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Funding

IEDA Board approves assistance for six Iowa companies
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board has approved awards for six Iowa companies, which will assist in the creation of 640 jobs and result in nearly $265 million in new capital investment for the state. The projects are located in Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Hampton, Osage and Red Oak. The board also approved…
Iowa City based TextRetailer raises $150K to simplify consumer shopping experience
TextRetailer, an Iowa City based technology firm that created a conversational commerce platform to sell products through text messages recently announced that it has raised $150,000 from the Minneapolis based TinySeed accelerator program. The funding and TinySeed’s collaborative mentor network will aid TextRetailer in its mission to provide a unique and simplified shopping experience for…
Digital Diagnostics files paperwork showing $46 million raise
Coralville-based AI diagnostics company Digital Diagnostics (previously IDx) filed paperwork late last month indicating it has raised just over $46 million in funding. In April 2018,  Digital Diagnostics (became the first company to ever receive FDA clearance for an AI diagnostic platform that makes a diagnosis without physician input at the point-of-care. The company’s first diagnostic system, IDx-DR,…
Mazen Animal Health raises $11 million Series A
Mazen Animal Health announced this week the closing of its Series A round of over $11 million. The round was led by Fall Line Capital and joined by all previous seed investors including Next Level Ventures, ISA Ventures, Kent Corporation, Ag Startup Engine, Ag Ventures Alliance Summit Ag. New investors, AgFunder, 1330 Investments, Addison Laboratories,…
Bristola raises $400,000 seed round
Bristola, an Iowa-based clean energy technology and maintenance company, announced last week the successful close of a $400,000 seed investment round. Headquartered in Des Moines, Bristola is a renewable energy technology services company that has a patent pending technology that revolutionizes servicing, cleaning and maintenance in the renewable energy digester industry. Bristola’s patent pending…
Six Iowa startups receive IEDA funding
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has approved innovation funding in support of six Iowa startups. In total, the six companies received $675,000 in funding. Here are the startups that received funding. Axis-U Axis-U of Ankeny developed an online pre-apprenticeship training platform that helps Iowa employers connect to job seekers. After starting with the healthcare industry,…
Ames startup Brainsoft receives $256K SBIR grant
Ames startup Brainsoft has been awarded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $256,000 to conduct research and development work on using brainwaves in virtual reality applications. Brainsoft develops technologies for using human brainwaves to control objects and studies the relations of the human brain activities to the emotional and intellectual states. The project addresses the…
Steel Therapeutics raises $1.5 million seed round
Steel Therapeutics, an early stage pharmaceutical company focused on increasing access to compounded drug therapies, announced this week that it has closed on $1.5 million in financing in an over-subscribed seed round. The company’s financing was led by ISA Ventures, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and included a several private investors with significant industry experience. “We…
Basis Theory raises $17 million funding round
Data security company Basis Theory announced last week that it has launched out of its beta and has raised $17 million in funding from Bessemer, Kindred, Conversion Capital, BoxGroup, Offline Ventures, and others to make securing, using, and managing sensitive data easier for developers. The Basis Theory team has developed a compliant, easy-to-use platform that…
Koloni raises $1.3 million seed round
Koloni, a Midwest-based startup, announced today that it has successfully completed a seed round of $1.3 million. The round was led by Jason Calacanis’ Launch Fund with additional investments from ISA Ventures, Twelve19 Ventures, Chicago Early Growth Ventures, Locker One Ventures and others.  Koloni's platform is looking to revolutionize the smart locker industry, enabling smart…
IEDA awards funding to five Iowa startups
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board has approved funding for five Iowa startups. In total the five startups received $300,000 in funding. Here are the five startups that received funding. FBB Biomed FBB Biomed, doing business in Coralville, is a biotech company with a mission to expand the reimbursable diagnostics market to brain diseases.…
Funding Archives | 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 mpatane@clayandmilk.com.
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