Middle Bit: Iowa preps for automated vehicles; Kauffman Foundation donates $78,000 grant

Automated Vehicles Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

The State of Iowa began looking into automated vehicles about a year and a half ago, according to a story at GCN.com last week.

According to the story, Scott Marler, the director of traffic operations for the Iowa Department of Transportation, told GCN that the state has partnered with the company HERE to, “Start looking at what, “might we need to be examining to be preparing for this future of automated vehicles both in Iowa and the country.”

The state hasn’t made any decisions but is working with HERE on developing high-definition maps that automated vehicles would use, according to the story.

“Our crystal ball is cloudy,” Marler told GCN. “No one has the perfect answer to any of this.”

Kauffman Foundation makes donation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation donated a $78,600 grant to the Kansas City Startup Foundation, according to a story on Startlandnews.com Tuesday.

According to the story, the Kansas City Startup Foundation—which operates StartlandNews.com—used the grant to hire Tommy Felts as its managing editor. Felts will help the website expand its editorial capacity.

Erin Jenkins, program officer in entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation, said the Kansas City Startup Foundation plays an important role in telling the stories of the startup community in Kansas City.

“The KCSF’s role in connecting the Kansas City startup community through Startland News and the StartupKC Help Desk helps build a vibrant, resource-rich entrepreneurial ecosystem here at home,” Jenkins told Startlandnews.com.

Denver marijuana tech firm expanding

MassRoots Inc.,—a Denver-based marijuana tech and social media firm—is planning on acquiring web-based rules and regulations company CannaRegs Ltd. in a $12 million stock transaction, according to a story in The Cannabist Wednesday.

According to the story, CannRegs developed a database of cannabis rules and regulations. The aquisition by MassRoots will allow it to bulk up its software offerings.

What else happened…

Illinois

Truss—a Deerfield, Ill. based commercial real estate tech platform—raised $7.7 million in Series A funding — Tech Crunch

Iowa

Terva lands seed money from Ag Startup Engine – Business Record

Missouri

NGA hopes more tech firms cluster in St. Louis – St. Louis Post Dispatch

Drones help with Eclipse watching – Startlandnews.com

Tommy Felts: How ruffled business feathers led me to Startland – Startlandnews.com

Startups are driving job growth in Kansas City – Kansas City Business Journal

Amazon employs 2,200, more than expected – The St. Louis Post Dispatch

Nebraska

Women’s Startup Lab is looking for their next class – SPN