The Middle Bit: Jan. 1 – Jan. 7

Each week, Clay & Milk will curate a rundown of startup, tech and innovation news from “the middle.” Check back every Friday for that week’s Middle Bit.


Chicago’s Networked Insights, which collects and analyzes social media posts for data, raised a $30 million Series E. Via Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Innovation

CloudCraze, a business-to-business commerce company also based in Chicago, took in a $20 million Series AVia Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Innovation


Erin Rollenhagen raised outside investment for her company, Entrepreneurial Technologies, from local angel investors Tej Dhawan and Sheldon Ohringer. Dhawan and Ohringer will serve as advisers and partners. Rollenhagen will stay on as CEO. Via The Business Record/press release.

Alec Whitters, founder and CEO of Coralville-based Higher Learning Technologies, made it on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for education. Via Forbes

Mediacom, one of Iowa’s main Internet service providers, is raising its prices, but says it is giving customers speed boosts in exchange. Via The Des Moines Register

The Technology Association of Iowa is seeking nominations for the 2017 Prometheus Awards through Jan. 17.

dsmHack is accepting applications for the 2017 Des Moines Charity Hack, scheduled for March 2-4.


A co-founder of metal band Megadeth is turning coffee entrepreneur. Via The St. Paul Pioneer Press

Tech.Mn has a list of their most read stories from 2016, giving a summary of some innovation news in the state. Via Tech.Mn


Tesla briefly closed, and then reopened, its stores in Missouri due to an ongoing court battle about whether Missouri should renew Tesla’s license to sell vehicles in the state. Via The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Kauffman Foundation’s Victor Hwang detailed his vision for the organization in 2017 and announced some new hires, including Iowan Andy Stoll as Kauffman’s senior program office. Via Startland News/LinkedIn


Lincoln-based sports software company Hudl announced that U.S. Soccer will use two of Hudl’s video analysis products for all 18 U.S. National Teams. Via press release/Lincoln Journal Star

A report by the Nebraska Public Service Commission said the about 500 Uber and Lyft drivers in the state have not hurt the business of traditional taxi companies. Via The Omaha World-Herald


The Cleveland Plain-Dealer has a list of the local startups to watch in 2017. Via The Cleveland Plain-Dealer

Columbus Business First runs down the area’s top VC deals of 2016 and the funds that launched or raised new money last year. Via Columbus Business First


Wisconsin has a growing group of new and “younger” angel investors who are spending their time and money on the state’s startups, according to a report. Via The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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