With the mantra, ‘The best ideas are born out of collaboration,’ DFA offers a community that creates ideas to continue to help propel all avenues of dairy forward.
The cooperative’s CoLab Accelerator program is a 90-day, immersive program that accelerates and grows ag-tech and dairy food startup businesses through mentoring and educational programming. Startups will gain a thorough understanding of the dairy industry and will have the opportunity to work with top executives from DFA and other relevant investors and dairy industry leaders.
This year, a nutrient management solution for agricultural wastewater, an in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology for the farm and a new caffeinated, high protein chocolate milk beverage for adults are just a few of the startup companies selected to participate in the 2022 DFA CoLAB Accelerator program.
“It’s always exciting to welcome a new class of startups into our CoLAB Accelerator program as these companies bring fresh thinking and ideas to benefit our farm family-owners and help further grow and invigorate the dairy case,” Doug Dresslaer, director of cultural innovation at DFA, says. “This year, we’re particularly excited to take a hybrid approach with the program by bringing back more collaborative, in-person sessions while also meeting virtually.”
Throughout the program, participants will receive advice and participate in 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.
The 2022 CoLAB Accelerator Class includes:
- Cattle Scan (Guelph, Canada) – Real-time monitoring technology that measures the biometrics of individual cattle, starting with temperature. Data can be accessed on a cloud-based platform and allows farmers to improve the overall health of their herds.
- The Hago Energetics Company (Camarillo, Calif.) – Aims to helps farms, either cattle or dairy, convert waste, like manure, into fuel cell grade hydrogen using a patented carbon negative approach that does not involve hydrolysis. This hydrogen is expected to sell at a lower cost and have a lower carbon footprint than current methods.
- Lemna (Gilbert, Ariz.) – Provides a comprehensive nutrient management solution for agricultural wastewater through the use of duckweed (aquatic plants) in a controlled growth system. The duckweed also has the potential to provide farmers with a new revenue stream.
- ReproHealth Technologies (Indianapolis, Ind.) – An innovative, patent-pending device that brings IVF technology to the farm. Founders believe the device could potentially double cattle embryo production and reduce reproduction costs.
Dairy Food Products and Dairy Processing Technology
- Smack’d (Lehi, Utah) – Aims to develop a delicious adult chocolate milk beverage that is high in protein, low in sugar and caffeinated.
- Lyras (Aalborg, Denmark) – Developed a UV-light cold pasteurization technology that uses 90% less energy and 60% less water compared to traditional pasteurization.
Since debuting six years ago, the DFA CoLAB Accelerator has worked with 32 companies and continues to work with the majority of these companies in some capacity. To date, 94% of the alumni companies are still in business today.
The 2022 DFA CoLAB Accelerator will culminate with a Demo Day presentation in late June, where the startups will pitch and showcase their ideas. For more information about the DFA CoLAB Accelerator, visit colab.dfamilk.com.