DFA announces participants for the 2019 Sprint Accelerator

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

Industry leaders from DFA, CoBank and Sprint will mentor the startups and create strategic, long-term partnerships.
Industry leaders from DFA, CoBank and Sprint will mentor the startups and create strategic, long-term partnerships.

Related tags accelerator incubator Dfa Agriculture

Seven dairy companies have joined the 2019 class of the Kansas City-based Sprint Accelerator. Co-sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), ag tech and food product brands will spend three months under mentorship and collaboration with experts from the DFA.

The third annual Sprint Accelerator kicks off in Kansas City this month and will run for 90 days before Demo Day on June 27. Sprint and DFA have split this year’s class into three verticals--5G technology, ag tech and dairy food products--though DFA and the dairy startups will not be involved in the 5G technology vertical.

The startups will have access to office space in Kansas City, though it’s not required for them to relocate for the duration of the program. They will participate in meetings with the corporate teams to discuss business development, pilots and potential sponsorships.

Before beginning, the startups and corporate partners developed between three and five key goals that each will work to accomplish during the program. Additional business building sessions will focus on product, brand, marketing and entrepreneurship. Industry leaders from DFA, CoBank and Sprint will mentor the startups and create strategic, long-term partnerships.

Monica Massey, executive VP and chief of staff at DFA, said, “It has been rewarding to help mentor these entrepreneurs, and we’re thrilled to get started with another class for this year’s DFA Accelerator. Plus, we’ve found that we learn along the way too.”

“By working and collaborating with ag tech and dairy food startup companies, we’re helping develop solutions that will not only provide value for our farm families and their operations, but will also help drive consumer demand for dairy.”

According to Sprint, the programs are “structured around the strategic business needs of both the corporate partners and the startup companies selected for the program,” ​and that “startups will be selected based on the current business needs of the corporate partners involved.”

DFA described the seven selected dairy startups:

Ag tech

Bezoar Laboratories (Bryan, Texas): Bezoar’s current innovation is a patent-pending probiotic for cattle that, when paired with nitrate, decreases their methane production by 50%, while providing additional benefits.

Cattle Care (San Francisco): Using low-cost video cameras, Cattle Care detects, recognizes and tracks every cow as well as business processes and makes decisions for the farmer about the treatment of a particular cow or a whole barn.

Healthy Cow (Toronto, Canada): Healthy Cow is an ag-biotechnology helping dairy farmers to produce more wholesome, natural and nutritious milk while simultaneously reducing their dependence on antibiotics and hormones. Healthy Cow recently participated in the FoodBytes! San Francisco pitch competition​.

Labby (Boston): Labby is an artificial intelligence-powered smartphone platform for food and agro analytics.

Dairy food products

Brooklyn Buttery (Brooklyn, N.Y.): Brooklyn Buttery is creating butter using sustainably sourced ingredients.

Numa (Bridgewater, N.J.): Numa makes all-natural sweet, chewy milk treats with six natural ingredients and four grams of protein.

RifRaf (Brooklyn, N.Y.): RifRaf offers creamy ricotta cups.

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