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Middle Bit: West Des Moines-based Icon Labs acquired by Sectigo

Icon Labs, a West Des Moines-based company that provides cross-platform security solutions for device manufacturers, has been acquired by Sectigo, a security company specializing in IoT security solutions.

Icon Labs will maintain its own brand as a subsidiary of Sectigo and is the second company acquired by Sectigo in the last year.

“By joining Sectigo, Icon Labs is contributing to a powerful advancement in connected device security,” said Alan Grau, Founder of Icon Labs, in the press release “We are securing IoT devices and the convergence of traditional IT systems and Operational Technology (OT); that is, the hardware and software that detects or causes changes in physical processes through direct monitoring and/or control of physical devices.

What else is happening?

NewBoCo extends application deadline for Professional Learning Program

NewBoCo is extending the application deadline for Iowa teachers to learn how to teach computer science through its Professional Learning Program to better support teachers now that most school years will end in June due to winter weather.

This will be NewBoCo’s third year offering professional development programs in Iowa.

So far, more than 300 elementary, middle, and high school educators have participated in one of NewBoCo’s programs, bringing computer science courses to more than 11,600 students throughout the state during the 2018-2019 school year.

Applications for the program will now close in late May.

Geonetric celebrates 20 years

Geonetric celebrated its 20th birthday last week at 1 Million Cups Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 1.

Based in Cedar Rapids, Geonetric helps hospitals and health systems implement innovative web strategies to engage patients and communities online

During the 1MC presentation, Geonetric leaders — CEO Linda Barnes and founder Eric Engelmann -— shared where the company started, how it has evolved over the past two decades, how to build an enduring organization, what am empowered employee organization structure looks like and what it means to have your company in a community hub.

Middle Bit: West Des Moines-based Icon Labs acquired by Sectigo | 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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