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Healthcare app Caregiven acquired by Delta Dental of Iowa

Delta Dental of Iowa announced this week the acquisition of Caregiven, a healthcare app designed to help caregivers as they navigate care for aging adults. 

Delta Dental intends to incorporate Caregiven into its product portfolio which includes dental, vision and legal insurance for Iowa employers and their employees. Caregiven was one of eight insurtech startups to take part in the Global Insurance Accelerator’s 2020 cohort.

Caregiven’s founder and CEO, Candice Smith, will be joining the Delta Dental team as part of the acquisition.

“I am excited to be a part of Delta Dental based on their experience in   the employee benefits market, community partnerships and their focus on holistic wellness,” said Smith in a press release. “Throughout all their products it is evident that Delta Dental not only cares about its members but is committed to delivering access to quality care.”

Over the next year, Smith will continue to work with organizations to offer localized solutions and resources for Iowa caregivers. Caregiven will also expand its distribution beyond individuals to working with employers to offer Caregiven as an employee benefit.

“We were introduced to Caregiven through Delta Dental’s involvement in the Global Insurance Accelerator and recognized the value Caregiven can provide to employers and their employees,” said Jeff Russell, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa. “Over the last year, we have placed more focus on the holistic wellness of our team members, moving beyond physical wellness to incorporate emotional, financial, career and community wellness. In a competitive job market, employers need to offer benefits that meet the needs of employees across multiple generations. As Delta Dental looks for opportunities to provide additional products and services to employers and members, we knew Caregiven was aligned with our wellness culture and our core business of employee benefits.”

Healthcare app Caregiven acquired by Delta Dental of Iowa | 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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