Investment

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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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Large Series A Round for Minnesota Based 75F

By SPN Team / September 11, 2019

Last week, Twin Cities based 75F announced that the company had raised more than $18 million in a Series A round of financing led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Oil & Gas Climate Initiative.  Building Ventures, Revolution, and Clean Energy Trust participated in the round. The company was founded in 2012 and has been slowly…

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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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WalkWise Helps Seniors Walk…Wisely

By Razia Aziz-Seible / September 10, 2019

WalkWise Helping Seniors Walk…Wisely Last month, on August 21, World Senior Citizen Day was celebrated to not only honor elderly adults but to also raise awareness of issues affecting this growing demographic.  According to the 2019 revision of the UN DESA World Population Prospects, 21.4 % of the world’s population will be 60 years and…

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Non-Dilutive Capital Grants Help Lincoln Startups

By SPN Team / September 9, 2019

LaunchLNK is a local program in Lincoln, Nebraska that helps startups find early stage, non-dilutive capital. LaunchLNK, and their partners provide $25,000 as a grant to early stage companies that agree to live and work in Lincoln for a year. This grant was modeled on programs in Buffalo, NY and St. Louis. In some instances,…

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Precision Farming Startup Receives Funding

By Razia Aziz-Seible / September 5, 2019

Winnebago, Minnesota-based AgTech-startup, Aker Technologies (formerly Leading Edge Technologies), announced on August 27th that it has raised equity financing of $2.6M to further develop its crop diagnostics and analytics platform, specifically its TrueCause™ and Aker Pest Network™ services. The company also recently set up offices in Creve Coeur, Missouri, part of Greater St. Louis, to…

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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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St. Louis Company Raises $13+ million

By Tom Chapman / August 27, 2019

Capacity raised $13.2 million from Midwest investors.  The company has a strong pedigree with the co-founders each having successful ventures, including a large exit.  However, the firm went about this differently.  They had their 50+ employees help in the fundraising efforts by arming each employee with the pitch and presentation.  This is an unusual strategy…

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