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Women Who Create Conference set to take place Oct. 19
Iowa State's annual Women Who Create Conference is set to take place on Oct. 19 inside the Iowa State Economic Development Core Facility at the Iowa State University Research Park. The day-long conference is a part of Women Entrepreneurship Week which takes place every October and will feature workshops and a panel discussion. The…
Nextlink Internet partners with Tarana to expand access to rural broadband
Broadband provider Nextlink Internet and telecommunications equipment supplier Tarana are partnering to bring large-scale improvements to broadband across the Midwest. The two companies are partnering to bring reliable, low-latency gigabit broadband service to an extensive set of under-served communities and rural regions in 11 states: Iowa Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South…
University of Iowa joins NSF I-Corps Hub
The University of Iowa is joining the NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes Region as a partner institution. On Sept. 8, the National Science Foundation announced the expansion of the National Innovation Network. This included several new hubs across the country and the addition of partner institutions to existing hubs, including the University of Iowa to…
Four Iowa startups receive IEDA funding
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has approved innovation funding in support of four Iowa startups. In total, $250,000 was awarded. Here are the startups that received funding. Janas Materials Ames-based Janas Materials, Inc. develops sustainable technology for the coating industry that improves the appearance and application of wood stains. The additive is for water-based stains to achieve the…
Finalists Announced for the 2022 Prometheus Awards
The Technology Association of Iowa has announced the finalists for the 2022 Prometheus Awards. The winner in each of the 15 award categories will be announced during the Prometheus Awards celebration on Thursday, November 3, in downtown Des Moines. Finalists in each category are:  Startup Technology Company of the Year  Distynct  Learning Couture  LSF Medical Solutions  Moov…
Iowa JPEC accepting applications for Fall 2022 Venture School
The University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center is now accepting applications for the Fall 2022 cohort of its Venture School program. University of Iowa Venture School is a statewide program for entrepreneurs that emphasizes real-world entrepreneurship and innovation based on a leading-edge curriculum. The fall 2022 Venture School program will be held in person…
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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