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TapOnIt is donating up to $4 Million in advertising to restaurants affect by COVID-19

TapOnIt, a mobile advertising platform based in Davenport, has announced that it is offering $4 million in free advertising to local businesses across the country that have been affected by COVID-19.

Founded by sisters Katie Castillo-Wilson and Sara Castillo in 2015, TapOnIt’s goal has been to help drive sales for local businesses while also saving people money.

“Small businesses need assistance and we are going to help them by marketing their products and services for free. Let’s help them through this extremely challenging time so people have jobs to go back to”, said Castillo-Wilson, “People need to save money and businesses need to thrive. We do both of those things the best.”

In the first two days of the initiative, more than $100,000 in ads have been given away. 

“Shopping local is such an important part of our economy and local businesses are what make our communities unique,” said Castillo-Wilson, “Local businesses employ over 40% of the workforce across the US. I know that I don’t want to live in a city that doesn’t have its own local flavor.”  

TapOnIt now operates in 40 markets across 17 states, and reaches hundreds of thousands of consumers. 

“We are really proud of how many businesses we’ve worked with and the people we’ve helped save money. We know that people use TapOnIt to help decide where they want to go and to find new things,” said Castillo. 

Local restaurants and retail shops can contact the TapOnIt team by going to and filling out the form.  Consumers can sign up to receive money saving offers by going to  

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

TapOnIt is donating up to $4 Million in advertising to restaurants affect by COVID-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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