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Neapolitan Labs is helping small businesses with their web presence

For the better part of two decades, Brian McMillin has been developing websites for small businesses in Iowa. McMillin began making websites for others while going to Cornell College in Mt. Vernon as an opportunity to sharpen his skills while making a side-income.

“It sort of slowly snowballed organically until 2016, where I reached the maximum number of projects and clients I could take on by myself,” McMillin said.

With more and more projects piling up, McMillin decided to rebrand his services into Neapolitan Labs in September of 2016 and brought on a team to help him accommodate his growing workload.

“Since rebranding in 2016, we’ve really honed in on school districts, community organizations and convention and visitors bureaus,” McMillin said. “We’ve built some back-end systems to try to make it easy for these organizations keep their websites updated and maintained when we know that their resources are limited.”

In addition to developing websites, Neapolitan Labs also does social media campaigns and creates from-scratch content management systems to help larger organizations maintain their digital presences with ease.

“Our goal is to create a site that helps businesses market themselves and to create a platform that is easy for them to update,” McMillin said.

Neapolitan Labs now maintains over 100 websites, working with nine school districts and over a dozen community organizations.

McMillin told Clay & Milk that he would eventually like to expand Neapolitan Labs to more businesses outside of Iowa.

“Eventually, I see us being a solution for communities, school districts and small businesses across the Midwest,” McMillin said.

1 Comment

  • Ed Munso
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Brian is a pro! Worked with him for a number of years and is one of the most knowledgeable in the digital world>
    -Ed Munson

Comments are closed.

Neapolitan Labs is helping small businesses with their web presence | 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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