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31 Iowa companies crack the 2021 Inc. 5000 List

31 Iowa companies have been named to Inc. Magazine’s 2021 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies.

VizyPay, a payment processing company headquartered in West Des Moines, was the top-ranked Iowa company, coming in at No. 45, with 7,383% revenue growth over the past three years. It’s the company’s first appearance on the list.

The company says it has installed more than 9,500 merchants across the U.S. since its inception and has seen exponential growth in four short years, now employing 58 full-time employees and over 724 independent contractors. The company plans to hire another 15 employees this year as it opens its new flagship headquarters in Waukee, Iowa in September.

“At VizyPay we pride ourselves on being a transparent company in an industry traditionally known for being deceitful and believe that our culture is what ultimately drives our success,” said Austin Mac Nab, CEO and co-founder of VizyPay in a statement. “It was a huge risk starting this company with no outside investment but making the 2021 Inc. 5000 list in our fourth year of business is validation of our position as a leading fintech company and a testament to our team and the hard work they put in every day to bring value and savings to our merchants across the United States.”

Some of the other companies ranking high on the list include MCI at No. 778, Higley Industries at No. 870, and Pet Parents at No. 1,001.

Companies on the 2021 Inc. 5000 are ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2017 to 2020. 19 of the 31 Iowa companies that made the list were repeat honorees.

To see the full list of companies, go to

31 Iowa companies crack the 2021 Inc. 5000 List | 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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