AMES, Iowa (November 21, 2017) – The Iowa State University Startup Factory today announced the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board has approved innovation funding for six companies from its program. All three cohorts within the Startup Factory program were represented in this round of IEDA awards.

Awardees from cohort one: 

Sep-All received a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) award to refine its product. Sep-All uses state-of-the-art R&D technologies to recover de-mix alloyed materials, with a potential application in the recovery of valuable materials from waste. The project is aimed at testing the commercial relevance of the product line of nanomaterial.

SAFI-Tech also received a $25,000 POCR award. SAFI-Tech’s patent-pending Liquital™ technology uses supercooled liquid metal particles that can solder electronic components without heat. The SAFI-Tech team is working on two manufacturing applications for Liquital™: no-heat soldering for flexible electronics and 3-D metal printing for multi-material additive manufacturing. The POCR award will provide funding for market planning and entry, equipment and hiring key personnel.

Gross-Wen Technologies, Inc. (GWT) received a $100,000 Demonstration Fund award for hiring key personnel. GWT is commercializing an algal wastewater treatment technology developed at Iowa State.  The technology, called the Revolving Algal Biofilm Treatment System (RAB), removes nitrogen, phosphorus and other pollutants from municipal and industrial wastewaters. The algae biomass that is produced can then be used as a slow-release algal fertilizer.

Award winners from cohort two:

ETALYC, LLC received a $25,000 POCR award for purchasing equipment. The company’s INSIGHT and INCONTROL solutions build intelligence for roadways by using deep learning and big data analytics.

Nebullam, LLC received a $25,000 POCR award for IP development and evaluation, and product refinement. Nebullam is designing and manufacturing high pressure aeroponics units, powered by artificial intelligence.

Award winner from cohort three: 

Tractor Zoom received a $25,000 POCR award for proof of concept work, product refinement, market planning and entry and hiring key personnel. Tractor Zoom is a searchable mobile app platform for farm equipment auctions. The app allows users to search auction inventory across the country from a mobile device.

The Startup Factory is currently conducting applicant reviews for its fourth cohort. The fourth cohort will start on January 9, 2018.

In total, the IEDA announced over $246 million in capital investment in Iowa for planned or proposed projects located in Riverdale, Swisher, Fort Dodge, Urbandale, Newton, Ames, Iowa City and Sioux City along with innovation funding for eight startups.


About Startup Factory
The Iowa State University (ISU) Startup Factory is a 52-week intensive program housed at the ISU Research Park (ISURP). Entrepreneurs in the Startup Factory receive formal training, resources, and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors, and investors in two 26-week blocks: the first a formal curriculum centered on business validation, and the second, customized to their individual business needs. For more information on the ISU Startup Factory program, call 515-294-7444 or visit