The Middle Bit: Week of Feb. 19

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.


Citing privacy-rights concerns, Amazon is fighting against requests from police in Arkansas for the company to provide recordings from an Echo device connected to a murder investigation. Via TechCrunch


Google is bringing its wireless Gigabit Internet service to Denver. Via The Denver Post

Boulder-based SlamData, an open-source software firm, has raised a $6.7 million Series A. Via The Denver Post


ChicagoInno looked at the startups bolstering the city’s ability to become a hub for innovation in the automotive world. Via ChicagoInno

The CEO of the Illinois Technology Association, Fred Hoch, left the position. Via The Chicago Tribune


Legislation making its way through Iowa’s statehouse targeting Des Moines’ water utility has raised concerns it could negatively affect progress of Microsoft’s third West Des Moines data center. Via The Des Moines Register

Grand View University in Des Moines announced it will add a Game Design and Interactive Analytics major this fall and start an eSports program. Via press release

Multiple profiles emerged of HomeDitty, a new Des Moines company looking to match musicians with people wanting to host concerts in their homes. Via The Des Moines Register/Silicon Prairie News


Ann Arbor’s Clinc, which has developed an AI personal assistant for financial information, raised a $6.3 million Series A. Via TechCrunch

The Middle, Broadly

Steve Case sat down with The Wall Street Journal to talk about his “Rise of the Rest” tour and how to grow startup investment outside of the coasts. Via The Wall Street Journal

Ann Arbor, Denver and Houston are among the cities Verizon has chosen to test its 5G network. Via The Detroit Free Press

Silicon Prairie News announced the finalists for its annual awards. They include Iowa companies Pear Deck, AgriSync,, Flitebrite. Via Silicon Prairie News


Three Bitcoin ATMs have come to St. Louis, marking Coinsource’s first entry into the Midwest. Via

A panel in St. Louis advocated for the city’s ag-tech hub, 39 North, to do more community outreach and development. Via The St. Louis Business Journal

Kansas City will play host to a national student entrepreneur competition in March. Via Startland News


Tech.MN profiled Dispatch, a Minnesota startup looking to break into the courier and delivery industry. Via Tech.MN


An entrepreneur in Omaha may be finding traction for his sprayable duck fat that can be used like Pam cooking spray. Via The Omaha World Herald

North Dakota

Emerging Prairie gave a roundup of the recent “Prairie Capital Summit,” including insights gathered about the startup community. Via Emerging Prairie


The Void, a Utah company, is offering the next innovation for virtual reality, developing a way to map virtual worlds over physical sets. Via The New York Times

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