Middle Bit: Ames named top startup community by SPN; Hy-Vee expands offerings in Des Moines

Fourteen Midwestern startup communities were ranked by the Silicon Prairie News in the first ever “State of the Silicon Prairie Report” that found Ames being the top startup community.

According to the report, SPN partnered with Chapman and Company, a regional consulting firm to create the report. An algorithm was created with the intent of identifying significant building blocks for all ecosystems, and weighing those building blocks against one another.

Rounding out the top five were Kansas City, Mo; St. Louis, Mo; Lincoln, Neb.; Des Moines, Iowa.

The complete list:

  1. Ames, Iowa
  2. Kansas City, Mo.
  3. St. Louis, Mo.
  4. Lincoln, Neb.
  5. Des Moines, Iowa
  6. Iowa City, Iowa
  7. Columbia, Mo.
  8. Omaha, Neb.
  9. Sioux City, Iowa
  10. Sioux Falls, N.D.
  11. Lawrence, Kan.
  12. Manhattan, Kan.
  13. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  14. Wichita, Kan.

Hy-Vee focuses on health

The newest concept for the West Des Moines, Iowa based grocer is a health market with a health food store, pharmacy, clinic, fitness studio and even groceries that will open in western Urbandale, according to The Des Moines Register.

According to The Register, the new building will be 17,000 square-feet on 4.25 acres in. The fitness center would be the second for the company that would include nutrition consultations and fitness classes.

The health clinic will be similar to those in about 58 other Hy-Vee stores, according to The Register.

Hy-Vee has about 240 stores in eight states.

Detroit venture firm closes with $45 million

A young, early-stage venture firm in Detroit – Ludlow Ventures – closed its second venture fund with $45 million in capital commitments, according to techcrunch.

According to the story, Ludlow Ventures was originally aiming for $40 million and its investors, or limited partners, include four institutions, along with numerous family offices and high-net-worth individuals.

Dan Gilbert – owner of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers – is a partner in Ludlow Ventures, according to the story.

What else happened…


• Q&A w/ Chipotle’s Produce Safety Manager on responding to crises using tech – agfundernews.com


• The Safe + Fair Food Company – a Chicago-based food startup – raised $10 million in Series C funding. Acre Venture Partners led the round.


• Iowa beef company can export to China – thegazette.com


• Proxibid appoints Damon Peters Chief Marketing Officer – siliconprairienews.com


• Target launches its new quick delivery service – TCBmag.com


• Columbus insurance tech company raises $5 million from one investor – bizjournals.com

• PatientPoint – a Cincinnati, Ohio based – exam room education display program provider raised $140 million in funding, according to Reuters. Investors include Searchlight Capital Partners and Silver Point Capital.