A great place for entrepreneurs with great ideas


Industry connections and expertise, business planning, marketing, product development, patents, and accessing capital. We can help with every stage of your idea.


We are targeting agriculture, animal health and human health companies with a specific set of attributes and characteristics. See if your company is a fit.


We invest $50,000 to $300,000 in qualified companies. Review our process to get started.

Help for Entrepreneurs

The Challenge

Time and time again, we have met entrepreneurs who have a great idea and the drive to make it happen, but simply do not have enough extra cash on hand to take their company to the next level.

So what happens? Sometimes the entrepreneur will put his or her idea on the shelf; other times they push forward and try their best to make it work, which means the company is not getting the attention it needs to thrive.

The Opportunity

What if there was a group of people willing to invest in your early-stage company, and more importantly, invest in you? iiM does just that – we invest $50K - $300K in seed stage companies where the founder has personally invested in the company; raised some money from friends and family; and has a plan for how to scale the company.

We focus on early stage companies that fit in the sectors of animal health, human health or agribusiness by assisting in these areas:

  • Engaging you with our team of experts
  • Connections to Industry-Specific Resources
  • Business Plan Development
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Communication Plan
  • Intellectual Property Defense / Patents

The Approach

Here is our approach:

  • Application: Make sure your company meets our qualifications and complete the application form.
  • Initial Screening: Your application form is reviewed by our screening committe.
  • Executive Committee Vetting: If your application looks good, your company is formally reviewed by the Executive Committee.
  • Due Diligence: If the Executive Committee loves what they see, we then complete a formal due diligence effort. If funding is approved, we will work out the terms/paperwork so you can begin building a wildly successful business.

Submit Your Application


So you’ve got an idea? We can’t wait to learn about it. Solving problems and exploring innovative ideas is what gets us really jazzed.

If your company fits these characteristics, then iiM is going to be a great fit!

Bridge the Gap

We are here to help you bridge the gap between an FFF round of funding (friends, family and founder) and a Series A round.

Company Stage

We invest in companies that are in the seed stage of the development lifecycle, which means they have achieved these benchmarks:

  • Prior investment from friends, family and founder(s)
  • Completion of a working prototype
  • Detailed business plan

Founder Characteristics

We look for companies with founders who are:

  • Passionate
  • Ethical
  • Coachable
  • Resilient and persevering
  • Driven


We invest in companies that solve problems in these industries:

  • Animal Health
  • Human Health
  • Agribusiness


We target companies in the Midwest. That's where we live and that's where were work. Regardless of your products broad reach, we work best with companies that live nearby. However, being from outside of the Midwest does not disqualify you from consideration.


We invest $50k - $300K in companies looking for a total of up to $2M, and strongly prefer to invest in syndicated rounds.

Get Funding

The application is how you introduce yourself to us. Make sure your company meets the following critera before completing the application.

  • Focus on biotech including Animal Health, Human Health, and Agribusiness.
  • Products and services that solve problems and have the capacity to capture significant market share.
  • Passionate, coachable, and ethical founders.
  • Prior investment from FFF.
  • Seeking $50,000 to $1,000,000 in funding.
Start Application
Timeline: 3-5 business days for notification of next steps
Once you submit your application, it is reviewed by our screening committee. Depending on the results:

  • You will be invited to meet with the iiM Director of Innovation for more information gathering.
  • You will be asked to submit more detailed information on your company.
  • We may provide you with constructive feedback on aspects of your business that need additional fine-tuning before getting presented to the Executive Committee.
Timeline: 2-3 weeks after submitting application
Once initial screening is completed, The details of your company will be shared with the Executive Committee.

  • During the Executive Committee meeting, your company will be formally reviewed.
  • If the Executive Committee sees your company as a match, a Due Diligence Subcommittee will be formed.
  • You will receive feedback within two business days of the Executive Committee meeting, and can expect an initial meeting with the Due Diligence Subcommittee within the next two weeks.
Timeline: 4-5 weeks after submitting application
During the Due Dilligence phase:

  • We will review your company financials.
  • We will engage industry experts to better understand your company's potential and any associated risks.
  • We will continue get to know you better and help you determine how to develop a well-rounded management team.
  • You will have an opportunity to present to the Executive Committee and field any questions.
  • Once funding is approved, we will work out the terms/paperwork so you can begin building a wildly successful business.
Timeline: 8-12 weeks after submitting application

Our Team

R. Lee Harris

CEO, Cohen-Esrey, LLC; iiM Managing Member

  • Extensive experience with start-ups. Has personally launched 15 operating companies.
  • Arranged financing totaling more than $250 million for the acquisition and/or development of apartments, office buildings, shopping centers and industrial facilities throughout the U.S.
  • Current mentor through the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program and member of the Kansas Bioscience Authority board of directors.

Jeanette Jayne

Managing Director and Executive VP, Cohen-Esrey, LLC

  • Oversees the administrative integration of all business units and profit centers of Cohen-Esrey, LLC.
  • Manages budget, corporate insurance and legal matters, providing the leadership for the overall corporate infrastructure of Cohen-Esrey.
  • Prior to her years at Cohen-Esrey, Jayne worked for Midland Bank’s REO department, where she was instrumental in preparing $40 million in foreclosed properties for disposition, as well as providing financial management and reporting for numerous properties.

Bob Esrey

Chairman, Cohen-Esrey, LLC

  • Managed more than 60,000 multi-family units and 27 million square feet of commercial space in nearly 200 market across the United States.
  • Taken an active role in leasing, brokerage, syndication, consulting and property management.
  • Given countless hours serving professional associations locally, regionally and nationwide, and is a member of several area boards.

Lee Borck

Chairman, Innovative Livestock Services, Inc.

  • Chairman of the Beef Marketing Group Cooperative.
  • Past President of Cattle-Fax and of the Kansas Livestock Association.
  • Served as a board member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the National Cattleman’s Beef Board.
  • In 2011 was named to Ingram’s "50 Kansans You Should Know" and was elected into the "Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame."

Dr. Kelly Lechtenberg

Founder and President, Midwest Veterinary Services

  • Co-owns the Swine Biomedical Resource Centre, serves as president of Central States Research Centre (CSRC) and is the owner of Logan Valley Feeders, all in Oakland, Nebraska.
  • Founded Midwest Veterinary Services (MVS) with his wife in 1987 and established CSRC in 1995. The companies work to enhance safety and efficacy for cattle, swine and poultry products.
  • Presented papers at over 20 international meetings including a discussion of the role of veterinary medicine in antimicrobial resistance to the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Lamar Eby

Senior Executive, Business and Leadership Development

  • Former Chief Operating Officer of Conklin Company, Inc., a global product manufacturer. During his tenure he reversed stagnant sales to double revenue to over $70 million, managed a team of over 110 employees, and led corporate strategic planning and new product development.
  • Founded and was president of Ag-Resources, Inc., a full service agriculture/horticulture supply firm with four locations that serves over 2500 clients in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • Experiences include consumer packaged goods, cleaning products, pet and livestock supplements, agriculture and building technologies.

Lydia Kinkade

Managing Director, iiM

  • Co-founded iiM with Lee Harris, Bob Esrey, and Jeanette Jayne in 2013.
  • Leads deal sourcing efforts, facilitates the due diligence process, negotiates favorable investment terms for iiM investors and manages the iiM portfolio.
  • Creates partnerships and opportunities for collaboration with earlier- and later-stage funds, accelerators, universities and other stakeholders.
  • Prior to launching iiM, Lydia graduated from Kansas State University, where she currently serves on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Dr. Blake Williamson

Founder of Healthcare Innovations Consulting Group

  • Founder of Healthcare Innovations Consulting Group, a firm focused on working with healthcare providers, payers, and employers in the planning and creation of programs that insure patients recieve value driven care.
  • Senior leadership experience with integrated healthcare organizations, healthcare insurers and healthcare consulting groups.
  • Expertise in patient centered medical home / neighborhood development; developing payer revenue streams for start-up healthcare companies; and assisting employers with data driven creation of healthcare benefit design and wellness programs.

James Neeld

Real Estate and Finance Attorney at the Katz Law Firm

  • Served as a Captain in U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps as a prosecuting attorney, during which time he was the prosecutor in over fifty criminal trials.
  • After service in the JAG Corps he began practicing real estate and transaction law with Scott & Hulse in El Paso, moving to Kansas City 2003 to work at Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal where he made partner.
  • Practices in all areas of real estate law and finance, including lending, leasing, development and incentive based financing with an emphasis on public-private developments.

Jason Rawlings

CEO, Focus Workforces

  • Sole founder of a boot-strapped company starting with zero sales and currently producing $50 million in annual sales and growing at an annual rate of over 25%; other businesses founded have produced sales of $200 million over the past ten years.
  • Skillful at identifying and creating competitive advantages within a company as well as pinpointing weaknesses within a market or competitor and exploiting them.
  • Extensive experience in selling and opening up opportunities within large Fortune 100 and 500 companies, both private and public.

Amanda Curtis

CEO and Founder, Nutripeutics; iiM Consulting Director

  • Conducts due diligence over emerging start-ups and validates their market potential as viable investments in addition to traveling and networking with entrepreneurs who are outside of the Kansas state borders.
  • Sole founder of a commercialization and consulting entity that has helped numerous start-ups both domestically and internationally in commercialization strategies and product positioning.
  • Currently the Director of Product Development for an SBIR I funded start-up specializing in alternatives to antibiotics for the livestock industry, backed by several million dollar awards via USDA and other national grant organizations
  • Amanda is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma where she received a Masters of Molecular Biology, a Masters of Business Administration, and Masters of Management of Information Technology.

Rick Kahle


  • Served in leadership capacities with both of his employers, becoming President of Gallagher Benefit Services, KC and more recently President of Lockton’s Kansas City Benefits team.
  • Spent more than 25 years in the employee benefit consulting field with an emphasis in the areas of healthcare, manufacturing, real estate and food production.
  • While with Lockton, served on the KC Chamber of Commerce and Civic Council Boards, and has held numerous impactful civic and charitable positions, including with United Way, Centurions and Ingram’s. He continues to serve as Chairman of the Board for Phoenix Family.
  • Rick is currently pursuing a variety of entrepreneurial endeavors through business advising and investing.

Jon Ferguson

Former Commercial Farm Operator

  • Jon grew up on an integrated cattle and grain farm, and received a degree in Nuclear Engineering from Kansas State University.
  • Managed 7,000 acre farming operation for over 40 years that consisted of commercial cow-calf enterprise, background drylot enterprise and a dry land farming enterprise.
  • Served as President of Kansas Livestock Association in 1995 and has served in various leadership roles on Kansas Beef Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Cisse Spragins

Founder, Owner & CEO, Rockwell Labs Ltd.

  • Received bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Tennessee and her M.S. Chemistry, M.S. Physics and Ph.D. Physics degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
  • After working for rodenticide manufacturer Bell Laboratories, Inc., founded Rockwell Labs Ltd to develop, manufacture and market innovative IPM insect control products for the professional pest control industry.
  • Dr. Spragins has spoken at pest management conferences worldwide on various topics encompassing IPM insect control. She currently holds leadership roles in multiple professional pest management organizations and was inducted into the Pest Management Professional Hall of Fame in 2018.

Natalie Berigan

iiM Consultant

  • Sources and screens new investment opportunities for iiM pipeline generation.
  • Performs due diligence on prospective companies to evaluate market potential.
  • Natalie is a graduate of Rockhurst University, where she received her Masters of Business Administration and Bachelors in Marketing. She works full-time as a Client Success Consultant at RFP360, where she manages over 250 clients and leads customer engagement, expansion and retention efforts.

David Morris

CEO, Premium Nutritional Products

  • Business administration major and political science minor at Trinity University; and a law degree and MBA from Southern Methodist University.
  • CEO of Premium Nutritional Products, which markets ZuPreem a line of specialty diets for exotic pets as well as zoo animals. ZuPreem is a market leader in diets for companion birds, and is available in over 25 markets around the world.
  • Serves as the Vice Chair of the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF), which has invested more than $126 million since 1948 in research studies that advance the health of animals worldwide.

Todd Morris

  • Grew up on a 9,000 acre farm in Northwest Missouri and graduated from Maryville University.
  • After college, launched his career in the banking industry, focusing on financing families on an individual and personal level.
  • Built and designed multi-million dollar loft and multiplex buildings in Kansas City and the surrounding metropolitan areas.
  • Currently owns a successful commercial restoration and roof consultation company, Square Contractors, which negotiates insurance claims on behalf of their clients.

Daniel E. Walker, Ph.D

Serial Entrepreneur

  • Began his career with Dow Chemical in their pharmaceutical division after receiving his Ph.D. from Purdue University.
  • He has experience in general management, business development, marketing, manufacturing, quality control and regulatory affairs. During his career, Dan built strategic relationships with international companies resulting in licensing, distribution, and corporate partnering agreements.
  • Dan formed his own consulting group in 2002 and has worked for a variety of companies, including extended service as President of a Canadian-based animal healthcare company, and as President & CEO of a Kansas City-based Alphapointe, a nonprofit manufacturer of FDA regulated medical devices, whose mission is to provide employment and services to the blind

Chuck Mackey

President of Capital Management, Inc

  • President of Capital Management, Inc (CMI), which he co-founded in 1993. CMI is a real estate/business development and management company based in Overland Park, Kansas.
  • CMI primarily develops and manages Marriott/Starwood branded hotel properties.
  • Mackey and CMI have founded or developed over 15 companies ranging from startups to national franchises.

Dr. Jamie McAtee

Managing Partner, Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center

  • Dr. McAtee has been the Managing partner of the Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center in Manhattan, KS from 2005-Present.
  • He was President of the Kansas Orthopaedic Society from 2004-2005 and has served as Chairman of the Board of Manhattan Surgical Hospital since 2003.
  • Dr. McAtee has been the Head Team Physician of the Kansas State University athletics department since 1998.

Bob Kirkland

Founding Partner, Kirkland Woods & Martinsen LLP

  • Works with a variety of individual clients, handling the preparation of estate planning instruments, and counseling clients in the areas of estate and gift tax minimization, probate avoidance, gifting techniques, asset protection, charitable planning and business succession planning.
  • Bob is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel ("ACTEC"), is a past Missouri State Chair of ACTEC, and a past member of the ACTEC Board of Regents and ACTEC Executive Committee.
  • Bob is listed in the last twenty-plus editions of The Best Lawyers in America and the most recent editions of Super Lawyers.

Harriet S. Langley, M.D.

Nephrologist, Midwest Nephrology Consultants

  • Dr. Langley is hospitalist at Kansas City Hospitalists and is a nephrologist at Midwest Nephrology Consultants, where she is also the immediate past president.
  • She has served as the Chairman of the Board of the Menorah Medical Center Board of Directors and was the President of the Medical Staff at Menorah Medical Center.
  • Dr. Langley is a mother of four children and hobbies include gardening, traveling, philosophy and reading.

Portfolio Companies


Innate.ly offers a suite of software solutions allowing Veterinarians and clients to closely collaborate to improve animal health. Users can conduct remote health diagnostics, disease surveillance, accurately and quickly document animal health papers, and establish and manage valid Vet Client Patient Relationships.

Mobility Designed

Mobility Designed is redefining mobility through its worldwide patent pending device, the M+D™ Crutch, as well as a complete line of Personal Assistive Mobility Devices. Brilliantly designed from the heart, the company’s mission is to improve the lifestyle’s of those who are mobility challenged while, at the same time, reducing injury and healthcare costs to the individual and society.

Mazen Animal Health

Mazen Animal Health is developing oral vaccines for animal health. This efficient, low cost expression system has oral delivery capability appropriate for both livestock and companion animals, enabling the elimination of cold chain systems and simplifying vaccine administration.


Farmers today connect with their local, trusted agribusiness consultants for help adopting and implementing new technologies, practices, and biological advancements – a network of support resulting from our evolving agriculture industry. AgriSync works to ensure the most important piece of modern agribusiness — the human piece — has its greatest impact.


PhotoniCare is developing a new device that uses light waves to visualize fluid behind the eardrum, resulting in a clear image of fluid density in the ear canal.

P&P Optica

P&P Optica (PPO) combines in-line smart imaging technology with data analytics in a novel way to help ensure the food we eat is safer, higher quality and produced with less waste.


SMRxT’s medication adherence system, Nomi, accurately captures data to reveal how patients take medication. Nomi then translates the data into actionable information for patient interventions and engagement.

Envara Health

Envara Health is a human health company which has created a structured lipid that enables the absorption of long chain fats, essential fatty acids, and certain micronutrients without the need for digestive enzymes. Their structured lipid, called LXS, has been crafted to solve the problem of malnutrition, which affects over 1 billion people worldwide.

Green Dot

Green Dot makes bioplastic and biocomposite pellets. These materials allow designers and manufacturers to lessen the environmental impact of the plastic products we use and love every day, without sacrificing quality or performance.


Thoraguard's core technology ensures chest tube and drainage line patency. Active system monitoring promptly identifies drainage-related issues and activates alarms to notify clinical staff for intervention.

Sway Medical Inc.

Sway Medical creates mobile applications that 1) diagnose and track concussions, 2) test for substance-based impairment in workers, and 3) diagnose and monitor degenerative neurological diseases like Alzheimer's, dementia, and ALS

Resilient Biotics

Resilient Biotics has developed a next-generation discovery platform to identify and validate microbiome-derived, live biotherapeutics for prevention of respiratory infectious disease in animal health applications. Resilient’s technology platform and focus on respiratory infectious disease is translatable to other production animal systems as well as human health.

Pyrames, Inc.

PyrAmes Inc has developed a unique sensor platform that provides continuous blood pressure monitoring in a lightweight, comfortable, wireless package. With its paper-thin, flexible sensor and compact wristwatch form factor, it is an alternative to arterial lines and inflatable cuff-based blood pressure monitoring systems.


There are a variety of ways that accredited investors can invest with us.

iiM Board Member

iiM board members are involved in the investment decisions, due diligence process and direct engagement with portfolio companies.

iiM Syndicate Member

iiM syndicate members receive all due diligence reports, may invest in any iiM portfolio company and are invited to attend bi-monthly board meetings either in person or by video, but do not vote on which companies will receive funding.

Read our Newsletter

If you are interested in becoming an investor,
please contact Lydia Kinkade, iiM Managing Director at lkinkade@iimkc.com.

Contact Us

Lydia Kinkade, Managing Director
iiM, LLC

913-671-3325 (p)
8500 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Suite 150
Merriam, KS 66202