Nine startups in 2020 DFA Accelerator class

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The nine startups are from the US, Canada, Israel and the UK. Pic: Getty Images/jacoblund
The nine startups are from the US, Canada, Israel and the UK. Pic: Getty Images/jacoblund

Related tags Dfa incubator start-ups COVID-19 coronavirus

An all-natural sports drink made from dairy by-products, handheld pizza and Philly cheesesteak cones, a green fashion brand creating t-shirts from excess milk and a hand-crafted spirit made from whey are just a few of the startup companies convening virtually this week as Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) launches its 2020 DFA Accelerator class.

The DFA Accelerator is a 90-day immersive program, with a combination of on-site meetings and virtual programs to provide training, growth opportunities and mentorship. Most startups typically spend about four weeks in Kansas City, where DFA is headquartered.

This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the program will kick off remotely for the first two weeks and will also utilize digital training tools and resources in June, with the hope of having some on-site, group learning in July.

“We’re excited about the companies for this year’s class. Not only is this the biggest group that we’ve ever had, but a lot of these companies are developing cutting-edge products and solutions,”​ Doug Dresslaer, director of innovation at DFA, said.

“Plus, on both the ag tech and food sides of the program, we have companies doing really cool things with sustainability and dairy by-products, which is a strategic focus for our cooperative and the industry.”

Throughout the program, startups have opportunities to meet with DFA executives and other investors and industry leaders. Participants also receive guidance and advice on business development, product development, marketing and other aspects of startup growth.

The nine startups

There are four companies in the ag tech category.

Armenta, from Ra’anana, Israel, is presenting a non-invasive technology for antibiotic-free treatment of bovine mastitis.

Capro-X, from Ithaca, N.Y., has developed a sustainable solution for whey waste from Greek yogurt production.

Livestock Water Recycling, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has created a manure treatment technology, which recycles 75% of manure into clean water while segregating manure nutrients for precision fertilizer application.

Mi Terro, located in Los Angeles, California, is entering the program with a sustainable fashion brand that uses excess milk to make men’s and women’s t-shirts.

In the dairy food products category, Chank’s Grab-N-Go, in Millville, N.J., is a handheld snack company featuring pizza cones, philly cheesesteak cones and more.

GoodSport, from Chicago, Ill., has created a sports drink made from milk that uses only natural ingredients and has naturally-occurring electrolytes and vitamins.

SuperFrau, based in Cambridge, Mass., has developed electrolyte drinks made from upcycling surplus whey, with no added sugars.

Also in the whey category, Wheyward Spirit, from Eugene, Ore., has created a premium spirit made from whey.

In London, UK, Yaar Nordic Quark Bar makes Nordic chilled dairy snacks made with quark.

Since its inception, the DFA Accelerator has worked with 25 companies and has continued to work with the majority of these companies in some capacity after the 90-day program. To date, 94% of the alumni companies are still in business today.

The 2020 DFA Accelerator will culminate with a Demo Day on July 30, where the startups will showcase their ideas.