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Middle Bit: NewBoCo’s DeltaV Code School announces nights and weekends program

DeltaV Code School has announced a new nights and weekends program, in an effort to make its program more accessible to those who want to learn how to code.

For the first time since launching nearly three years ago, DeltaV will now offer the option to take its Code 201 program on a nights and weekends schedule.

“We’ve had a number of potential students express strong interest, but their life situation doesn’t allow them to get through the 20-week program without income,” NewBoCo Software Architect and DeltaV Instructor Keith Dahlby said. “We’re introducing the nights and weekends courses to lower the risk for students to begin their coding journey without leaving their current job.”

The eight-week Code 201 class kicks off January 18, 2020. It runs for eight weeks, ending with final class projects and presentations on March 14, 2020. 

“Long term, I hope we grow student demand to the point where we can offer the full 201-401 program with a night and weekend option,” NewBoCo Chief Operating Officer Aaron Horn said. 

DeltaV Code School was created to address the lack of available tech talent in Iowa. There are more than 2900 open computing jobs in Iowa, but Iowa’s universities only had 459 computer science graduates in 2017. To fill the open computing jobs in Iowa alone, at least 10 percent of unemployed Iowans would need to be trained today. To date, 100 percent of DeltaV reporting graduates have found a job in software development with an average starting salary of $58,600.

“Iowa has a very real tech talent supply problem and it is something that affects all industries across our state,” Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said. “As we have long recognized with Future Ready Iowa, closing the skills gap will take multiple approaches. We are fortunate to have a resource like DeltaV Code School as part of the solution to help ensure Iowans have an additional pathway for IT training that can get them into high demand careers like software development.”

DeltaV Code School has new financing options in place, including being a GI Bill approved school, having a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program and an established US Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship, and is increasing its diversity tuition awards. DeltaV is also developing an entirely new program for Iowa using income share agreements as an alternative financing option.

The diversity tuition award fund was set up last year to make it easier for women, low income, people with disabilities, and populations underrepresented in technology (African American, Hispanic, and Native American, including Alaskan and Hawaiian, and people with disabilities) to start a new career in coding. DeltaV Code School encourages anyone in these groups to apply for tuition assistance. Traditional student loans will continue to be available in 2020 as well.

“The hope for nights and weekends is, quite simply, that we are able to get more and more people to give coding a try as their next career,” Dahlby said. 

ISU Innovation Prize happening this weekend

The fourth annual ISU Innovation Prize competition at Iowa State University will take place this weekend.

The competition theme for the fourth annual event is “Innovation at Iowa State.”  There will be three focus areas for participants to solve—AgTech, EdTech and Global Impact.

The winning team of each focus area will take home a $1,500 prize.

Over the course of the competition, participants will form in small groups, based on their interests and abilities, then choose one of the three focus areas to work on.

The free event is open to the community, and we invite students, faculty and staff, and community members to participate.  Brian Hemesath will serve as the facilitator throughout the competition.

More details and a full schedule of the event can be found here.

Facebook opens applications for Community Action Grants program

Facebook has announced the new cycle of its Community Action Grants program. 

The annual grant program addresses local needs by making grants available to non-profit organizations and schools for projects that do one or more of the following: 

  • Address critical community needs by putting the power of technology to use for community benefit;
  • Connect people online or off;
  • Improve local Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education.

Applications are being accepted now through December 3, 2019. Recipients will be announced by the end of March 2020.

Middle Bit: NewBoCo’s DeltaV Code School announces nights and weekends program | 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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