AMES, Iowa (July 11, 2017) — Iowa State University Startup Factory today announced its third cohort of entrepreneurs. The ISU Startup Factory is a 52-week intensive program housed at the Iowa State University Research Park that provides a new avenue for students, faculty, and staff to create technology-based businesses.

Entrepreneurs in the ISU 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. The goal is to position Iowa State among the top five universities nationally in startups within five years.

ISU Startup Factory is led by serial entrepreneur and Iowa native-turned-Silicon-Valley-success-story Bill Adamowski. Adamowski joined the ISU Economic Development and Industry Relations team to focus on growing the network of innovation throughout campus. He crafted the framework for the ISU Startup Factory using best practices from the likes of MIT, Stanford and other successful accelerators.

“Since our launch last summer, we are already moving a large number of startups through our program and graduated our first cohort of 10 companies,” Adamowski said. “We have every reason to believe the program’s momentum will continue. All the participating startups have great potential for success – they are companies with big ideas, solving real problems with real solutions. And that’s what we’re here to do; develop a global community of purpose driven entrepreneurs who will make a significant impact on the world.”

Adamowski’s vision for the program is to drive wealth creation and economic prosperity for entrepreneurs, investors and communities. To accomplish that goal, Adamowski is creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem within the Startup Factory space and is inviting others to become involved.

“We are looking for strategic partners who would like to surround themselves with successful startups, building essentially, a network effect within the community we’ve started here,” Adamowski said. “By co-locating here, stakeholders can build relationships with the startup companies right here in our ISU Startup Factory space.”

To that end, the ISU Research Park recently completed construction on a series of offices available for lease within the ISU Startup Factory’s space on the second floor of the Vermeer Applied Technology Hub.

“Entrepreneurial stakeholders can appreciate the bigger picture we are building, much like the Research Park has demonstrated the benefits that companies obtain by locating near each other and near Iowa State’s resources, we are growing an entrepreneurial network within our own space,” Adamowski said.

Adamowski said another way to become involved in the program is by becoming a mentor, advisor or investor. “We welcome those who are interested to get in touch with us.”

For more information on mentoring, advising, and investment opportunities with the ISU Startup Factory, please email or visit

The following are the names of the participating startups in the third cohort:

E.S.A.R.C.”s “designAR,” founded by Bhimesh S Chauhan & Deeksha Juneja, is augmented reality design software that allows designers to design, modify, interact and visualize their design in 3-D and collaborate to make the design a reality.

ESTose Biorenewables, founded by Zengyi Shao, Peter Keeling, Mingfeng Cao, Miguel Suastegui, & Meirong Gao, aims to develop microbial platforms to produce plants-sourced nutraceuticals.

Flynested LLC, founded by Tommy Reins, Sam Cook, & Alex Chally, provides an innovative station for the drone industry that quickly swaps batteries without human interaction and enables drones to be in the air longer.

Hurd Health Group, founded by Dillon Hurd, is a biomedical engineering research company currently developing a cardio assist device with a solid-state electromagnetic drive system.

Ideopak, founded by Keith Vorst & Nathan Davis, helps create safe and sustainable packaging through real-time monitoring technology.

N-Sense, LLC, founded by David Laird, Natalia Rogovska, & Thomas Chiou, is developing a field mobile soil nitrate sensor system to measure soil nitrogen status and facilitate precision nitrogen fertilizer applications thereby reducing nitrate loss to surface and ground water and fertilizer costs for farmers.

Optical Operations, founded by Andrew Guillemette & Mason Ogbourne, is focused on delivering accurate, real- time information from industrial sites through an augmented reality interface, allowing worksite supervisors to view virtual recreations of the jobsite from anywhere, at any time.

Propelled Solutions, founded by Nolan Herlocker, makes attachments for drones that are innovative in their simplicity and the range of uses in many industries.

The Oh Ball, founded by Kipp Hagaman, is an Iowa-based manufacturer of a revolutionary, yet simple, line of foot pain treatment devices. The Oh Ball products treat foot pain caused by such things as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or just long hours on one’s feet in harsh, unforgiving environments.

Tractor Zoom, founded by Kyle McMahon, is an online and mobile app marketplace specifically for agricultural machinery auctions.

Waves, founded by Srdjan Pavelic, is shifting the paradigm in speaker systems while connecting the disconnect between user and device through semantics and functionality.


About ISU 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

About ISU Research Park
The Iowa State University Research Park (ISURP) is a 30-year-old real estate development community closely affiliated with Iowa State University. ISURP assists both established and startup companies in connecting with Iowa State’s vast infrastructure to grow their enterprises; whether through students,research entities, equipment or a multitude of other resources. ISURP is currently home to more than 70 companies, employs 1,700 people and occupies 600,000 square feet of commercial real estate on 400 acres. ISURP recently expanded into 200 acres of developable space, which will include tenant amenities, a park and multi-use trails. For more information on ISURP, call 515.296.4204 or visit

Contact:  Julie Lelonek
Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations