Peter Thiel Is Bullish on the Midwest. So Are We

Peter Thiel is one of the savviest investors of our time. His $2.5 billion net worth is proof of that. So when Thiel says the next big innovations will be born in the American Midwest, it’s probably a safe bet that he’s onto something — especially since he is planning to put his money where his mouth is.

Dehydration Nation: Preventing One of the Most Common Health Risks in Real-Time

Up to three-fourths of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and the condition can be far more debilitating than it might seem. Mild dehydration — literally, not drinking enough water on a day-to-day basis — can impair cognitive performance by up to 20%, affecting reaction time, mental accuracy and memory. More severe cases, however, can result can result in seizures, brain damage, shock, and death.

Agrifood Conversations, a New Agriculture Innovation Webinar Series

iSelect Fund, The Van Trump Report and The Yield Lab Institute are pleased to announce the launch of a new weekly webinar series entitled Agrifood Conversations featuring the best in agricultural innovation. With in-depth presentations from some of the leading companies and entrepreneurs in the agtech space, Agrifood Conversations is all about driving agriculture innovation forward and sharing the stories, successes and developments in the industry.

Agrilyst: Developing New Tools to Help Indoor Farmers Thrive

Based in Brooklyn, NY, Agrilyst’s SaaS-based platform provides indoor farmers with data-driven insights to make more profitable production decisions, optimizing labor cost efficiency and improving crop yield. With Agrilyst, indoor growers create seeding plans, schedule harvests, assign tasks, manage climate and nutrient density, and forecast yield, sales, and varietal performance.

RNA Is Becoming the New DNA, Opening New Doors in Medicine

If a person’s DNA is the roadmap of their lifetime health, their RNA is more of a real-time barometer, recording what happens in their body on a minute-by-minute basis. Our DNA stores and transfers genetic information, but remains little changed throughout our lives. At best, it can tell us about the probability we will someday develop various diseases — whether or not we will get cancer, for instance, or be susceptible to diabetes or heart disease — but it  can’t tell us much about our current health.

Agrilyst Closes Strategic Funding Round

Agrilyst, the intelligence platform for indoor farms, is pleased to announce the recent closure of its latest strategic fundraising round. New investors included iSelect Fund, Argonautic Ventures, Horizons Lab and Onlan Capital Ventures, with existing investors Compound and New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund joining as a follow-on.

iSelect Monthly Update: January 2018

This is iSelect’s monthly venture update for the month of January 2018. Learn about Mark Zuckerberg’s trip to St. Louis, what iSelect offers to entrepreneurs, what our portfolio companies have been up to, and more.

A Note from iSelect CEO Carter Williams: 2017 Year in Review

As of the end of 2017, iSelect had invested in more than 30 startup companies, created more than 300 new jobs, our portfolio companies raised more than $160 million and the total value of our portfolio companies exceeded $300 million. We were also one of only 21 VCs in the country to have two startups or more named to CB Insights’ Game Changing Startups 2018 list, including Benson Hill Biosystems and Neuros Medical. iSelect also had two startups, Benson Hill and Agrible, named to the Thrive Top 50. In addition, Benson Hill was named to the AI Top 100, while Indalo was named to the Top 20 Startups to Watch in 2018.

Bonumose: Creating Healthy, Affordable Sugars From Agriculture Waste Products

The modern world has a serious problem with sugar. As of 2015, the average American consumes more than 129 pounds of sugar each year, according to the USDA, more than double what we ate two generations ago. And, unlike in previous decades when most sweeteners came from cane and beet sugars, today the vast majority are derived from high-fructose corn syrup, which brings with it unique new health risks.

Why Gen X Can’t Retire: Changing the Calculus of Retirement

As of 2013, the mean retirement savings of all working-age families was just over $95,000, according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Broken down by age group, the average 60+ year old had about $163,000 in total retirement savings (notably down from $211,000 before the financial crisis) while those under 40 barely peaked above $40,000.

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