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Iowa releases new broadband map
The Department of Management Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has released a new broadband internet map for the state of Iowa. The newly released map gives an updated look at the current condition of broadband internet access in the state. The publication of the map commences a 30-day challenge process where the public, broadband providers, and communities throughout…
MidAmerican installs sixth and largest solar project in Iowa
MidAmerican Energy has completed its 100-megawatt Holliday Creek solar array, the company’s largest of six inaugural solar projects that it began placing online starting in January. The Webster County project’s 265,000 solar panels can generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 19,000 average Iowa homes. The six solar energy sites range from 3 MW…
7 Iowa JPEC businesses share $10,000 at undergraduate pitch competition
Seven businesses combined to win $10,250 last week at the Hawkeye Summer Accelerator Undergraduate Final Pitch competition at MERGE in Iowa City. Three University of Iowa founders won two awards apiece. The event was hosted by the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. John Hatfield of Chordaworm Lures won the First Place Investor award…
Shive-Hattery acquires St. Louis architecture firm
Cedar Rapids-based architecture firm Shive-Hattery has acquired KdG Architects, a 20-person architecture, engineering and interior design firm in St. Louis, Missouri. The acquisition expands Shive-Hattery’s reach in the regional and national markets. Shive-Hattery is a 450-person architecture and engineering firm headquartered in Cedar Rapids with 14 design offices in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio…
PVpallet partners with BayWa r.e. to distribute pallets for solar PV shipping
PVpallet, a company that manufactures sustainable shipping options for solar modules, has partnered with leading renewables developer, services and systems provider BayWa r.e to distribute its reusable solar module shipping solution. PVpallet has developed a sustainable shipping option for solar modules to replace traditional wood pallets. The reusable pallets are made from recycled plastic and…
IEDA awards funding to four Iowa startups
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has approved innovation funding in support of four Iowa startups. Here are the startups that received funding. True360 Founded in 2016, True360 of Ames captures immersive experiences through their 'WOW! Moment Finder' that can automatically compile highlight reels and their 360-degree camera enclosures that immerse users directly into different worlds. The company…
Bruce Lehrman steps down as CEO of Involta
Cedar Rapids-based data center and services company Involta announced this week that Jim Buie, current Involta President, will succeed current CEO and Involta founder Bruce Lehrman, who will transition to the vice-chair of Involta’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.   “I am incredibly proud of the substantial growth Involta has achieved since forming the company in…
Techstars Iowa announces 2022 cohort
The 2022 cohort of Techstars Iowa officially kicked off its 2022 cohort this week at Gravitate Coworking in Downtown Des Moines. Ten companies from a variety of industries join the 2022 program. Founders in this year’s class are building products using artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, radar, big data, and blockchain technologies. These companies…
Iowa startup SAFI-Tech partners with Indium Corporation
SAFI-Tech, an Iowa-based startup that is creating no-heat and low-heat solder and metallic joining products, is partnering with Indium Corporation. Safi-Tech has developed supercooled liquid metal particles that allow manufacturers to solder on flexible substrates without the use of heat. The liquid particles are about one-fiftieth the size of a human hair and are filled…
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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