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Investing in Iowa: Q4 2021
Investing in Iowa is a quarterly review of all investments made into early-stage companies in Iowa. The series is sponsored by ISA Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in Iowa-based companies. Iowa startups raised more than $13 million in Q4 of 2021. Since the beginning of 2018, Iowa startups have now raised a total of more…
Investing in Iowa: Q3 2021
Investing in Iowa is a quarterly review of all investments made into early-stage companies in Iowa. The series is sponsored by ISA Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in Iowa-based companies. Iowa startups raised more than $65 million in Q3 of 2021. Since the beginning of 2018, Iowa startups have now raised a total of more…
ISA Ventures announces Scout & Fellowship Programs
ISA Ventures (ISAV), a venture capital fund that invests in Iowa-based companies, announced last Friday that it is launching 3 year-long Scout and Fellowship programs in 2022. These programs will give up to 8 highly qualified college students a unique opportunity to learn more about Venture Capital. The programs are each 12 months long…
Virtual matchmaking event will connect Midwest startups and investors
Taking place September 13 and 14, midwest.tech/connect will match Midwest startup founders with a pool of VCs and angel investors interested in investing in the Midwest. The two-day virtual summit, hosted by Sandalphon Capital, will facilitate one-on-one meetings between founders, VCs and angel investors based on mutual opt-in. It's open to founders located across the Midwest looking to…
Treasury Department releases new guidance rules on SBA Loans
April 4, 04:53 pm: This story has been corrected to clarify the new guidance rules on SBA loans. We apologize for the error. On Friday night, the Treasury Department updated its rules regarding the “affiliation” of private entities to include religious organizations and nonprofits but keep in place the same rules that would deny some…
venture capital 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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