News you may have missed

While we were getting Clay & Milk up and running, we missed some news. So, here’s a brief look at stories we thought worth noting.

We kept this constrained to Iowa so as not to overwhelm the list. Think we missed something or have a story idea for Clay & Milk? Send us a tip.

Late October 2016

iConnect Corp. in Cedar Rapids closed an investment round of about $2.4 million. Iowa venture fund Next Level Ventures led the round. Via press release/Form D

November 2016

Des Moines-based Dwolla announced that it was shutting down its consumer app to focus on selling its API and white-label products. Via The Des Moines Register/press release

The Technology Association of Iowa announced its 2016 Iowa Women of Innovation award winners. Via TAI press release

Nine startups received funding from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Via IEDA press release

Iowa City-based MetaCommunications named CFO Scott Kokotan as its interim CEO. The company did not say why former CEO Bob Long was no longer in the position. Via MetaCommunications press release

An activist fund pushed Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins to drop its $6.4 billion acquisition of B/E Aerospace. The same fund reportedly pressured Rockwell to consider selling itself. Via Bloomberg/The Gazette

December 2016

That Dragon, Cancer — the indie videogame co-created by Iowan Josh Larson — won the “Games for Impact” award during the 2016 Games Awards. Creator Ryan Green gave a tearful speech about the power of videogames when accepting the award. Via Polygon.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is seeking $2 million in the form of a public-private partnership to help expand broadband access throughout the state. Via The Mason City Globe Gazette

Gross-Wen Technologies, an Iowa Startup Factory member, announced it raised $225,000 from angel investor Dave Furbush, the founder of Midwest Project Partners. Via Gross-Wen press release

Coralville-based Vida Diagnostics announced it had raised a $5.1 million investment round, led by Chartline Capital Partners, Rittenhouse Ventures and Next Level Ventures, among others. The company is working on precision pulmonary imaging software. Via Vida Diagnostics press release

Microsoft secured the land for its third data center in West Des Moines, named “Project Osmium.” The company paid $8.4 million for about 160 acres. Via The Business Record

An Ebola vaccine with ties to Ames-based NewLink Genetics was found to be 100 percent effective against the fatal virus. NewLink eventually licensed it to pharmaceutical giant Merck, which is manufacturing the vaccine. Via NBC News/The Lancet

Iowa State University’s Startup Factory announced it second cohort of startups. Twelve new ones will join an existing 10 that are halfway through their time in the program. Via Startup Factory press release

January 2017

A new state law regulating insurance and other requirements for ride-hailing companies like Uber went into effect Jan. 1. Via Iowa Public Radio

Look for roundups of Midwest innovation news every Friday in Clay & Milk’s “The Middle Bit.”

Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at