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Middle Bit: BSides Security Conference will take place April 20


The 2019 BSidesIowa Security Conference is set to take place Saturday, April 20 at Grand View University in Des Moines.

This will be the 6th time the event has been held in Iowa, making BSidesIowa is the longest running security conference in the state.

“The purpose of the conference is to drive community-drive security conferences at a low-cost,” said Gret Hatrick, lead organizer of the conference. “The talks that we have are very community-based. It’s people in the community about research they’re doing or things they’re learning, just sharing relevant and cool information.”

The conference will consist of a combination of workshops and talks throughout the day along with a Capture the Flag event presented by SecDSM. BSides Iowa is currently looking for presenters to speak at this year’s event.

“Being in Iowa, we don’t have a big offensive security community so a lot of the talks will be about how to defend your network or the corporate network you’re working for,” Hetrick said.

Tickets to the conference are $20 and admission is free for students. The first 150 attendees to purchase tickets will receive an LED badge with the BsidesIowa logo.

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Oseberg, leading innovator in the oil and gas industry has raised $3 million in Series B financing from undisclosed investors. Oseberg is a developer of a SaaS-based data analytics tool. Oseberg helps oil producers and drillers with activity tracking and visualization to give its customers an edge in the industry. -Silicon Prairie News


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Middle Bit: BSides Security Conference will take place April 20 | 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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