Middle Bit: Iowa Gov. Reynolds wants to increase manufacturing; St. Louis based tech scam settled by FTC

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During a 15 minute speech Thursday in Dubuque in front of 400 business leaders Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds applauded the state’s low unemployment rate of 3.1 percent and said the state’s goal is to increase its annual manufacturing gross domestic product by $3 billion by 2022.

Reynolds spoke on the final day of the Taking Care of Business Conference at Grand River Center.  According to the Telegraph Herald, Reynolds said the biggest constraint to advanced manufacturing is workforce.

“We need a ready, well-equipped and available workforce,” she said.

Nearly $16 million raised in Cleveland

Scout RFP, a Cleveland, Ohio based cloud strategic sourcing platform, announced Thursday that it raised $15.5 million in Series B funding.

Series B funding helps take the business to the next level, past the development stage.

In its announcement Scout RFP said the financing will help expand engineering, extend its reach to serve global customer demands and accelerate the innovation of its sourcing platform.

FTC settles St. Louis-based tech support scam

A federal judge on Tuesday approved the final part of a settlement worth just under $6 million between the Federal Trade Commission and telemarketers accused of running a tech support scam via pop-up ads, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

According to the story, the FTC claims that five com[anies used pop-up internet ads to falsely claim that consumers’ computers need repairs because they had been hacked or infected with a virus.

According to the FTC, consumers thought they were calling numbers associated with Microsoft or Apple, but actually reached a telemarketing boiler room in India where scammers tricked them into spending hundreds of dollars for repairs.

What else happened:

Iowa

• Nearly $3 million in grants awarded to Iowa communities for infrastructure – via Iowa Economic Development Authority

Missouri

• Flame Dragon, an experiment designed by a Washington University engineer professor, is headed to the International Space Station – via The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

• Experiment designed by Wash. U engineering professor heads to International Space Station – via The St. Louis Post Dispatch

• KC Startup takes home $20,000 – via Silconprairienews.com

• St. Louis based Greetabl raised $1.5 million this week – via silconprairienews.com 

Minnesota

Key Surgical, a Minneapolis, Minn. based operating instrument manufacturer and Interlock Medizintechnik GmbH, a Germany-based sterile services departments product supplier, merged to create a provider of sterile processing and operating room supplies – via keysurgical.com

Ohio

Wiretap, a Columbus-based provider of security solutions for Enterprise Social Networks raises $4.9M from Draper Triangle Ventures & others – via finsmes.com