Middle Bit: Dwolla celebrates opening of new headquarters

Dwolla CEO and founder Ben Milne speaks at the company's new office on Wednesday, February 6. (Photo courtesy of Dwolla).

Dwolla celebrated the opening of their new office in downtown Des Moines Wednesday evening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new 22,000+ square foot facility, located at 909 Locust St., will accommodate Dwolla as it continues to grow. Dwolla is now up to 100 employees with plans to add 50 more team members in 2019. The new office will feature an events room called Lovelace which will host free community events.

“There’s a lot of people, past and present, who are responsible for the incredible things we’ve been able to build over the years. That’s something I’m really proud of,” said Ben Milne, CEO and founder of Dwolla. “Being in this space is humbling in a way that a lot of the experiences I’ve had with people in this room is humbling.”

“Every once in a while a new technology and an old problem and a big idea turn into an invasion,” said Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. “And thanks to forward thinking from Ben, that’s exactly what Dwolla has done – taken a very complicated, antiquated process and made it easy, accessible and affordable.”

What else is happening?

Illinois

ThreeKit today announced that it has raised $10 million in seed capital from serial entrepreneur Godard Abel, who previously cofounded BigMachines (which was acquired by Oracle in 2013) and SteelBrick (which Salesforce snatched up in 2015). CTO Ben Houston, a 15-year Hollywood veteran who created visual effects software that has been used in the Harry Potter franchise, The AvengersTitanic, and over 100 other films, said the cash would be used to fund talent acquisition and product and business development. -VentureBeat

Nebraska

Roots Venture Group is Nebraska’s first ever 100 percent-focused incubator, accelerator, and venture fund dedicated to launching and growing companies within the agricultural and rural industries, including areas such as tech, non-tech, lifestyle, and tech-enabled businesses and startups. Their focus is to work with founders that are keen on transforming the agriculture sector, rural communities in a sustainable manner and make an impactful societal and systemic change. -Silicon Prairie News

Wisconsin

A Milwaukee startup founder that’s helping businesses create and distribute influencer marketing is in the latest cohort of a year-long Chicago accelerator aimed at mentoring young entrepreneurs. Urban Misfit Ventures’ co-founder and CEO Quentin Allums is in the fifth cohort of Future Founders, which started this month. The organization, founded in 2011 and based out of Chicago startup incubator 1871, offers budding entrepreneurs mentoring, retreats, a peer community and volunteer opportunities. -Wisconsin Inno