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Online events happening this week: April 13 – April 19

As in-person events around the world are canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a number of online events are popping up far and wide.

Here are some of the online events happening this week that might be beneficial to local businesses and organizations. If you know of any event happening this week that we haven’t included let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

COVID-19 Federal Relief Legislation Explained hosted by America’s SBDC Iowa

Monday, April 13 |  12:30 pm – 2 pm  |  Join Webinar

The impact of COVID-19 on the economy has prompted a quick response from Washington. Two large pieces of legislation (CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act) have passed in recent weeks and more could follow. In this webinar C.E. Rowe, CEO of America’s Small Business Development Center, will break down how this could impact small businesses.

Understanding Anxiety hosted by NAMI Greater Des Moines

Monday, April 13 |  1 pm – 2 pm  |  Join Webinar

Occasional anxiety is an expected part of life. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry. An accessible guide to understanding causation, symptoms, co-occurring disorders and treatment options. The webinar will include practical tips for managing symptoms and helping others.

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners with Bill Bernardo, Founder of WINPRO Performance Products

Tuesday, April 14  |  2 pm – 3 pm  |  Join Webinar

 This seminar is for startups and small business owners who have heard about or are thinking about using Affiliate Marketing.  Led by Bill Bernardo, founder of WINPRO Performance Products, this session will cover a basic introduction into what Affiliate Marketing is, how it works, and key terms and measures. 

Mental Health Resources and Strategies for Business Leaders

Tuesday, April 14 | 3 pm – 4 pm | Join Webinar

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is teaming up with Foundation 2 to equip business leaders with the tools to navigate mental health concerns for not only their team, but for themselves. Gain tools to navigate mental health concerns within your team and yourself.

Discuss Innovation with NewBoCo

Tuesday, April 14 | 8 am – 9 am | Join Webinar

Join the NewBoCo Innovation Services team online to continue our discussion about innovation in the current environment. NewBoCo’s innovation team will review the dynamics of change and how to use those dynamics to amplify opportunities in your work and personal lives.

Landing Page: You should start here

Wednesday, April 15 | 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm | Join Webinar

Landing pages are the most forgotten marketing tactic in the startup handbook. During this workshop, you’ll learn all about landing pages: the very first marketing effort you should make. You will learn why it’s important, how to create one, and what information to collect from your potential customers when they visit.

Managing Cyber Risk in a Covid World

Wednesday, April 15 | 1 pm – 2 pm | Join Webinar

Executive Leaders face different challenges with cyber risk management. The challenges are magnified as organizations face the new realities of working from home. Change this fast is complex to digest and manage. ProCircular’s CEO Aaron Warner will share what clients are telling them, how their leadership is responding, and what you can do to keep your finger on the pulse of this changing threat landscape.

Virtual TechBrew with Ben Milne, Founder of Dwolla

Wednesday, April 15 | 5 pm – 6 pm | Join Webinar

Join Dwolla founder Ben Milne for a virtual TechBrew. Under Milne’s leadership, Dwolla has grown to serve fast-growing technology companies throughout the country, powering billions of dollars in commerce annually. Dwolla has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the world’s “Most Innovative Companies.”

Iowa Economic Update with Debi Durham

Thursday, April 16 | 10:30 am – 11:30 am | Join Webinar

Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority, will provide an update on the work of her agency related to COVID-19 and discuss the status of the Iowa economy. She will be available for Q&A at the conclusion of her remarks.

At Clay & Milk, we want to tell stories about the many ways entrepreneurs and startups are stepping up to combat coronavirus. Fill out this form to tell us your story and we will be in touch.

Online events happening this week: April 13 - April 19 | 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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