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Newly formed Ames company will bring autonomy to ag industry
Two agricultural technology companies—Redshield Electronics in Ely, Iowa and LSA Autonomy in Maryland—have merged to create MACH, a company seeking to convert farm equipment into self-driving vehicles. MACH, located in the Iowa State University Research Park in Ames, will work with equipment manufacturers to convert tractors and other farming and off-highway equipment into autonomous equipment…
Venture School accepting applications for spring cohort
The University of Iowa's Venture School program is accepting applications for its Spring 2023 cohort to be held at various locations across the state, beginning the week of Feb. 20. The sessions meet one night a week for seven weeks as either hybrid, fully remote, or in-person, depending on location. The final class of the…
TAI announces 2023 public policy priorities, Legislative Launch
 The Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) has released its 2023 State and Federal principles and priorities leading into the 2023 Iowa legislative year. “Heading into the 2023 session, we are eager to build on our policy positions and have identified key areas of focus centered on data privacy and cybersecurity-related legislation,” said Brian Waller, president…
Global Insurance Accelerator
Global Insurance Accelerator announces seven teams for 2023 cohort
The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) has announced the seven startups that will make up its 2023 cohort. This year's cohort is made up of companies who are looking to solve some of the industry's real challenges and problems including: leveraging data (both new and existing) to improve underwriting, creating deeper connections between science and insurance,…
Integrated DNA Technologies acquires next-gen research assays for $48 million
Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) announced this week that that is acquiring next-generation sequencing research assays from medical genetics company Invitae for $48 million. The integration of IDT’s portfolio with the acquired research assays will empower labs with an all-in-one solution for uncovering biomarkers and advancing cancer discoveries, IDT said. An assay is a laboratory…
Adaptive clothing brand No Limbits raises $1.4 million seed round
Adaptive clothing brand No Limbits has raised a $1.4 million seed round. No investor led the round for the Richmond-based startup, but there was participation from Georgetown's Halcyon Angels and New York's The Disability Opportunity Fund and follow-on investments from Mark Cuban and Emma Grede, who previously backed the company on ABC's "Shark Tank." Erica Cole, the company's founder,…
Hawkeye Surgical Lighting wins $100K at InnoVenture Challenge
Hawkeye Surgical Lighting, a University of Iowa startup founded by neurosurgery resident David Christianson and medical student Anthony Piscopo, won $100,000 at the first InnoVenture Challenge at Temple Theatre on Dec. 7 in Des Moines. InnoVenture Iowa invited early-stage entrepreneurs to participate in its challenge, a pitch competition that brought together three startup companies to…
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…
News Archives | Page 2 of 99 | 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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