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Keynote and schedule announced for 2023 Iowa Technology Summit
The Iowa Technology Summit will return in-person next month on April 3-4 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. This year’s summit will be divided into four separate tracks—cybersecurity, technology innovation, leadership, transformation, and data. Kian Gohar has been announced as the keynote speaker at this year's event. Gohar is a bestselling author, keynote…
Four Iowa startups receive IEDA funding
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has awarded funding to four Iowa startups. In total, $350,000 was awarded to the startups. Here are the startups that received funding. AxisU With a focus on apprenticeship opportunities, AxisU of Ankeny connects pre-qualified candidates to local trades-based employers. The platform also provides ongoing apprenticeship training that, when combined with on-the-job…
Telehealth startup OpenLoop raises $15 million
OpenLoop, a Des Moines-based provider of white-label telehealth support services, raised $15M in Series A funding. The round was led by Nava Ventures, with participation from new investors UnityPoint Health Ventures and PrimeTime Ventures, and existing investors SpringTide Ventures and ManchesterStory. The company plans to use the funds to accelerate growth and expand operations. OpenLoop…
Pitchly closes $7 Million Series A funding round
Des Moines-based Pitchly announced this week it has completed a $7 million Series A funding round. A new investor, Homegrown Capital, led the financing and was joined by additional new investors including Jason Calacanis’ Launch Fund & Syndicate and existing investors Next Level Ventures, ISA Ventures, Great North Ventures, M25, and Cabra.vc. The…
Clayton Farms opening new drive-thru restaurant in Ames
Clayton Farms (formerly Nebullam) announced last week plans to open a salad and smoothie drive-thru restaurant in Ames at the end of the month. The new restaurant—Clayton Farms Salads—will be located at 2435 Grand Avenue in Ames and is scheduled to open on March 31. The greens for salads and smoothies will be grown…
Winners of the University of Iowa’s Startup Games
Wellness Wear, a clothing brand that promotes mental health in a stylish way, won first place and $1,000 at Startup Games final pitches on March 5 at Hilton Garden Inn in Iowa City. The spring edition of Startup Games kicked off on March 3 with 35 participants who pitched 28 ideas. Eight teams were formed…
Applications open for Iowa G2M Accelerator’s May cohort
The Iowa Go-2-Market (G2M) Accelerator is now accepting applications for its May cohort. The program is designed as a "follow-on" support program for Iowa companies developing technology-driven innovative products and services, and is a partnership between BioConnect Iowa, Iowa State University Startup Factory, and VentureNet Iowa. This is the second of three cohorts the…
DMACC announces schedule for 2023 Celebrate! Innovation series
DMACC has announced the event schedule for the 14th annual Celebrate! Innovation (ciLive! 14) Speaker Series, which will take place March 9, 2023, at the DMACC West Campus in West Des Moines. This year’s ciLive! theme is “Be Your Own Superhero,” and will celebrate the many ways we can all achieve superhero status through creative thinking and collaboration.  All ciLive! speaker events are…
Propel acquires BlackGreyGold Advisory and rebrands as PropelDay
PropelDay (previously Propel), a Des Moines company that provides fractional executive services to mid-size companies and startups, has acquired BlackGreyGold Solutions, an advisory business based in Southlake, Texas. As a part of the acquisition, Barry Lingelbach and Matthew Hargrove have joined PropelDay as Managing Partners responsible for growing the company's new Fractional COO solutions. …
IEDA announces additional $2 million in Manufacturing 4.0 Funding
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced last week that Iowa will invest an additional $2 million in the Manufacturing 4.0 Technology Investment Program. The program helps small- to mid-size Iowa manufacturers invest in the adoption and integration of smart technologies with grant funding made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Iowa’s Manufacturing 4.0 initiative…
News 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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