustainability and financial management for farmers,” said Kevin Rasmussen, Chair of America’s Cultivation Corridor Board of Directors, Owner of Owl Lake Production Company, and board member of Iowa Pork Producers Association.

The seven participating companies include: 

  • 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.  

“The next generation of ag innovations are being developed in Iowa right now, and we look forward to the networks and new opportunities that will be built when global entrepreneurs connect with our strong network of university researchers, industry leaders, startup companies and forward-thinking farmers and livestock producers,” said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Finance Authority. “The Cultivo program will provide unequalled access to the best and brightest minds in every sector of Iowa’s agricultural community, and help entrepreneurs build the network they need to reach their business goals.” 

The Cultivo Global Ag Innovation® program was launched in 2021 and features the six-week Virtual Academy as well as consultations, connections and curriculum for international scale-ups to learn from Iowa’s agricultural leaders and prepare for a U.S. market entry. 

“We are excited to welcome this diverse group of scaleups to the Cultivo program as we continue to build a strong international network of innovative companies with innovative solutions to today’s agricultural challenges,” said Billi Hunt, executive director of America’s Cultivation Corridor. “The world-class speakers, networking opportunities and connections they will make through this program will help them more successfully navigate their entry into the U.S. marketplace.”   

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   

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.  

2024 sponsors of Cultivo 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, LinkedIn, Instagram, 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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