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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,…
Iowa JPEC partners with DMACC for Venture School
The University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) has announced that Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) has become a partner institution for its statewide Venture School Entrepreneurial Training Program. Des Moines has already been a hub for Iowa JPEC’s Venture School, which uses the National Science Foundation I-Corps curriculum to help startup…
Three finalists announced for InnoVenture Challenge pitch competition
InnoVenture Iowa announced Wednesday the three early-stage startup companies that will compete in the first InnoVenture Challenge pitch competition on Dec. 7 for a $100,000 cash prize. The event will take place at the Masonic Temple Theatre in downtown Des Moines. Prior to the pitch competition, Bunker Labs Des Moines, an organization that helps…
Alquist 3D launches new licensee program 
Alquist 3D, a 3D-printing construction firm based in Iowa, recently launched a new licensee program for companies looking to partner with the company to print homes in a pre-determined geographic region. The new licensee program will create partnerships to print homes in pre-determined regions around North America. Companies that partner with Alquist 3D through…
Biden administration awards more than $5.7 million to Iowa in ‘Internet for All’ planning grants
Iowa is receiving $5,708,924 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet throughout the state.   “Broadband helps create equal learning opportunities for kids in school, expands telehealth options, and helps Iowa’s small businesses compete,” said Representative Cindy Axne…
Two Iowa startups receive innovation funding from IEDA
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has approved innovation funding for two Iowa startups located in Coralville and Des Moines. CartilaGen Coralville-based CartilaGen produces an intra-articular injection of small-molecule drug which effectively prevents post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). This is a novel accomplishment that has yet to be demonstrated by any therapeutic. The technology has demonstrated strong preclinical results and is…
ISU and UIowa named top entrepreneurship schools by Princeton Review
The Princeton Review announced this week the results of its annual ranking of undergraduate and graduate schools for entrepreneurship studies. Iowa State University and the University of Iowa both made the list of top 50 undergraduate schools, ranking at no. 11 and no. 22, respectively. Iowa State ranked 11th in the nation in The Princeton Review’s 2023 annual survey of…
Iowa Corn Growers Association invests $500k in Låkril Technologies
The Iowa Corn Growers Association led a pre-seed financing round to support Låkril Technologies with a $500,000 venture capital investment to replace petroleum adhesives and super absorbents with home-grown, corn-based alternatives. The Kentucky Corn Promotion Council joined with an additional $100,000 investment. Låkril’s underlying, proprietary technology was developed at the University of Minnesota and allows for…
TAI announces the 2023 Iowa Technology Leadership Cohort
The Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) has announced the 2023 cohort for the Iowa Technology Leadership Institute. Twenty-five candidates were accepted into the program and represent companies and organizations from industries and markets across the state. “We are so excited to announce the 2023 cohort and build off the momentum and success of the program’s…
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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