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Full Fledged Brewery wins 2020 REV Pitch Competition, takes home $5,000

Full Fledged Brewery has been announced as the winner of the 2020 REV pitch competition and was awarded $5,000.

The competition, hosted by TS Bank and Advance Southwest Iowa, was held on Friday, Dec. 4, and gave small business owners the opportunity to pitch for the chance to win $10,000 to grow their business.

TS Bank originally started REV in 2015. During the first three competitions (2015-2017) the bank awarded a total of over $75,000 to the winners. TS Bank decided to bring the competition back this year and partnered with Advance Southwest Iowa to offer entrepreneurs and business owners the chance to win up to $10,000.

In total $10,000 was given out in prizes to the four winning companies.

Full Fledged Brewery (1st place, $5,000)

Full Fledged Brewing Company of Council Bluffs took the grand prize with $5,000 awarded. Owners Marshall and Dessie Redmond opened Full Fledged in 2019 as Council Bluffs first craft brewery and are truly focused on creating a community.

“We could not be more thankful and excited to receive the REV Grant,” said Dessie Redmond, in an announcement. “It’s going to ignite growth to our business and help expand our customer base into other markets. We are truly thankful to everyone involved in the process.”

The Redmonds plan to use the $5,000 in REV funds to help pay for the expenses associated with completing an initial can-line run of three of their craft beers. Offering 12 oz. cans both in their taproom and at local grocery stores will add a new revenue stream to their business and allow them to reach new customers and markets.

Tandem Works (2nd place, $2,500)

Tandem Works of Council Bluffs, Iowa was awarded the second highest prize of $2,500. Co-founders Vivian Kvam and Machaela Clark, started Tandem Works in 2019 and help business owners with their innovative ideas and passion for a clear strategy, organization while driving return on investment. They plan to use their $2,500 in REV funds to build an on-demand, online course for business owners to help them identify their brand story and create more powerful brand messaging.

P@YD Omaha (3rd place, $1,250)

P@YD Omaha, owned by Gjordon Zealand, Collin Shroeder and Ted Williams, is a company based out of Omaha, Neb., that focuses on connecting local producers to their communities’ restaurants and homes. Utilizing a temperature-controlled enclosed trailer, they will provide mobile drop off and delivery services around the Omaha metro. Their $1,250 in REV funds will be put toward front end web development and app development. 

Farmhouse & Flowers (3rd place, $1,250)

Farmhouse & Flowers, owned and operated by Megan Roberts and Ann Johnk, is a floral and gift retail space in Atlantic, Iowa. They plan to use their $1,250 in REV funds to continue renovations on their existing retail space and create a custom branded interior experience for both in-person and online shoppers.

The descriptions of the companies listed above have been provided by TS Bank.

Full Fledged Brewery wins 2020 REV Pitch Competition, takes home $5,000 | 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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