Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Middle Bit: K.C Startup Foundation receives $1 million donation; Minneapolis company starts youth sports directory

Clark Tower

Affinity Worldwide donated $1 million to the Kansas City Startup Foundation—a nonprofit connecting the local startup ecosystem in Kansas City, Mo—according to a story Sunday on

As part of the donation, Kansas City-based Affinity also donated ownership of the Center for Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development—the parent organization of Startland News— to the foundation, according to the story.

The Kansas City Startup Foundation will absorb the programs and staff from the Center for Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development.

The $1 million donation will be distributed over five years. The foundation now has more resources and several established brands that could lead to improved opportunities to privately fundraise.

“This merger will allow us to take all of our efforts to the next level,” Adam Arredondo, Executive Director of the Kansas City Startup Foundation and co-founder of the Center for Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, told Startland News. “We’ve had a number of ideas on the back burner until we expanded our capacity. Our capacity is officially expanded.”

Youth sports directory from Minneapolis company

Minneapolis-based Sports Engine Inc. is launching the largest youth sports directory in North America, according to a story Tuesday in the Star Tribune.

According to the story, Sports Engine Inc. was purchased by NBC Sports Group last summer and is the nations largest provider of web software and mobile applications to manage youth, amateur and professional sports. It’s new directory is intended to be a search engine for parents looking for youth sports programs in their areas.

Parents use details such as what sport they want, postal code, gender and age to find leagues. They can then see what sports are offered in their area, cost and contact information.

The Sports Engine Youth Directory has more than 100,000 youth sports listings.

Watch a robot work in a St. Louis grocery store

Towards the end of July the St.Louis Post Dispatch reported a robot would be roaming the halls of certain Schnucks grocery stores in the St. Louis area during a six-week pilot test.

The pilot started last week.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch posted a video of the robot here.

What else happened…


BP makes natural gas find near Colorado border – The Denver Post

Stream raises $3 million from Arthur Ventures – GetStream.Io


Chicago’s coworking scene gains a new firm – The Chicago Tribune


Nationwide pays $321,000 to Iowa in data breach settlement – The Des Moines Register

Ag Startup Engine adds Peterson Genetics –


Amazon opening package pickup store at Eastern Michigan University – Detroit Free Press


St. Louis startup Confluence Life Sciences sold – St. Louis Post Dispatch

PowerPost expands outside of St. Louis – Silicon Prairie News


Kohls sale’s fall but traffic improves – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Middle Bit: K.C Startup Foundation receives $1 million donation; Minneapolis company starts youth sports directory | 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
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now