Ramco Announces New Entrepreneur Support Center to Boost Industrial Innovation in Central Iowa

August 15, 2018

West Des Moines, Iowa: Ramco Innovations recently launched an entrepreneur support center focused on industrial startups at its enhanced facility in the Valley Junction headquarters. The center, known as Maple Ventures, is designed to provide key infrastructure, knowledge, mentoring and workspace for early-stage companies with industrial hardware or software. The goal is to advance the growth of industrial businesses in Central Iowa, providing more jobs and access to new technologies in a range of industries.

“Maple Ventures has moved us from the coffee shop to the boardroom.”
Mark Frederick, Co-Founder of MakuSafe

Hank Norem, CEO of Ramco Innovations, saw a need for industrial innovation in the Central Iowa area. “We have seen the positive impact of startup incubators on the insurance and agriculture industries here in Central Iowa. Leveraging our 50 year history at Ramco, we can supplement these efforts by providing insight and expertise to budding businesses and startups in the industrial space. Our goal is to help bring life to new innovations in industrial technology that will positively impact our community, the industry and maybe even the world.

Through acceptance into Maple Ventures, early-stage companies gain access to office space, conference rooms, administrative services, product warehousing and other value-add amenities, but most importantly, they have the opportunity to tap into Ramco’s engineering and industrial technology experts, testing facilities and marketing/distribution support. The innovations introduced by these entrepreneurs can have potentially far-reaching impacts on agriculture, robotics, advanced manufacturing, data-collection, machine-learning/AI and many other business segments and technologies.

Maple Ventures is currently assisting two companies; MākuSafe® and FarrPro, and will accept three more qualified startups into a fully-renovated, tech-heavy office space and conference center adjacent to Ramco’s headquarters after build-out is completed this fall. Mark Frederick, Co-Founder of MākuSafe® said, “Maple Ventures has moved us from the coffee shop to the boardroom. We’ve been able to host executive meetings and demonstrate exactly what it is we do at MākuSafe® to key prospects and executives. Maple Ventures has empowered us to focus on our customers and solutions and not be distracted by operational details.

Jason DeStitger, with Twelve19 Ventures, a MākuSafe® investor said, “In order for the start-up community in central Iowa to continue to grow and thrive, it is important that the resources and infrastructure are there to support entrepreneurs in building the next great companies and the resulting economic growth and job creation they provide. Hardware based start-ups bring added challenges and Maple Ventures provides access to equipment, technical expertise, and back office support during the difficult phase of going from idea to product.

Interested entrepreneurs can apply through the website ( www.mapleventures.us ). The qualifications are specific, as this facility is targeted at fostering innovation in the industrial space. To work with Maple Ventures, start-ups or early-stage companies must:

  • Have a full-time founder, and
  • Have an industrial product or solution in beta or beyond.
  • Additional preferred criteria is listed on the website.


Maple Ventures supports industrial startups and early-stage companies at its facilities in West Des Moines, Iowa. Founded by Ramco Innovations in 2018, Maple Ventures seeks to boost industrial innovation and technology in Central Iowa by providing a stable, collaborative environment and infrastructure for technology businesses, allowing them to focus on product development and advancement.



Headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, Ramco Innovations is a leading high-tech industrial automation solutions provider. Since 1962, Ramco Innovations has been committed to helping businesses stay competitive in an ever-changing global economy with creative technology solutions, including factory automation, electrical controls, sensors/vision, safety solutions and robotics. For more information, visit https://www.ramcoi.com or find us on social media:


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