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Splash starts the conversation by providing a thought platform mobile app


To cut through the clutter and content on social media a Des Moines native developed the idea for a mobile app, “Splash” to be a thought platform that gets people talking.

“See if we can’t keep people online and discussing some of these major issues in our country today,” Splash Founder Mas Panor explained. “We want to have debates and closure to debates. I’m just seeing grumbling.”

Most similar to Reddit, Panor explains that Splash allows users to distinguish themselves in a particular field of interest whether that’s art, entertainment, sports, science, business or news.

Each topic is a different color, so it’s easier for users to filter and find each other.

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If a user finds a discussion board they want to join, they jump in that, “pool.”

Eventually Panor says using location services a user can open Splash in any city, search for musicians in that city, find groups and eventually meet those groups.

Over 200 users have signed up since the launch two months ago.

Panor says his idea behind starting Splash was to target artists and help them find communities where they can do what they do best.

“I wanted to collectivize artists, get more films, music, books,” Panor says. “All these people who are talented and creative, they are getting squashed because they aren’t valued. This was to collectivize artists.”

Panor said if a user asks a specific question in the app, the app will provide a list of all the users who have asked the same or a similar question. Then the user can either join an already established, “pool” or create their own.

“Trying to get these debates mediated between sides and have some sort of a solution,” Panor says. “So we don’t just endlessly bicker.”

Panor is working on further developing the Splash website and hopes to be able to use music from Spotify to better match users.

“We figured in todays world to do mobile first before website but being what we are we need the full web presence,” Panor says.


Splash starts the conversation by providing a thought platform mobile app | 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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