Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Middle Bit: 3 Iowa companies make Inc. Magazine’s 250 Most Successful Companies

Inc.’s annual list of the 250 Most Successful Companies in the Midwest has been released and three Iowa companies have made the list.

Topping the list of Iowa companies was Rocket Referral in Des Moines, coming in at rank 75. The company saw a two-year-growth of 242% according to the website.

The other Iowa companies to make the list were McClure Engineering of Clive ranked at No. 120, and Moxie Solar of Iowa City, ranked at No. 127.

Hatchlings launches online egg hunt to raise money to fight COVID-19

Social gaming company Hatchlings has launched Egg Hunt Online, a way for real-life communities — churches, neighborhoods and other communities — to move their canceled Easter egg hunts online and raise money to fight COVID-19 in the process.

Players will hunt for beautifully illustrated eggs, try to collect them and find interactive puzzles and printable coloring pages.

Every hunt hosted will raise money to fight COVID-19. Hatchlings is hoping to raise over $100,000.

Iowa City Startup Weekend set for July 17-19

Tickets for Startup Weekend Iowa City 2020 are now on sale.

Set to take place July 17-19, Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which entrepreneurs, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and then deliver final presentations at the end of the weekend. Over the course of the weekend, teams will be challenged to create a prototype of their minimum viable product, that fits the needs of their target customer.

This year’s event will be held July 17-19 and will be held either in-person at MERGE or online, depending on the situation surrounding COVID-19 at that point in time.

Tickets for the event are can be purchased here.

Middle Bit: 3 Iowa companies make Inc. Magazine’s 250 Most Successful Companies | 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
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now