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IEDA provides $350,000 in funding to five startups

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board has approved innovation funding for five startups located in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Prole.

In total, the IEDA awarded $350,00 in funding. Here are the five startups that received funding:

Aronson Woodworks (Prole)

Aronson Woodworks is a full-service woodworking company utilizing recycled urban lumber from affected ash trees. The company specializes in the application of their patented Claize process, which offers a modern aesthetic and functional durability.

The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for the hiring new team and new commercial space that will help them facilitate growth and ramp up production in the United States and Canada.

FarrPro (Iowa City)

FarrPro is developing next generation piglet heating solutions to help reduce both mortality and energy costs in farrowing facilities.

The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for the hiring new team members, purchasing equipment and developing marketing materials.

Mobile M2M (Cedar Rapids)

Mobile M2M, created a product called Off Hours, which allows users to limit the unwanted collection of personal data from smart home/connected devices.

The company was awarded a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan. Mobile M2M will use these funds to continue to refine their product and for market planning.

True360 (Ames)

True360 creates immersive experiences by installing its 360-degree cameras in zoo habitats and aquariums. They then use software to analyze hours of recorded content, compiles the most exciting moments.

The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan. True360 will use the funds for intellectual property development, evaluation and product refinement.

SAFI-Tech (Ames)

SAFI-Tech is a startup company with a patent-pending technology that uses supercooled liquid metal particles to solder electronic components without heat. The liquid metal powder of these particles is their patented Liquital® 62 product the company is commercializing.

The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan that will go towards market planning and growing their team.

Previous coverage

Safi-Tech: Liquid-metal particles make heat-free soldering possible -July 31, 2018

FarrPro successfully​ wraps up seed investment round -June 29, 2018

IEDA provides $350,000 in funding to five startups | 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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