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BrownWinick opens new location in Coralville

BrownWinick announced this week its expansion into eastern Iowa with the addition of a new location at 1101 5th Street in Coralville.

This office will be home to a growing team already located in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids corridor.

“The needs of our various clients in the eastern part of the state continue to evolve, so this expansion enables us to adapt with them and provide even greater levels of hands-on service and expertise,” said Sean Moore, managing partner at BrownWinick in a news release.

Samantha Norris, a member attorney and co-chair of BrownWinick’s energy, natural resources and environmental law practice group will lead strategic efforts in eastern Iowa and manage the Coralville office. Joining her will be Mackensie Graham, an associate attorney, and Jasmine Atari, who will serve as the office’s administrative assistant. The firm expects to quickly grow the full-service office and estimates it will have 13 to 15 attorneys in eastern Iowa within the next three years.

“Our eastern Iowa clients appreciate BrownWinick’s statewide presence, but also know the value of having their attorneys deliver practical, business-focused legal advice close to home,” said Norris, an attorney with more than 20 years of experience who has both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Iowa. “With this new Coralville location, we will be in an even better position to serve their legal needs, while also being more accessible to our growing client base in eastern Iowa.”

BrownWinick opens new location in Coralville | 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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