The Middle Bit: Week of Jan. 29

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.


Five Colorado startups raised a combined $49.5 million in funding in the first month of 2017. Via Denverite


Illinois has reached a settlement with HR startup Zenefits after investigators found the company allows unlicensed employees to sell insurance. Via The Associated Press

Chicago’s Uptake Technologies, a predictive analytics company, announced it raised $40 million. Uptake was valued at $2 billion, the Chicago Tribune reporter. Via The Chicago Tribune’s Blue Sky Innovation


Lawmakers in Indiana are trying to rework a bill that would otherwise bar Tesla from selling its vehicles directly in the state. Via The Associated Press


A group of students in Davenport is participating in the EON Innovation Academy, studying how to make virtual and augmented reality content and software. Via The Quad City Times

Des Moines-based Certintell has received $75,000 in investment from Village Capital after going through a mentorship and development program hosted by Village. Via Village Capital press release

EntreFest is slated to return to Iowa City in May. The Cedar Rapids Gazette has some details. Via The Cedar Rapids Gazette


Amazon announced this week that it will build a $1.5 billion air cargo hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, the first hub Amazon has built. Via The Wall Street Journal/Cincinnati Enquirer

Ohio Gov. John Kasich had tried to get the hub for Wilmington Air Park, instead of the about 2,700 jobs going to Kentucky. Via The Cincinnati Enquirer

The $1.1 billion sale of Columbus healthcare technology company CoverMyMeds to McKesson Corp. is being hailed as a “pivotal moment” for central Ohio’s startup community. Via The Columbus Dispatch


Target is pulling back on its innovation initiatives after declining sales. The retailer has ended e-commerce startup Goldfish and shelved other projects. Via The Minneapolis Star Tribune


Budget cuts made by Missouri’s new governor, Eric Greitens, mean two organizations focused on entrepreneurship are taking a hit. Via Startland News

Kansas City-based health supplement company Life Equals has raised $780,000 and plans to open a larger office. Via Startland News


Madison-based EatStreet, a service that allows people to order meals via an app, will start delivering food. Via The Wisconsin State Journal

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