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Announcing stops for the DSM Tech Crawl

Clay & Milk is excited to announce the host stops that will be a part of the 2020 DSM Tech Crawl.

Set to take place April 23, the Tech Crawl will tour four Des Moines tech companies and kick off at 5 pm at the Global Insurance Accelerator.

To wrap up the Tech Crawl, everyone will meet up at Gravitate Coworking. Several tables will be set up at Gravitate, with more companies showcasing their products and sharing job opportunities. Those who stop at each participating location will receive a DSM Tech Crawl pint glass at the end of the night.

We are still accepting companies interested in having a table booth year’s Tech Crawl. If your company is interested in having a table booth at Gravitate, shoot us an email at

Tickets are now on sale for $15 and for $10 for students.

Here are the four companies you’ll be able to tour at this year’s DSM Tech Crawl:

Global Insurance Accelerator

The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) is a mentor-driven business accelerator designed to foster innovation in the insurance industry through startups targeting the global insurance industry.

We Write Code

We Write Code provides custom software solutions for businesses who care about their users as much as we care about our clients. We Write Code has been actively engaging with businesses large and small since 2015.

Happy Medium

Happy Medium is an award-winning web and media agency. Founded in 2011, Happy Medium believes web products should be living things and that an online presence has energy.

Gravitate Coworking

Gravitate is a coworking space for freelancers, remote workers, and entrepreneurs in Downtown Des Moines, providing community, collaboration and lots and lots of coffee.

Announcing stops for the DSM Tech Crawl | 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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