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Middle Bit: DoorTally app lets business owners track occupancy

As retailers and restaurants start opening, a new focus has been placed on reduced occupancy inside businesses.

A new app is allowing business owners to track their capacity and occupancy in real-time. DoorTally, Created by Adam Hass, has several features, allowing you to export your data, generate reports and manage multiple locations.

For more information about the app email

Facebook donates $350,000 to East Polk County Relief Fund

Facebook has made a $350,000 donation to the new East Polk County Relief Fund. 

Individuals and small businesses in eastern Polk County can apply for the fund’s grants of up to $3,000. $250,000 of FaceBook’s donation will go to small business relief and $100,000 will go to nonprofits and individuals that are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

People or businesses interested in applying for a grant can apply here. The deadline to submit applications is June 1. 

The East Polk Innovation Collaborative, a partnership between Altoona, Bondurant, Mitchellville and Pleasant Hill, is administering the program. 

DMACC teaming up with Black Rocket to offer virtual tech camps for kids this summer

DMACC is teaming up with Black Rocket, a digital arts technology company, to offer a series of Virtual Tech Camps for kids this summer.

The week-long camps will focus on STEM and Digital Arts, including video game design and animation, coding, eSports, YouTube content and more.

The camps will begin June 8 and take place every week through Jul 31. Learn more about them here.

 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.

Middle Bit: DoorTally app lets business owners track occupancy | 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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