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This Ag-Tech Incubator Offers Both Independence and Assistance The Michigan-based launchpad offers a three-year program that lets farmers work in their own space while learning from others.

By Michelle Goodman

This story appears in the September 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Ronald Reimink
In production: Frank Van Kempen of GrassRoots Energy.

Check out other industries that are benefiting from launchpads here.

Many agricultural-technology entrepreneurs are farmers who've taken to their garages or workshops to build mechanical devices that solve common agrarian problems. To serve such inventors, government officials in Ottawa County, Mich., developed the Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator.

This three-year program—piloted in 2014 and now operating as an independent nonprofit—doesn't corral startups into a communal workspace. Instead, participants work solo at home, periodically meeting with mentors in county government conference rooms to work on commercializing their equipment, machines, software or other ag-tech inventions.

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