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Middle Bit: Iowa DNR eliminates jobs, dissolves forestry bureau; Nebraska sports company Hudl raises $30 million

After receiving a $1.2 million cut to its budget the Iowa Department of Natural Resources responded by closing its Bureau of Forestry and eliminating several positions, according to The Des Moines Register.

According to The Register, the department dissolved the forestry unit this week and eliminated the bureau chief position and reassigned the state’s foresters to other various bureaus and divisions. It also cut the position of state geologist and ended a federally aided program for park improvements.

The changes were announced Wednesday.

Sports video company Hudl raises $30 million

Hudl—a Nebraska-bsaed company that provides video review and performance analysis tools for sports teams— raised $30 million to provide teams with quicker access to the insights they use for training and game preparation according to a news release on

Hudl works with over 153,000 teams and is used in Iowa High School Sports all the way up to professional sports teams.

According to the release, Hudl plans to pair innovations in machine learning and computer vision with in-house professional analysts to bring cutting-edge sports analytics to teams around the world.

“We started offering assisted analysis services two years ago to U.S. high school basketball teams,” David Graff, CEO of Hudl, said in the release. “The demand from teams across sports and levels of play has been overwhelming. We’ll provide analysis for over 300,000 games around the world this year.”

Hudl is headquartered in Lincoln, Neb.

What else happened…


NBC Universal buys Denver video startup Craftsy – The Denver Post


Taxes raised with 2018 budget – The Chicago Tribune

Wind Point Partners—a Chicago-based private equity and venture capital firm—raised $985 million for its eighth fund, Wind Point Partners VIII.


FIN Capital takes a women’s approach to angel investing –

Sweet corn ready for Des Moines farmers market – The Des Moines Register

A closer look at Megan VollstedtBusiness Record

18 states suing Department of Education –


The Nebraska Builder Initiative is changing entrepreneurship and education –


Largest ever meeting of ecosystem builders takes place –

Worry grows over proposed Medicaid cuts – The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dollar Express stores will be converted to Dollar General – The St. Louis Post Dispatch


Who is the business candidate in the Mayor’s race? –


Techies boomerang to Midwest to spread wealth after Trump – USA Today

Middle Bit: Iowa DNR eliminates jobs, dissolves forestry bureau; Nebraska sports company Hudl raises $30 million | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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