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Finalists announced for 2020 Prometheus Awards

The Technology Association of Iowa has announced the finalists for the 2020 Prometheus Awards.

The winner in each of the 14 award categories will be announced during the Prometheus Awards celebration on Thursday, April 9 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines.

Finalists in each category are:

FinTech & InsurTech Company of the Year

  • Dwolla
  • Jack Henry & Associates
  • LenderClose
  • Lincoln Savings Bank
  • MākuSafe

AgTech & BioTech Company of the Year

  • Granular
  • Growers Edge
  • Performance Livestock Analytics
  • PowerPollen
  • Rantizo, Inc.

Manufacturing Technology Company of the Year

  • Cemen Tech Inc.
  • Pella Corporation
  • Sukup Manufacturing Co.
  • Vermeer Corporation
  • Wells Enterprises

Software Development Technology Company of the Year

  • Conga
  • Hy-Vee
  • Jack Henry & Associates
  • Kingland Systems Corporation
  • Telligen

IT Service Provider Technology Company of the Year

  • Circle Computer Resources
  • Involta, LLC
  • LightEdge Solutions
  • ProCircular
  • We Write Code

Startup Technology Company of the Year

  • Benekiva
  • Growers Edge
  • Tractor Zoom, Inc.
  • VetMeasure, Inc.

Creative Technology Solution of the Year

  • Gross-Wen Technologies
  • ITA Group Inc.
  • Lincoln Savings Bank
  • Shaking Earth Digital
  • UnityPoint Health

Best Technology Company Culture

  • Far Reach
  • Geonetric
  • ImOn Communications
  • Intoxalock
  • SciPlay

CEO of the Year

  • Dane Kuper, Performance Livestock Analytics
  • Cliff Smith, GVL (Global VetLink)
  • Aaron Warner, ProCircular
  • Katie Wilson, TapOnIt Deals
  • Geoff Wood, Gravitate Coworking*

CIO/CTO/CISO of the Year

  • Michelle Bates, Involta, LLC
  • Terry Dooley, SHAZAM
  • Paul Hlivko, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Jeremy Kauten, The VGM Group, Inc.
  • Brian Ness, Principal Financial Group 
  • Neil Shah, Iowa Workforce Development

Emerging Technology Leader of the Year

  • Ben Cleveland, UnityPoint Health
  • Lana Fox, ClinicNote, Inc.
  • Jessica Gurney, LightEdge Solutions
  • Hannah Campbell, Higher Learning Technologies, Inc.
  • Lee Robinson, Hy-Vee

Technology Community of the Year 

  • Cedar Valley
  • Jefferson
  • Story County
  • West Des Moines

Technology Company of the Year – Small/Medium

  • Higher Learning Technologies, Inc.
  • LenderClose
  • Performance Livestock Analytics
  • Rantizo, Inc.
  • The Art of Education University

Workiva Large Technology Company of the Year

  • Collins Aerospace
  • Hy-Vee
  • Kingland Systems Corporation
  • Lincoln Savings Bank
  • SciPlay

*Geoff Wood is the owner and Publisher of Clay & Milk.

Finalists announced for 2020 Prometheus Awards | 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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