Innovation Partners

  • Prairie AquaTech Featured in Prairie Business Magazine

    Prairie AquaTech is a small company now, but developers say if it can help farmers in the Dakotas and Minnesota capitalize as a substitute for high-demand fishmeal on the world’s fish farms, it could bloom into something bigger. Created in 2012 as DAST LLC, Prairie AquaTech is developing an enhanced microbial conversion to produce high-protein feed that is converted into pellets for aquaculture. The same processes can be used to make feed for other farm animals, pets and humans.







  • Introducing Prairie AquaTech – A McGowan Capital Portfolio Company

    Prairie AquaTech is a technology company based in Brookings, South Dakota that is improving animal health and nutrition by providing high quality feed ingredients. They are upgrading sustainable, plant-based commodities, such as soybean meal and distillers grain, to high quality ingredients used in aquaculture and other animal feeds. This is because, in 2010, the world reached an inflection point in the production of animal-based protein when aquaculture, or fish production, exceeded beef production in millions of tons produced globally. This inflection point is attributable to changes in consumer preference and the demand for higher quality food. Fishmeal, or dried and ground pelagic fish and fish waste, is the most important feed ingredient used in aquaculture, which represents up to half or more of a producer’s total operating costs. The importance of fishmeal to both animals and humans is due to its protein content of ∼65% and its amino acid profile, supporting nutrient use and growth. However, as a limited resource, fishmeal supply has been the same or declining for decades, which does not support the significant increase in demand due to aquaculture. Therefore, the price of this ingredient has recently increased to more than $2,400 per metric ton.







  • McGowan Capital and SDIP Help New Technology Startups

    From SDSU President, David L. Chicoine and as published in ‘STATE’ magazine in the Fall 2014 issue

    In 2009, a group of investors, led by McGowan Capital Group, formed South Dakota Innovation Partners (SDIP) to launch and provide early-stage funding and business management expertise to technology-based startups, shepherding them through the “valley of death”. SDIP is working with six promising young companies, bringing to market, under a license with the university, new research-derived technologies discovered by SDSU faculty. The Research Park at South Dakota State University, a shared effort with the city and county governments in Brookings, has attracted businesses with space conveniently located near the university.







  • South Dakota Innovation Partners Enhances Brookings Community, Technologies and Start Up Companies

    Following is an excerpt from the Designation Program Submission for South Dakota State University dated May 12, 2014:

    The community of Brookings, South Dakota Innovation Partners (SDIP) and the South Dakota State University are working together to leverage the research, relationships and innovation at the university to create high-paying jobs, license technology and create economic prosperity in the region. The increased industry engagement can be shown in the recent number of agreements (non-disclosure, material transfer, license, collaboration, etc.) between the university and industry. FY2003 yielded five agreements while FY2013 saw 203 executed agreements.
    The university has partnered with SDIP to assist university employee-created companies and has worked with both the Brookings community and SDIP to help those companies survive the valley of death, continue to de-risk the technology and make it more attractive to industry. While certain areas of research have strong industry ties that make technology developed at the university readily available for industry license or for a startup to thrive, the university, SDIP and the Brookings community have heavily invested in making it possible for a startup to succeed with or without established industry contacts.