The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator announced five agtech startups selected for the program’s 2018 cohort. “We received a number of great applicants from around the country and the world,” said Megan Vollstedt, executive director for the accelerator. The five startups are: U.S. Design Consultants, Osceola, Iowa, which has developed an innovative method of broadcast dispensing granular products; AgHelp, Grand Rapids, Mich. — a mobile platform designed to address the agricultural labor shortage with a holistic approach; BirdPreneur, Abeokuta, Nigeria — a one-stop shop aviculture platform focused on helping individuals and corporate organizations raise birds to increase meat and egg production across the value chain in Nigeria; VakSea, Baltimore — a novel oral vaccine delivery platform for aquaculture designed to be more affordable and effective and easier to deliver; and Krobel Corp., Mankato, Minn. — developing a low-cost, easy-to-manufacture device that monitors the respiratory rate of an individual hog from nursing to finishing which will help notify farmers of potentially sick animals. The program will begin May 29 in Des Moines’ Historic East Village and conclude on Aug. 30. The startups participating in the program will receive intensive mentoring, $40,000 in seed funding, field trips to investor and mentor companies, outreach, networking and presentation opportunities.