Middle Bit: Microsoft announces funding opportunity for Des Moines nonprofits this spring

A new funding opportunity is available this fall for Des Moines-based nonprofits. The Microsoft Community Empowerment Fund will look to fund projects that promote social, economic, and civic equity in the Des Moines area.

Funded projects must fall into one or more of the below priority funding categories:

  • Digital Literacy: Provide skills and resources to improve digital literacy and increase digital participation in the economy
  • Environmental Sustainability: Invest in projects that improve the community environment and teach sustainable lifestyle skills
  • Workforce Development: Help build skills to enable participation in the 21st-century economy, inclusive of digital and trade skills and helping underserved groups

The program will offer two types of funds for qualifying organizations/non-profits that serve constituents in the region of Des Moines:

Community Small Projects for requests up to $10,000. These funds are aimed at supporting small projects that contribute to the immediate needs of the community. For example: Support a nonprofit to be energy efficient and climate neutral by upgrading the current building infrastructure.

Community Large Projects for requests from $10,000 to $30,000. These funds are aimed at supporting large-scale projects that contribute to community social, economic, or environmental outcomes.

Preliminary applications are due by February 21, 2021.

BrokerTech Ventures invests in insurance verification startup TrustLayer

TrustLayer, a collaborative risk management startup has completed a $6.6 million seed round of financing. Abstract Ventures led the round with participation from Propel Venture Partners, NFP Ventures, BoxGroup and Precursor Ventures. The round was heavily oversubscribed, a reflection of the strength of TrustLayer’s current compliance software and its success in developing a digital proof of insurance solution.

BrokerTech Ventures (BTV) is also participating in the seed round. This represents BTV’s first investment in a cohort member of their accelerator.

“We continue to be impressed and encouraged by the momentum and industry adoption of the TrustLayer technology and risk management platform,” said Dan Keough, co-CEO of BrokerTech Ventures in an announcement. “We view TrustLayer’s involvement in our inaugural BrokerTech Ventures Accelerator program as a catalyst for them to become the information clearinghouse for the insurance industry, and we are delighted to be a part of their capital raise and continued success.”

ICAD hosting EdTech panel discussion on Feb. 11

On Thursday, Feb. 11 the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD) will be hosting a webinar focus on Iowa’s Edtech industry.

The panel will include:

  • Dr. Dan Clay (moderator), Dean, The University of Iowa College of Education
  • Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA)
  • Michal Eynon-Lynch, Co-Founder of Pear Deck
  • Adam Keune, Co-Founder of Higher Learning Technologies
  • Ada Woo, Chief of Staff and Senior Director of the Assessment Sciences Unit at Ascend Learning