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BOARD ACTION: IEDA Board Approves Awards in Seven Communities (revised)

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Tina Hoffman, Iowa Economic Development Authority

Phone: 515.725.3150 or Cell: 515.783.8225


Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approves awards in seven communities

Action today includes first award from the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund

May 18, 2012 (DES MOINES, IA) - The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today awarded financial assistance to four companies for job creation and expansion projects. Today's awards will assist in the creation of 77 new jobs, retention of 35 jobs and will result in $38 million of new capital investment to the state.

“We must continue to champion innovation and move Iowa forward," said Governor Terry Branstad. "Many of the companies receiving awards today reflect the strong entrepreneurial spirit that exists in Iowa.  When that is combined with the skilled workforce and excellent business climate in Iowa, we have the tools we need to build a brighter, stronger future for the state”.

The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Ogden, Algona, West Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Indianola and Coralville.

"It's very exciting for us to assist what could be some of Iowa's high growth companies of the future," said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. “Iowa’s small businesses play an integral role in the economy, and it is essential that we continue to advance the state’s climate for entrepreneurial development”.


AgReliant Genetics plans to build seed corn facility in Ogden

AgReliant Genetics, LLC of Indiana produces and markets seed corn and soybeans in 13 Midwestern states.   AgReliant Genetics is ranked as one of the largest field seed companies in North America marketing corn, soybeans and alfalfa seed through six brands: AgriGold Hybrids, Great Lakes Hybrids, LG Seeds, Producers Hybrids, Wensman Seed and PRIDE Seeds.

The company was awarded tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs program to construct a new plant in Ogden that will serve as a seed corn production, conditioning and distribution facility.  The project is expected to create 34 new jobs, of which 16 are incented, and result in a capital investment of $36 million.  The project represents AgReliant’s continued commitment to farmers in North America.

Meat processing equipment manufacturer plans to expand in Algona

Meat processing equipment manufacturer Cozzini, LLC was awarded $350,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax benefits via the Enterprise Zone program.  This project includes a $2.4 million investment by the company to purchase an existing facility in Algona, the construction of a 19,000 square foot expansion and the purchase and installation of equipment to support manufacturing.  The project is expected to create 20 new jobs over the next three years and retain 35 jobs. 


Submittal Exchange receives award for expansion

Submittal Exchange provides web-based collaboration software for the commercial construction industry.  The company, which is based in West Des Moines, was founded in Iowa in 2003 and was acquired by and became a division of Textura Corporation, a Chicago-based construction software company in late 2011.  The board awarded the company $150,000 in direct financial assistance to hire additional staff, enhance their product offering and expand their market presence.  The project represents a $46,000 capital investment and is expected to create 23 new jobs.


Demonstration Fund and Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund awards made to start-ups

The Demonstration Fund provides financial and technical assistance to encourage high technology prototype and concept development activities that have a clear potential to lead to commercially-viable products or services within a reasonable period of time.


The fund provides up to $150,000 to encourage commercialization activities by small and medium-sized Iowa companies in the advanced manufacturing, biosciences and information technology industries. The primary purpose of the fund is to help businesses with a high-growth potential reach a position where they are able to attract later-stage, private-sector funding. 


The Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund, one of several funds established under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), promotes the formation and growth of businesses that engage in the transfer of technology into competitive, profitable companies that create high paying jobs. The funds are designed to support commercializing research, launching new start-ups and accelerating private investment and industrial expansion efforts that result in significant capital investment.


Award recommendations for both the Demonstration Fund and Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund are made by the Technology and Commercialization Committee to the IEDA Board for approval.


MCG BioComposites, based in Cedar Rapids, provides sales and marketing services to companies seeking assistance to commercialize biobased materials.  The board awarded the company a $41,300 grant through the Demonstration Fund to develop tools for a plant marker (BioMarker™), develop new formulations for new biocomposite materials, market these products through direct marketing and exhibit at specific industry trade shows and conferences throughout the United States and Canada.  BioMarker™ is made with corn cob fiber and recycled high-density polyethylene and is marketed to the gardening industry. In addition, this award would also be used for developing and producing new marketing collateral to help with the promotion of materials.

B’Amazing Foods, founded in Iowa City in 2009, produces a healthy, baked whole food vegetable and fruit snack bar that is composed of complex sweeteners and minimally-processed grains.  The company was awarded a $150,000 royalty agreement through the Demonstration Fund to purchase equipment, ingredients and supplies, secure production labor and an Eastern US broker and supplement the company’s trade show attendance and marketing efforts.

Midamar (d/b/a Halal Food Processors) was established in 2008 and is an aspiring Cedar Rapids-based Halal food and organic further-processor of meat and poultry proteins. HFP is the primary further processing facility supporting another Iowa-based company and brand, Midamar Corporation, known as America’s pioneer Halal brand since 1974.  The company, which was awarded a $150,000 loan through the Demonstration Fund, plans to expand its level of raw processing operations to include further processed cooked proteins which currently are not available under the current level of operations. 

Tutor Universe was founded by Hung Tran and Thomas Hornbeck and incorporated as a Delaware C Corporation in Iowa City in June 2011.  The company seeks to empower subject matter experts and instruction consumers all over the world to engage with each other in virtual study rooms integrated with a social networking platform, creating a compelling education community.  The company was awarded a $150,000 grant from the Demonstration Fund to develop a social networking-based free market for online tutoring and connecting students and tutors around the world.

Indianola’s AG iTV was founded in 2010 by Ed Tlach as an extension of the services provided by EDJE Technologies.   EDJE helps the country’s cattle producers connect with one another and promote their sales via the Internet.  Today, EDJE designs, builds and maintains websites for retailers, restaurants, realtors, schools, manufactures, and many other industries.  AG iTV seeks to create current, video-based information about markets, news, and weather – and present the information at one location on the Internet.   The company was awarded a $50,000 grant through the Demonstration Fund to develop live-streaming broadcasts that would provide a valuable viewing alternative for its target market. The primary audience will be technological-inclined agriculture producers, as well as others with an interest in commodity markets, agriculture and agribusiness. 

People Statements LLC was formed in Cedar Rapids in 2010 as a software company that is working on the commercialization of its flagship product through a rollout in the US and four cities in China (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Beijing).  The company’s flagship product is an organizational development assessment (GAPM™) that obtains 33 proprietary “generally accepted people metrics.” The company was awarded a $150,000 royalty agreement via the Demonstration Fund to help the company to move forward with the commercialization of the product, refinement and market share acquisition. 

Coralville-based Corvida Medical is commercializing an innovative device to improve safety of preparing and administering chemotherapy supported through initial funding from National Cancer Institute, state of Iowa and private venture investors.  The board awarded a $500,000 loan to the company through the Innovation Acceleration Fund to support these efforts by hiring key personnel, developing sales and marketing initiatives and securing the needed patents and certifications. This is the first company to receive assistance from this program.


Download a spreadsheet of today's awards:


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200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
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