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ISU and DMACC create cybersecurity series for those working from home

Iowa State University and Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) have partnered to create an online series of videos designed to help new home workers adjust to new cybersecurity practices.

The video series – “I’m Working from Home. Now what?” – is now available online. It can be accessed by filling out a short form at

The videos were created by Doug Jacobson, a Professor of electrical and computer engineering and Director of ISU’s Information Assurance Center.

“The goal of our video series is to explore cybersecurity and provide you with the knowledge to help keep you safe,” says Jacobson in the first video of the series. “We’ll teach you the basic concepts behind cyber threats and the defenses that will help you understand your role in cybersecurity.”

Video topics include email security, password authentication and adding office hardware to your home network. In addition to the videos, there will be tip sheets with more technical details and resources.

The series is an initiative of the Iowa Cyber Hub, a cybersecurity education and outreach partnership between ISU and DMACC. The goal of the Iowa Cyber Hub is to foster additional interaction between companies and the partner schools through internships, training opportunities and focused projects. The hub will facilitate government industry and academia working together to increase the number of cyber workers.

Previous coverage

ISU holding series of virtual workshops for entrepreneurs -March 23, 2020

DMACC to open new virtual learning lab for students -March 4, 2020

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ISU and DMACC create cybersecurity series for those working from home | 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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