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Every year, Clay & Milk holds multiple annual Tech Crawls — one-night tours of the startup and tech communities within Iowa.

These are great opportunity to go behind-the-scenes and tour some of the coolest tech spaces in Iowa communities, pub-crawl style.

Meet with tech leaders, startup founders and young professionals as you tour different tech spaces, with entertainment at each stop.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the Tech Crawl Work?
To kick things everyone will start at the same location, where you will be given a wristband and a map with directions to each of the other locations.

Following the kickoff, attendees will have the next few hours to attend multiple surrounding locations.

To wrap up the Tech Crawl, everyone will meet back up at the same final location. Those who stop at each participating location will receive a Tech Crawl pint glass!

Who is this event for?
Anyone and everyone interested in tech and/or startups.

Don’t know much about the tech community but want to get more involved? Are you a student interested in learning more in more about Iowa’s tech community? Already involved in the tech community but just want to check out some cool spaces? This is the event for you.

Why are we doing this?
Two reasons:

1.) To showcase the cool tech spaces throughout Iowa.

2.) All proceeds from the event will go towards supporting Clay & Milk. We are the only news source that covers the startup, technology and innovation community in Iowa. Funding from events like this goes a long way towards making Clay & Milk a self-sustaining publication.

What does my ticket include?
Your ticket guarantees your spot on the tour and give you access to all participating locations for the duration of the evening. You will also receive a Tech Crawl pint glass provided you stop at each stop.

If your company is interested in sponsoring or being a host location at a Clay & Milk Tech Crawl, shoot us an email at

Clay & Milk Tech Crawl | 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
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