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Middle Bit: Use the Clay & Milk job board to find talent

Clay and Milk

Because of a classroom activity and a growing need around Iowa, Clay & Milk is launching a jobs board to give companies a platform to post their open positions.

The idea for the Clay & Milk jobs board originated because of my Drake University graduate class. We were asked to think of new ideas for a company while using no new resources. I thought a jobs board could help Clay & Milk attract more visitors and be something valuable to so many companies in Iowa that are growing and looking to hire.

MORE: Recruiting: A necessary evil for founders

After noticing the layout of the jobs board at—which features jobs only in Kansas City—I spoke with editor Bobby Burch to pick his brain on how they went about setting it up.

And like most everybody else in a startup community, he was more than willing to help.

“It’s really been about bringing more people into the startup community and helping these companies find the talent they need,” Burch told me.

So Clay & Milk is trying to do the same. If you are interested in posting a job, reach out to for more details.

Last day for Clay & Milk Managing Editor

Joey Aguirre
Joey Aguirre served as Managing Editor of Clay & Milk for just over a year. He will be joining the marketing team at Dwolla starting Monday. Photo by Jami Milne

Joey Aguirre, who has been the Managing Editor of Clay & Milk since May of 2017, is leaving the site to join the marketing team at Dwolla, the Des Moines-based online payments company.

Today is his last day.

Aguirre said, “I’ve always wanted to quote myself in one of my own stories, so I’m taking this opportunity to cross that off my bucket list.”

But in all seriousness, thank you to everyone for reading and thank you for being so good at what you do. You keep us busy and are the reason this site even exists. We published over 500 stories as my time as editor, our newsletter has hundreds of subscribers in 22 states and six countries and our Twitter and Facebook profiles just surpassed their own milestones.

It proves Ben Milne and Geoff Wood were right for starting their own publication. And as the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor Art Cullen once wrote, “People care about what is happening in Iowa.”

Know someone who might be qualified? Send them this.

What else is happening…


OnKure, Inc., a Boulder-based drug discovery and development company completed seven million Series A financing – FinSMEs


7wireVentures, a Chicago-based early stage healthcare venture capital firm, closed a $100 million fund – FinSMEs









Middle Bit: Use the Clay & Milk job board to find talent | 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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