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IEDA approves funding for three startups in Iowa

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has announced financial assistance for three companies in Iowa in the first round of innovation awards funded through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).

Iowa’s SSBCI program, announced in October 2022, is a $96 million investment in growing Iowa’s small businesses, including startups, manufacturers and businesses owned by veterans and individuals from diverse backgrounds. The State of Iowa was awarded the federal small business aid program to expand access to capital for small businesses to help them recover from the pandemic, grow and create high-quality jobs.

The three startups are located in Algona, Coralville and Des Moines and received a total of $850,000 in funding. Here are the startups that received funding.

Kinetic Technologies

Manufacturing startup Kinetic Technologies in Algona streamlines the integration process for collaborative welding robots, improving turnaround time for production. They developed a fixturing product to pair with engineering services to make deployment scalable.

The company was awarded a $175,000 Demonstration Fund loan for market planning and entry activities, key personnel and equipment.


Coralville-based IntelliSee creates “Smarter Surveillance for a Safer World” by autonomously monitoring an organization’s existing surveillance cameras 24/7/365 with artificial intelligence (AI) that detects threats, risks, and hazards. The AI’s real-time alerts allow for risk avoidance, prevention and mitigation through quick action and improved situational awareness.

The company was awarded a $500,000 Innovation Acceleration Propel loan for product refinement and key personnel.


Headquartered in Des Moines, Bristola is a leading renewable energy technology and maintenance services company targeted at the renewable energy digester and liquids storage industry verticals. The patented technology cleans and inspects digesters and covered storage tanks without disruptions to ongoing operations, eliminating worker exposures and allowing for a more efficient and cost-effective process.

The company was awarded a $175,000 Demonstration Fund loan for product refinement, key personnel and equipment.  

IEDA approves funding for three startups in 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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