Middle Bit: MākuSafe announces new updates

MākuSafe announced two new updates this week that it says will have a significant impact for customers who need effective contact tracing and for those seeking industry 4.0 automation capabilities.

The first of these enhancements is built around MākuSafe’s RāngeView technology, which allows a wearable device on the arm of a worker to detect proximity to other wearables as well as other IIoT devices. This enables accurate contact tracing, and also opens up a range of possibilities for integrating the connected worker with a smart factory.

The company has also added a new reporting module, allowing clients to extract and study data by creating their own custom reports, or by using a suite of pre-designed report templates. 

Former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture joins Big Idea Ventures

Big Idea Ventures today announced the appointment of Bill Northey, former Under Secretary for USDA Farm Production and Conservation, as a senior advisor to its General Food Rural Partners Fund.

The recently launched General Food Rural Partners Fund is a $125 million target fund that will drive economic development in rural communities through the commercialization of university-developed intellectual property.

Before joining USDA at the federal level under the Trump administration, Northey was the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture from 2007-2018.

Iowa duo to appear on Shark Tank

Two friends from Holstein, Iowa—Taylor “Earl” Nees and Garret “Buddy” Lamp—will have the opportunity of pitching their creation of Muff Waders to the Sharks on Shark Tank on ABC.

Muff Waders are bib overalls that have a built-in beer cooler on the chest, large pockets on the legs to hold liquor bottles and an attached bottle-opener. To date, the two have sold around 900 pairs of Muff Waders.

Filming of their Shark Tank appearance actually took place last summer. Their appearance on the show will air at 7 p.m. Friday on ABC.