Volume 3, 2016

We specialize in helping farmers, entrepreneurs, and existing businesses
commercialize, license, or sell their ag-technology inventions.


Featured Sponsor:  Watson IP

In 2015 alone, 629,647 patents were filed with United States Patent and Trademark Office.  The mere thought of preparing a patent application is enough to make most of us cringe just a little (well, it makes me cringe anyway).  But not Jovan Jovanovic of Watson Intellectual Property Group!  Jovan, who practices in all areas of intellectual property, enjoys the unique challenges that patents and invention protection present, and has made it his career for over twenty years now. And with a law degree from the University of Illinois backed up by a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, also from the University of Illinois, he is well equipped to perform this type of work.   When we asked Jovan what the most common myth about patents was, he responded: “I often see great problem solvers that solve every day problems in innovative ways, and then minimize the advancement. They think ‘it was nothing,’ ‘it was no big deal,’ or ‘it was just an improvement to an existing technology.’ These people are inventors, their solution may be highly patentable, and a patent that they secure may be highly valuable”.  The Incubator has enjoyed the benefits of Jovan’s knowledge since we opened our doors in 2014.  The expertise he has provided for our clients has been invaluable.   As a sponsor organization, Watson IP helps support the Incubator financially and provides timely legal guidance – which is a big deal when you are starting a business!  When he is not researching prior art or crafting claims, Jovan enjoys lifting heavy things, fixing all sorts of equipment and volunteering at his church.

Hello, My Name Is:  Doug Huesdash

Our Board of Directors is excited to announce that Mr. Doug Huesdash has joined the Incubator team as our full time Senior Business Development Manager!  Doug has used his past CPA experience to help him successfully found three businesses, then used those life experiences to help other entrepreneurs through his consulting business. Now Doug is going to put his years of experience to work for the clients of the Incubator.  Doug and his family recently moved to a 16 acre property in Crockery Township in Ottawa County.  Farmhouse renovations are well underway as are plans for gardening and a backyard flock.  Doug may even try his hand at beekeeping.  The piece of sage advice for entrepreneurs that we have heard quite a bit already from Doug is not to be afraid to get your product to market before it is “perfect” - otherwise you will forever be improving it and never actually selling it.  We look forward to learning more from Doug’s experiences as he helps Incubator clients meet their goals.

USDA Grant Awarded for Promotional Materials

With all of the options available today, successfully marketing your business (even a business incubator!) to your target audience can be a complex task.  The Incubator was very fortunate to be awarded a $55,000 Rural Business Development Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture which will be used for tools that will help us do a better job of telling our story and connecting with potential clients and partners.  So it is possible that our look might change a little in the future, but our service offerings will remain the same. 

Upcoming Event: Midwest AgTech Conference

The Incubator is assisting the Royse Law AgTech Innovation Network in promoting the Midwest AgTech Conference, which takes place on November 15, 2016 in Chicago, IL.  This is the first event of its kind outside Silicon Valley, where Royse Law has put on an event each of the past 3 years, growing attendance from 350 to 600. The event is designed to bring together farmers, founders, technologists, venture capitalists, educators, and government representatives, all for the purpose of sharing knowledge and visionary thinking in the ag-technology space.  A few of the featured speakers include Andy Siolkowski of Cultivian Ventures, Ryan Rakestraw of Monsanto Growth Ventures, and Justin Durdan of Durdan Farms.  We are looking forward to this event taking place here in the Midwest, just a 3 hour drive from West Michigan.  If you will not be in the woods on November 15 and want to attend this event, you can purchase tickets at a 20% discount through our website at

Incubator Q & A

QUESTION: What are the criteria for becoming an Incubator client? 
ANSWERThere is really only one thing that is required for an entity to apply to become a client of the Incubator:  The entity must have a product or idea that has the potential to be profitable and will benefit the agricultural industry.  The first step in the process is a pre-application meeting with Incubator staff.  If staff and the entity agree that the product or idea meets this one criterion, the next step is completing the application.  Then the real work begins.  Collaboratively, the Incubator and applicant perform a preliminary evaluation of numerous factors (e.g. stage of prototype development, potential markets, financial needs, scalability, etc.).  The result of this evaluation process, also referred to as a screening process, will determine whether the entity should sign an Incubator Services Agreement (the document that defines the relationship between the entity and the Incubator), thereby becoming an Incubator client.
To visit sponsor websites, click on the logos below:

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Board of Directors:
Don Disselkoen, Chair  
Cliff Meeuwsen, Vice Chair 
Mark Schmidt, Secretary 
Dan Lennon, Treasurer  
Kurt Brauer
Jim Byrum  
Ben Geiger       
Loren Koeman
Larry Kooiker   
Merle Langeland 
Jennifer Owens  

Ottawa County Commissioner
President, Zeeland Farm Services
Founder, BizStream
President and CEO, Michigan Turkey Producers
Partner, Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP
President, Michigan Agri-Business Association
Barry County Commissioner
President, The Koeman Group
President and Owner, Agritek Industries, Inc
President, Ottawa County Farm Bureau
President, Lakeshore Advantage
Contact us:

Our mailing address is:
12220 Fillmore St Room 260
West Olive, MI 49460

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