Skip to main content

STARTUPS Blog

  • Alex Hage presents to ISU students in the Rural Entrepreneurship Academy, June 2022
    |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    Alex Hage (Agricultural Business 2016) is not too far into his professional career but has already considerably exercised the entrepreneurial mindset and skillset he started to develop while at ISU.  His work ranges from building a greenhouse, starting a CSA, buying a business, starting a Highland Scottish Cattle herd and now starting a brewery with his father.

    We had a chance to catch up with Alex recently when he took the time to present his story to ISU students in the 2022 Rural Entrepreneurship Academy.

  • |
    Content Author
    Emma J Ehlers Kevin Kimle

    Mitchell worked with farmers who were implementing innovative agronomic practices often referred to as regenerative agriculture. Practices such as reduced tillage and the use of cover crops aim to improve biodiversity and soil health. The Washington County farmers Mitchell worked with had been on the leading edge of experimentation with regenerative practices.

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    This month, we will publicly mark the name and brand transition to Start Something College of Agriculture and Life Sciences from the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative (AgEI).

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    Where does entrepreneurial inspiration come from? Each of us has to answer that question individually, but it is interesting when inspirational themes (or perhaps memes) emerge.

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    What do investors look for when evaluating innovative opportunities? It depends on the investor, but I am in search of surprise. Innovation cannot be predicted. Innovation cannot be planned. It is not foreseeable. So, when looking for opportunities with upside I look for the surprising, the unexpected, maybe even the strange.

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    "When I heard about Jared's idea to create 'The Etsy of Meat', I fell in love with the idea and wanted to be part of it," she said." Our shared passion for helping farmers brought us together, and deeply influences every aspect of our day-to-day work at ChopLocal."

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    This semester’s domestic travel course was project-based, the Farm to Fork Project. Twelve students explored the frontiers of entrepreneurial opportunity for direct-to-consumer agricultural businesses. They met a range of agri-food entrepreneurs and went through a multi-faceted process of opportunity analysis. This document is their written summary of what they learned, observed and concluded.

  • |
    Content Author
    Marcie Fahn

    Andrew Albrecht (’19 Agricultural Business) grew up on a family farm and has always been thinking of ways to expand the farm. He always wanted to do something in agriculture and become a business owner. Starting July of 2019, he found a market that he figured was there for the taking.

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    I am occasionally asked by venture capital investors in agricultural and food technology businesses (agri-food tech) about the technology-based interests of the students at Iowa State University.  The investors view student interests as a potential leading indicator of technology trends, and I agree.  I learn a lot from students, based on their technological and entrepreneurial interests.

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    When I started at ISU in 2009, my calls to other university entrepreneurship programs revealed a conventional wisdom that undergraduate students weren’t ready in most cases to start their own businesses, certainly not technology businesses.  ScoutPro was an early indicator that the conventional wisdom was, well, too conventional.

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    At the beginning of my appointment at Iowa State University in 2009, I traveled to Palo Alto, California for a conference for venture investors.  The event, during the height of the financial crisis, had one panel where a representative of the consumer electronics industry had a bit of a riff on how he viewed the financial bailouts of the time as being on the wrong-track. 

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    The discussions ranged from a primary agricultural input, seed, all the way to consumer demand.  A point I made with the audience was that any one sector of agriculture and food is complex.  Accounting for activity across multiple sectors is really complex.

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    We were delighted to have Jim Fay join students in ECON 334/Entreprenuership in Agriculture recently for a discussion on innovation, prototyping and new product development.

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    It was mid-2019, and Jeb Gent (’13 Ag Education) was ready.  “I’ve always had in mind that at some point in my career I would start my own business,” commented Gent.  “My wife and I have been saving money to help make that transition, so we parted ways with my job and hit the ground running.”

  • |
    Content Author
    Kevin Kimle

    March 25 was scheduled as a guest-day for ECON 334/Entrepreneurship in Agriculture, part of a regular dose of guest agricultural entrepreneurs that speak to students over the course of the semester in the classroom in Kildee Hall. 

  • Annie Zeimis, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of One Hop Shop, took a rather untraditional path on her journey to becoming a Cyclone. Upon high school graduation, Zeimis started attending the University of Iowa for dental school, but was forced to transfer out due to the lack of available scholarships. Her next stop was Hawkeye Community College, where she began studying a two-year dental hygiene program. However, she was determined to obtain her 4-year degree. 

  • Hannah Corey, ('18 agronomy and entrepreneurial studies minor) believes that there are many paths to success. Although her career path after graduation wasn't traditional, she has stayed true to her roots, remaining deeply involved in the agriculture industry. Today, as Chief of Staff at Performance Livestock Analytics (PLA), Corey encourages students to "keep your eyes and mind open to opportunities outside of your comfort zone." 

  • EllieMae Millenkamp, a senior in Agricultural Business, grew up feeding calves, collecting milk samples, and completing office work on her family's dairy farm in Jerome, Idaho. Today, the impressive dairy milks around 15,000 cows on 15,000 acres, although it hasn't always been so extensive. Millenkamp's parents started out with just three cows, raising calves for local dairy farmers. Through hard work and perseverance, they were able to start their own dairy and grow the operation to over 100,000 cows.

  • The Student Incubator Program offers students the early resources required for starting and building a business. Dave Krog, Start Something-Ag Entrepreneur in Residence, and Joe Riley, entrepreneurial business leader, serve as mentors for the group. Cohort members encourage, support, and learn from each other during this year-long course.

  • Mikayla Sullivan (’17 Global Resource Systems, Public Service and Administration in Agriculture) doesn’t sit still for long. From starting her own company, KinoSol, as a sophmore in college, to traveling the world with her business, this inspiring entrepreneur has accomplished more in her twenty-four years of life than many do in a lifetime.

Subscribe to RSS Feed