Middle Bit: Ames and Des Moines listed as one of 5 Up-and-Coming Tech Hotspots

Ames and Des Moines have been listed as one of the top five up and coming tech hotspots in an article by Livability.

“Iowa is another state considered to be a star of the “Silicon Prairie.” The capital city of Des Moines in particular is a stand out — it’s officially the fastest-growing city in the Midwest after successful efforts to recruit and attract millennials,” read the article.

Livability also listed Ames as one of the best cities for entrepreneurs in 2017, citing the city’s top 10 rank in educational attainment top 5 rank in high wage job growth as reasons for making the list. Des Moines also recently ranked among the top 12 cities for tech hiring in the first half of 2018.

Volunteer Iowa announces $12.7 million in support for National Service Programs in Iowa

Volunteer Iowa has approved $12.7 million in federal and state AmeriCorps funding that will leverage private and local funding to support 980 AmeriCorps members.

Iowa will now have nearly 1,600 AmeriCorps members serving, and over 7,600 National Service positions. AmeriCorps State grants provide funding to local organizations to support AmeriCorps members meeting critical community needs in the areas of education, disaster services, health, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, and opioid prevention.

Click here to see the recently announce AmeriCorps State grants.

What else happened…?


Chicago-based EVENTup, an online marketplace for event venues, was acquired by Gather, an Atlanta-based event management software platform for restaurants and venues. –BusinessWire


Microsoft has acquired Flipgrid, a social education app that utilizes short video clips to create collaborative lesson plans. The Minneapolis-based startup, which began life as Vidku, has had strong growth for an experience that has been alternatively described as Instagram and Snapchat for the classroom. Early last year, it reported an 800 percent year-over-year growth in teacher accounts. –TechCrunch


SixThirty, a global financial technology seed fund and business development program, announced on Tuesday the first set of investments out of their second fund, SixThirty 2.0. –SiliconPrairieNews


Ohio’s Mezu raises $10 million to let you send and receive money privately.  The company also announced The investment round was led by Pittsburgh’s Draper Triangle Ventures. JumpStart Inc., Draper Associates, the Ohio Innovation Fund, and North Coast Angel Fund also participated. The app is available to download for free on both iOS and Android. –VentureBeat