Middle Bit: Applications open for CYstarters summer accelerator

Applications are now open for CYstarters, a 10-week summer accelerator for Iowa State University students or recent graduates for assisting participants with their startup or business idea.

Students selected will receive $6,500 for an individual or $13,000 per student team to spend the 2019 summer pursuing their business model from May 20 to August 2. 

Applications for 2019 are due on March 1 and decisions will be announced in April.

Todd Skokan of BirddogHR leader receives CEO of the Year award

Todd Skokan, president and CEO of BirdDogHR in Urbandale, was recently named 2018 CEO of the Year for the United States by CEO Monthly magazine.

Skokan was one of 50 winners chosen across different industries and countries. He has received several awards in his past five years leading the talent management software firm, including a 2018 Top 50 SaaS CEO award by the SaaS Report, the 2017 Inaugural Joe Rosenfield Leadership Award from Next Level Ventures, and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 Upper Midwest semifinalist award.

What else is happening?


Waitr Holdings, a fast growing restaurant platform for online ordering and on-demand food delivery, today announced that it has signed definitive agreements to acquire Bite Squad, an online restaurant food delivery service, for an aggregate amount of approximately $321.3 million, subject to adjustments, based on the closing price of Waitr’s common stock on December 11, 2018. The purchase price consists of a combination of cash and shares of Waitr common stock.” -TECHdotMN


Onward Financial Inc., a member of the first cohort in NBKC Bank’s Fountain City Fintechaccelerator program, won a $1 million award from the Communities ThriveChallenge, which is put on by The Rockefeller Foundation and the ChanZuckerberg Initiative. -Kansas City Business Journal


University of Wisconsin-Madison spinout Fetch Rewards, Inc. has raised $8 million in venture funding from undisclosed investors on November 29, 2018. The company plans to use the money for general corporate purposes. The company previously raised $9.56 million in August 2017, and $8.5 million in May 2015. -Silicon Prairie News