The Middle Bit: Week of March 5

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.


Englewood is becoming home to coworking spaces as three have opened in the city within the last two years. Via The Denver Post

Google is leasing more space for an office in Boulder, but construction isn’t even complete on its initial plans. Via The Denver Post

Drone flyers in Colorado recently discussed the regulatory landscape and needed laws over UAV flights. Via The Denver Post


Illinois’ universities are seeing a surge in startup activity, including in fund raises by those companies. Via The Chicago Tribune/ChicagoInno

Blue Sky Innovation profiled Kimberly Bryant, the founder of Black Girls Code, which wants to teach 1 million girls of color to code by 2040. Via The Chicago Tribune

Chicago startup Keyo wants to create a future where consumers can pay with their palm through biometric identifiers. Via ChicagoInno


Rockwell Collins shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Cedar Rapids’ companies acquisition of B/E Aerospace. Via Reuters/Cedar Rapids Gazette

Tiffany O’Donnell will take over as CEO of Iowa Women Lead Change, the organization that has previously hosted the “Invest in She” pitch competitions. Via Cedar Rapids Gazette

Higher Learning Technologies announced late last month that it acquired mobile learning app developer gWhiz, including the company’s 150 learning apps and publishing agreements. Via press release

The Middle, broadly

SXSW starts this weekend and entrepreneurs from around the Midwest are likely headed down. Here’s the schedule: Via SXSW

Farmers Business Network, a California firm with operations in Sioux Falls and Davenport, raised a $40 million Series C. Via AgFunder News

Seventy-eight percent of Americans say they are afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle, according to a AAA survey. Via The Detroit Free Press


A pillow fight seems to be forming in Minnesota as two entrepreneurs are both trying to develop better pillows. Via The Minneapolis Star Tribune


Kansas City approved a ‘Digital Equity Strategic Plan’ to further boost its efforts to provide access to high-speed Internet to all of its residents. Via The Kansas City Star

Cerner Corp. opened up its new “Innovations Campus”, filled with nods to the company’s past developing software for the healthcare industry. Via The Kansas City Star

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiled a St. Louis job-matching startup that had to pivot after regulators started going after its key customer. Via The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Missouri regulators seem to be hinting that they can’t be involved in decisions about the placement of electric vehicle charging stations. Via The St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Omaha high school students competed to see which team could create the best 3D printed, prosthetic elbow joints at an annual Invent-a-thon. Via Omaha World Herald

A Lincoln entrepreneur will get nine minutes to pitch his product aimed at convincing younger users to save money at SXSW. Via The Lincoln Journal Star.


Bad Girl Ventures, a nonprofit that educates female entrepreneurs, named its Spring 2017 Launch class of five startups. Via The Cincinnati Enquirer

RESpring, a Cleveland company that provides construction debt for buildings used in the production of marijuana, closed on its first deal. Via The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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