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Middle Bit: Applications open for 2021 Hawkeye Summer Accelerator

Hawkeye Startup Accelerator has opened applications for its summer 2021 accelerator.

During the eleven-week program, the accelerator teams will meet daily to launch their startup using Lean LaunchPad methodologies. Student entrepreneurs will participate in workshops, sessions with experienced mentors, weekly pitches, and lectures throughout the summer program.

Founders will be paid a $5,000 living stipend for the 11 weeks. Throughout the program, students will have chances for their business to earn additional money as they hit milestones and at the final pitch event, Launch Day.

The program is currently accepting applications from individual and team founders who will be working on their student startups during the summer. There will be an information session on Monday, February 22 from 4-5 pm.

ISU holding series of virtual webinars for freelancers

ISU JPEC has announced a new series of panels and workshops designed for freelancers and those interested in creating a side income

A total of seven workshops will take place this spring. Registration is required for all the webinars.

Below is the list of workshops taking place:

  • Start Your Own Marketing Business – March 10 at12-1:00 p.m.
  • How to Make Money with Photography – March 17 at12-1:00 p.m.
  • Build an Info-Business that Rings the Cashier While You Sleep – March 24 at12-1:00 p.m.
  • How to Sell and Get Noticed on Etsy – March 31 at12-1:00 p.m.
  • Reselling: From Thrift Shop Flipping to Drop Shipping – April 7 at12-1:00 p.m.
  • It’s Complicated: Technical Freelance and Consulting 101 – April 14 at12-1:00 p.m.
  • Real Estate Investing: What You Need to Know Now – April 21 at12-1:00 p.m.

Last chance for tickets to ICR Agile

ICR Agile is a one day event on Feb. 25 to bring together members of the agile community and those interested in embracing the agile mindset to learn and network with peers. The conference is a collaboration between NewBoCo and members of Eastern Iowa Agile.

Click here for tickets.

Middle Bit: Applications open for 2021 Hawkeye Summer Accelerator | 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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