Des Moines, Ames and Greater Iowa

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Flywheel founder Dusty Davidson at TechBrew

By SPN Team / October 10, 2019

Last week, Dusty Davidson visited TechBrew in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  We were in attendance and taped some of what he had to say.  In particular, we thought that his response to a question about growing up in the Midwest was poignant.  So, we thought that we would share it with you.

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Meet a VC: Firebrand Ventures from Kansas City

By Tom Chapman / October 3, 2019

In August of 2016, John Fein started the process of raising a venture capital fund in Kansas City.  He had a target of $7 million as his fund size and as he describes – “zero connections” to the high net worth community in Kansas City. However, he had a mission to raise and invest the…

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Kingland Systems Raises Another Round of Capital

By Tom Chapman / September 17, 2019

Last week, Kingland Systems which has offices in Clear Lake and Ames filed paperwork with the SEC that it had received $1 million in angel capital.  September 2019’s $1 million is in addition to the $1.5 million that was raised in 2018. Kingland Systems was founded in 1992 by David Kingland.  The company provides a…

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Research: State Funding Report for the Silicon Prairie

By Tom Chapman / September 16, 2019

2018 was a terrific year for the Silicon Prairie regarding venture dollars deployed.  More than $6.1B was deployed in the region.  While the number of companies receiving funds was about 8% lower (approximately 1450 companies were venture backed in the region), the amount of funding was up more than 34.5% from 2017 to 2018.  Thus,…

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Gross-Wen Technologies Continues Strong 2019

By SPN Team / September 11, 2019

Ames, Iowa based Gross-Wen Technologies (“GWT”) filed paperwork with the SEC on Tuesday that it had raised an additional $1.25 million dollars.  The company which provides revolving algal biofilm system (“RAB”) to cost-effectively recover nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater. GWT primarily serves customers (usually cities) that own wastewater treatment plants, and many…

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Iowa State Fair hosts Iowa State University pitch competition

By Justin Krug / September 4, 2019

More than 200 Iowa State University student and alumni entrepreneurs representing 168 business ventures gathered to pitch their products and services as part of Iowa State University’s exhibit in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fair. The event took place from August 8-18. Each pitch contestant competed for $1,000 to $5000 awards in the “Great Iowa State University STANDING innOVATION…

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Meet a Venture Firm: Innova Memphis

By Tom Chapman / September 3, 2019

The Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV has invested in five of the Silicon Prairie’s leading startups.  However, its origin suggests just how unlikely this was. In 2007, Innova Memphis was founded by Ken Woody as part of the Memphis BioWorks Foundation.  This foundation was part of an effort in Memphis, Tennessee to jumpstart the region’s…

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Accelerated Ag Technologies, aka PowerPollen, Receives Additional Funding

By Tom Chapman / August 27, 2019

On the 21st of August, Accelerated Ag Technologies, the parent to PowerPollen, filed paperwork with the SEC that it had received debt financing of more than $600k.  As you may recall, SPN profiled PowerPollen in early 2018, (http://siliconprairienews.com/2018/01/powerpollen-boosts-yields-cuts-costs-growers/). The company has created a new mechanism to harvest pollen and improve the creation of new seed. …

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Rantizo: improving the ag industry one drone at a time

By Justin Krug / August 22, 2019

Last week, SPN had the chance to speak with Michael Ott, founder and CEO of Rantizo – a company offering a unique, easy-to-use and cost-effective solution to agrichemical spraying via drones. Rantizo sells agricultural drones and drone spraying services. These drones deliver targeted sprays precisely where they are needed for various agricultural applications. Rantizo’s upgraded…

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FanFood announces partnership with Samsung

By Justin Krug / August 14, 2019

Last week, SPN had the chance to speak with Carson Goodale, founder, and CEO of FanFood. FanFood was originally formed in Iowa but the company has since moved to Chicago to pursue their business. FanFood is a mobile ordering and concessions management platform designed to improve the fan experience while streamlining the concessions management and…

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