A returning, Kansas City-based accelerator program focused on innovative dairy products and emerging agtech will be a living, breathing lab for seven newly selected companies, said Doug Dresslaer.
Facial recognition software for cows, nanotechnologies to help treat mastitis and a single-serve, snack-sized cheese bar are among the startups now convening virtually as part of the DFA CoLab Accelerator, added Dresslaer, director of innovation at Dairy Farmers of America.
“We’re really excited about this year’s class and the potential for their innovations,” he said. “It’s a very diverse group with some cutting-edge ag technologies that can help solve problems and benefit our farm family-owners as well as product-focused startups that are exploring new possibilities for dairy foods.”
DFA launched its latest class Monday, coinciding with the start of the independently run T-Mobile Accelerator, which focuses on 5G technology.
The 90-day DFA accelerator is expected to culminate with a demo day in late June, where the startups — split between dairy food products and agtech verticals — will pitch and showcase their ideas.
Click here to learn more about the DFA CoLab Accelerator.
Newly announced members of the accelerator include:
- CattleEye (Belfast, Northern Ireland) — Aims to deliver a deep learning, cloud-based AI platform that is designed to interpret visual imagery of cattle from industry standard web cameras. The platform autonomously identifies individual animals to extract insights including measuring gait, applying mobility scores to track lameness, and other positive welfare indicators.
- DairyOffice (Mentoga Heights, Minnesota) — Designed as a central location for all data sets collected on a farm, this platform is built to integrate with herd management software and sensors, feed systems and ration formulation programs. The platform then manages the collection of data and provides various spreadsheets and other analytical tools that are updated with the collection of new data.
- H2Ok Innovations (Boston) — Data analytics platform and propriety sensor that is designed to help manufacturers gain comprehensive, real-time visibility into industrial liquid systems. This enables data-driven optimization operations that can be utilized in manufacturing facilities, as well as potentially on farms.
- VERI Nano (Cambridge, Massachusetts) – Created a patent-pending nanotechnology that is utilized as a bovine teat sealant, disinfectant, antimicrobial coating, skincare and wound care treatment. It is aimed to be more cost efficient and effective than current mastitis treatments.
Dairy food products
- Saga Ventures (Petaluma, California) — Designed a single-serve cheese snacking bar to provide healthy and satiable fuel between meals. It utilizes fresh California ingredients infused with two cups of milk, local fruits, nuts, and spices to create your own snack-sized cheeseboard with 17g of protein.
- SimpliFed (Ithaca, New York) — Utilizing the latest nutritional and microbiome science to develop a better, personalized organic formula and nutrition supplements to bridge the gap between breast milk and infant formula.
- The Modern Milkman (Ellington, Connecticut) — Designed an online platform that offers fresh, local quality products that are delivered right to your doorstep. The subscription-based model connects farmers with their communities and communities with fresh and local products.
Throughout the program, DFA CoLab Accelerator participants have the opportunity to work with top executives from DFA and other relevant investors and industry leaders. They also receive access to educational sessions on a variety of topics important for startup growth, including finance, business development, distribution and supply chain, product development, brand building, sales and marketing, packaging and pricing.