The Middle Bit: Week of Jan. 16

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.


ProtectWise, a Denver cybersecurity startup, announced it had raised an additional $25 million, bringing its total funding to $67 million. Via The Denver Post

Denverite profiled York Space Systems, a startup trying to standardize the production of spacecraft. Via Denverite


Shiftgig, which has a platform to let larger companies hire temporary workers, has raised a $20 million Series C. Via The Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Innovation

Iowa (and Iowa-related)

Workiva, an 11-time winner at the Technology Association of Iowa’s Prometheus Awards, is taking itself out of the running for any additional awards. Instead, the Ames-based company will sponsor the Prometheus’ “Large Technology Company of the Year” award for five years. Via Workiva press release

Connected lighting software company Igor said it plans to double its staff this year. It currently has 13 full-time employees, according to The Business Record. Via press release/The Business Record

The Wall Street Journal recently profiled Pinterest and its CEO Ben Silbermann, who was raised in Iowa. Via The Wall Street Journal

On Friday, the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded loans to four startups:

  • College Raptor (Iowa City) – $300,000 loan
  • Rent It From Owner (Des Moines) – $25,000 loan
  • WatchPoint Data (Cedar Rapids) – $100,000 loan
  • MakuSafe (Ankeny) – $25,000 loan


Minneapolis’ Metropolitan Economic Development Association is raising money to increase the number of loans it can provide to minority entrepreneurs. Via The Star Tribune

Tech.MN released its “Ultimate Guide to Coworking in Minnesota” for 2017. Via Tech.MN


St. Louis leaders are looking to startups, specifically in bioscience, to help rebuild the city’s image and economy, The Associated Press reports. The city will have to contend, however, with levels of inequality. Via The AP

EQ, a St. Louis media outlet for startup news, published an interactive map of the city’s technology and startup community. Via EQ

Firebrand Ventures is partnering with the University of Missouri-Kansas City to give entrepreneurship students a chance at receiving investment from the fund. Via Startland News

Hatchbuck, which has developed marketing software for small businesses, announced it raised a $4 million Series A. Via press release/The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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