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IEDA approves five company projects, awards one startup

Last Friday, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board approved tax incentive awards to five Iowa companies, which will assist in the creation of 55 jobs and more than $82 million for the state.

The five companies to receive funding are located in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and West Des Moines. All five of the projects were awarded through the IEDA’s High Quality Jobs program.

Below is a breakdown of the awards approved and announced by the IEDA last week:

Project NameLocationJobs CreatedQualifying WageProject Cost
Bio Springer &
Lesaffre Yeast
Cedar Rapids5$22.27$29,000,000
Lincoln Savings BankWaterloo40$18.49$18,305,000
Warren TransportWaterloo4$18.49$8,650,000
Worley WarhousingCedar Rapids3$22.27$3,750,000
Wright Service West Des Moines3$31.13$23,050,772

Bio Springer plans production expansion in Cedar Rapids

Bio Springer North America Corporation will expand the production capabilities of its yeast operations in Cedar Rapids. The project is expected to generate $29 million in new capital investment and create five jobs at a qualifying wage of $22.27 per hour.

Worley Warehousing company expands warehousing capabilities 

Worley Warehousing, a Cedar Rapids-based third-party logistics company that specializes in food-grade warehousing, will lease a build-to-suit 250,000-square-foot facility near The Eastern Iowa Airport.

Lincoln Savings Bank acquires additional workspace 

In 2014, LSBX, a subsidiary of Lincoln Savings Bank, launched its fintech initiative, which merges traditional payment systems with new and emerging technologies. The project includes the acquisition and renovation of two floors in the Techworks 1 Building in Waterloo plus significant infrastructure improvements to the building.

Warren Transport to construct new corporate headquarters

Warren Transport, an over-the-road trucking operation that ships products across North America, will use the funding for construction of a new corporate headquarters and a vehicle maintenance facility. Warren Transport’s subsidiaries, Warren Specialized Logistics, and Iowa Loading Services, also will be located within the new facility.

Wright Service Corporation company to construct new facilities 

Wright Service Corporation provides integrated vegetation management solutions, residential/commercial landscaping and commercial environmental products. To accommodate current and future growth plans, the company has purchased approximately 28 acres of land in West Des Moines. The company will construct an 80,000-square-foot office building to house its headquarters operations.

Award made to Iowa City startup 

The board also approved innovation funding in support of a startup located in Iowa City.  

The startup, Inseer, was founded in June 2018 and develops software to prevent, predict and mitigate workplace injuries using the power of ergonomics, computer vision and deep machine learning.

The company was awarded a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund for IP development and evaluation, product refinement, key personnel and equipment.

Previous coverage

IEDA awards funding to five Iowa startups —Sept. 20, 2019

IEDA approves five company projects, awards one startup | 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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