Iowa State University alumnus Ryan Augustine was recently awarded the Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year award for his startup business, AccuGrain. AccuGrain competed against three national finalists for the title Jan. 11-13, 2016 in Orlando, Fla., at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention. Augustine is from Rose Hill, Iowa.
This is the second year in a row the honor has been given to an Iowa State College of Agriculture & Life Sciences graduate and participant in the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative (AgEI) program.
Augustine (who graduated in 2012 with an agricultural studies major) participated in AgEI’s Student Incubator Program and Econ 334, the Entrepreneurship in Agriculture course, during his time at ISU.
“We are honored to receive this award,” says Ryan Augustine
“Being selected as the American Farm Bureau’s Entrepreneur of the year has been a great honor for AccuGrain. Competitions like these, as well as the many opportunities for mentoring and growth that we had through the Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative at ISU, have helped give us the resources and confidence we need to take our idea from a simple startup to a successful business,” says Augustine.
The Econ 334 course gives students the skills and resources needed to develop business startups. Through this course, Augustine created the AccuGrain concept – an agricultural business using x-ray technology to measure the weight of flowing grain through pictures. Since then AccuGrain has continued to impress members of the industry with its ability to produce accurate data in a timely manner.
A startup company with roots in ISU ag entrepreneur course
“It has been great to see Ryan move this idea from classroom to reality, as it has taken persistent, resourceful work. He has commercialized an ISU-patented technology, a very exciting example of startup development and technology commercialization in a university environment,” says AgEI director Kevin Kimle.
ScoutPro, a crop scouting and pest identification mobile app created by ISU ag education graduates was named the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015. Michael Koenig, Stuart McCulloh and Holden Nyhus created ScoutPro in the Econ 334 course.
AccuGrain received $30,000 in prize money from the competition to help get their business going. Augustine was joined by ISU student and AccuGrain intern, Steven Brockshus during the competition.
The Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative at ISU was established in 2005. The initiative works to broaden understanding of entrepreneurship among faculty and students of the College of Ag & Life Sciences by providing educational experiences to develop students' entrepreneurial skills and increase interaction among students, faculty and agricultural entrepreneurs.