Middle Bit: Principal launches $25 million COVID-19 relief program

Principal Financial Group has launched multiple community-based COVID-19 relief efforts to directly assist those experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic.

The two new programs—The Giving Chain and the Principal Foundation Relief Fund—build on previous support Principal has announced for customers accessing retirement funds, requesting payment extensions, and other adjustments to help manage financial challenges due to COVID-19.

The Giving Chain aims to provide thousands of meals and activity kits—sourced from and in collaboration with local businesses and nonprofits—to individuals and families in more than 30 communities globally.

Principal also established the Principal Foundation Relief Fund to provide grants to help Principal employees, employees of majority-owned member companies, and U.S. service staff providers (real estate, janitorial, wellness, childcare, food service, and security) who are experiencing financial hardship due to this crisis. 

The combined efforts of the two programs are expected to total more than $25 million.

ISU Startup Factory extends application deadline, moves program online

The Iowa State University Startup Factory is now accepting applications for their ninth cohort with an extended closing deadline of May 29, 2020.

The ISU Startup Factory is a 52-week intensive program housed at the ISU Research Park, which provides an avenue for students, faculty and staff to create businesses. The ninth Startup Factory cohort is slated to begin on June 23, 2020.

To be considered for admission in the cohort for the ISU Startup Factory, applicants are to apply through the online application form. First round finalists will present to a review panel, with a final decision notification being received in June. The start date is scheduled for June 23, 2020.

Corteva Agriscience and PowerPollen announce commercial agreement

Corteva Agriscience and PowerPollen have announced a commercial agreement expanding the use of pollination-on-demand technology, enabling increased flexibility and productivity for Corteva’s commercial corn seed production.

As part of the agreement, Corteva will license the on-demand pollination technology and gain access to PowerPollen’s prescriptive pollination expertise and algorithms that inform producers of the optimal pollination timing to increase seed yield, purity and quality.

PowerPollen will be responsible for collecting, preserving and applying pollen leveraging its patented technology, which uses custom designed tools and preservation methods built to scale for commercial operations.