Middle Bit: A popup sale Saturday showcases Iowa’s fashion sense

Iowa’s fashion community is having a sale Saturday night.

The Pop Up Stop Fashion Event is a three-hour sale with eleven different clothing companies from around the Midwest. The Iowa-based companies are:

The sale will be from 5-8 p.m. Saturday upstairs at the Des Moines Social Club.

Hosting an event like this is part of a concept Tyra Watson became familiar with while studying abroad in London during the Apparel, Merchandise and Design program at Iowa State University. Watson graduated from the program in 2015. She said she’s been planning the sale since November and had to actually turn away companies.

“Upcoming emerging brands,” Watson says. “Each of the brands I ended up picking are very much street culture and that’s what they represent. That’s something Des Moines doesn’t see a lot of. There’s a lot of people involved with it and wear it, but nobody knows these brands exist to a bigger spectrum of people.”

Watson works as for Buckle as a visual merchandiser and says Iowa—and the Midwest in general—has an underrated fashion community because of the perception of the state.

“Supporting these brands is what motivated me, that’s what really pushed this and to just grow fashion and the awareness in Des Moines,” Watson said. “It’s such a growing city, why not bring something else that isn’t in the financial, real estate or insurance world.”

She hopes to do more events like this in the future in Des Moines.

Firebrand Ventures raises $17 million seed fund

The Kansas City-based venture capital fund Firebrand Ventures announced it had closed its seed fund at $17 million, $10 million over their initial goal of $7 million, according to StartlandNews.com on Wednesday.

Firebrand Ventures is led by former Techstars managing director John Fein. According to the story, Firebrand Ventures will invest in ten to 12 Midwest startups per year with an average investment of $200,000.

Its current portfolio of 12 companies includes the Des Moines-based financial technology company Dwolla.

More: Q&A: John Fein starts Firebrand Ventures to help other founders – Aug. 22, 2017

WorkHound to pitch for $100k at Rise of the Rest

The Des Moines-based tech company was selected to pitch for $100,000 at Rise of the Rest in Chattanooga on May 10, according to a Facebook post on Thursday afternoon.

WorkHound is one of eight companies pitching on May 10 and Chattanooga is one of five stops on the Rise of the Rest Tour in 2018. The winning startup in each city will receive a $100,000 investment from the Rise of the Rest Seed fund.

WorkHound developed a platform for the driving workforce to help companies retain drivers and boost profitability.

What else happened…


Threat X, a Denver-based provider of SaaS-based web application firewall solutions for real-time threat detection and neutralization, closed $8.2 million in Series A funding – Businesswire.com

Welltok, a Denver-based enterprise Software as a Service company for consumer health, raised $75 million in funding – Prnewswire.com

Cherwell Software, a Colorado Springs-based provider of enterprise service management solutions, received a $172 million investment from global investment firm KKR – Businesswire.com


Medical startup raises $7.5 million – TCBmag.com


8-year-old entrepreneur strings together jewelry business – StartlandNews.com

St. Louis-based venture capital firm wins big in startup deal – STLtoday.com


Sotera Medical Corp., a Cleveland-based medical device company developing a novel device for use in cardiac procedures to treat atrial fibrillation, closed initial seed funding in excess of $1 million – FinSMEs