AMES, Iowa (Oct. 4, 2019) – The Iowa State University Startup Factory today announced that cohort six team Kimle Aquaculture, LLC has been awarded a $100,000 investment through the Wellmark Venture Capital Fund, and a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board.

Founded in 2018, Iowa-based Kimle Aquaculture is developing a proprietary turnkey solution for indoor fish production. The technology aims to solve many challenges aquaculture producers face by simplifying facility design while increasing production and lowering producers’ operational and energy consumption costs.

The Wellmark investment will help finance a portion of construction and operating costs for a planned full-scale research and development shrimp demonstration production facility; the IEDA loan will provide funding for marketing and equipment.

Kimle Aquaculture President Jackson Kimle says the facility will be integral in bringing future aquaculture producers to the state.

“Funding through Wellmark Venture Capital Fund and IEDA helps bring us one step closer to sustainable seafood production in Iowa,” Kimle said. “The facility will allow our company to prove our systems’ performance at commercial scale and sell to future customers.”

Kimle Aquaculture utilizes an algae-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) to remove nitrogen, phosphorus and other pollutants from aquaculture wastewater.

“Our system is based on Gross-Wen Technologies’ patented Revolving Algal Biofilm (RAB) treatment system, the most advanced technology available today,” Kimle said. “Algae-based treatment provides the opportunity to capture fish production wastes and nutrients. The algae uses all the dissolved wastes in the production process, which allows us to simplify facility designs by pulling four unit processes into one. This not only makes the production process more efficient, it also significantly decreases the production facility footprint, cutting down on construction and operating costs.”

Kimle says other system benefits are water can be re-used and recycled, and as algae more effectively captures waste products, its system uses significantly less energy, creating additional operating costs savings. “And the algae biomass produced provides a valuable by-product,” he adds.

The facility will allow Kimle Aquaculture to scale its production of shrimp and algae and secure purchase agreements for these products. Kimle says, per capita, shrimp is the most consumed seafood in the U.S., followed next by salmon.

“We see a growing opportunity for aquaculture farming right here in Iowa,” Kimle said. “Our scalable, sustainable solution will help farmers looking to enter this niche market the chance to jump on the bandwagon, to reap the benefits of aquaculture farming’s broad market appeal and increase their profit margins.”

Kimle Aquaculture is a cohort six member of the ISU Startup Factory, a 52-week intensive program housed at the ISU Research Park. As a member of the program, the company received formal training through a curriculum centered on business validation, customized mentoring, resources, and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors, and investors.


About Kimle Aquaculture
Kimle Aquaculture, co-founded by Jackson Kimle and Matthew Ellis, is developing a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) based on revolutionary revolving algal biofilm technology. The startups’ turn-key solution aims to solve many challenges aquaculture producers face by simplifying operations, lowering operating costs and the minimum economically viable production facility size. For more information on Kimle Aquaculture, visit

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
Establish in 1987, The Iowa State University Research Park (ISURP) is a 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 96 companies and research centers and 10 affiliates, employing 2,253 and 89 people, respectively, and occupies approximately 800,000 square feet of commercial real estate on 400 acres. For more information on ISURP, call 515.296.4204 or visit

Julie Lelonek, Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations Communications

Iowa State University
Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations
1805 Collaboration Place
Ames, IA  50010