AMES, Iowa (July 22, 2020) – The Iowa State University Startup Factory today announced the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board has approved innovation funding for three companies from its program. Three cohorts within the Startup Factory program were represented in this round of IEDA awards.

Awardee from cohort one:
Gross-Wen Technologies, Inc. (GWT) received a $250,000 Innovation Acceleration Propel fund for product refinement and key personnel. GWT is commercializing an algal wastewater treatment technology developed and patented at Iowa State. The technology, called the revolving algal biofilm (RAB) system, enables the effective and sustainable use of algae to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater. The algae biomass that is produced can then be used as a slow-release algal fertilizer. GWT is headquartered in Slater.

Awardee from cohort six:
3D Health Solutions, Inc., (3DHS) received a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for proof of concept work and key personnel. The startup is developing 3-dimensional in vitro canine cell culture lines for therapeutic drug screening purposes. 3DHS’ technology will aid pharmaceutical customers in developing new drugs in a more timely and cost-effective manner, thus decreasing overall healthcare costs for patients. The company is located at the ISU Research Park in Ames.

Awardee from cohort eight:
Aeroseeder LLC received a $25,000 POCR award for product refinement, equipment and hiring key personnel. Garnavillo-based Aeroseeder builds drone seeders to carry out cover crop seeding. The compact drone platform allows for seeding where land-based equipment cannot be used or where manned aircrafts are not economical.

The Startup Factory is currently accepting applications for its tenth cohort. The tenth cohort will start on January 19, 2021.

In total, the IEDA announced over $182 million in new capital investment in Iowa for planned or proposed projects located in Cedar Rapids, Charles City, Oelwein and West Des Moines. The board also approved innovation funding in support of seven startups located in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Garnavillo, Slater, St. Charles and West Des Moines.



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

Julie Lelonek, Iowa State University Startup Factory Communications

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