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BOARD ACTION: Economic Development Board Approves Awards to Support the Creation of 200+ Jobs

For more information contact:
Tina Hoffman, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Phone: 515.725.3150, cell 515.783.8225 or

July 18, 2014 (DES MOINES, IA) –  The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to four companies for job creation and expansion projects. Today's awards will assist in the creation of 206 jobs and will result in $62 million in new capital investment for the state.

The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Des Moines, Sioux City, Waterloo and Worth County. The board also approved innovation funding to five start-ups.

Des Moines insurer to create 146 jobs at downtown facility
American Republic Insurance provides personal and customized health and life insurance solutions for individuals, families and small business owners. The company is proposing a project to reconfigure its historic building and also adding employees to its Des Moines operations to meet demands of its growing business. The IEDA board approved High Quality Jobs Program (HQJP) tax incentives for this $24.5 million capital investment project. American Republic’s expansion is expected to create 146 jobs at a qualifying wage of $24.32 per hour.

Nationwide refrigerated warehouse company to maintain headquarters in Sioux City
Cloverleaf Cold Storage Co. is a refrigerated warehouse company with operations in several states and is considered the seventh largest public refrigerated warehouse company in the U.S. The board awarded Cloverleaf benefits through the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit (TJWTC) program to maintain its headquarters operations at a new location in Sioux City. The project will created 13 jobs, nine of which are incented, and retain 23 jobs at an average county wage of $16.63 per hour. The headquarters project has a capital investment of $927,725.

Waterloo secures Test Center expansion
CPM Acquisition Corp. designs and manufactures particle preparation equipment for the biomass, animal feed and food/industrial processing markets, among others. The company is proposing a project in Waterloo to invest in its test center, including pilot-scale particle conditioning, grinding, sizing and agglomeration applications. The project will double the size and increase the test center’s capacity and is expected to have a capital investment of $715,000. The board awarded the company tax benefits through the HQJP to create one job and retain one job at a qualifying wage of $19.13 per hour.

Biodiesel Chemical Producer to locate North American operation in Worth county
New Heaven Chemicals Inc., a subsidiary of TSS Group in India, is a newly incorporated Iowa company that will produce chemicals used in biodiesel production. The proposed project includes site infrastructure upgrades and the construction of a new facility in Worth county. Once completed, the facility will produce 36,000 tons of sodium methylate catalyst within three years to supply to the many biodiesel operations located within 200 miles. The board awarded the project $128,000 and tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs Program (HQJP) to create 16 jobs at a qualifying wage of $14.79 per hour. New Heaven Chemicals first North American facility will have a capital investment of $8.9 million.

Awards made to five 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 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.

The Proof of Commercial Relevance Fund provides financial assistance to innovative businesses that are pursuing proof of commercial relevance and marketability of a technology.  The funds are designed to assist businesses with new technologies that have completed the proof of concept stage and are ready to be subjected to the rigors of the proof of commercial relevance stage that includes defining the market for the product and perfecting the product to meet market needs.  

Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Technology and Commercialization Committee (TCC) to the IEDA Board for approval.

Athena GTX® manufactures wireless, mobile, patient-worn, miniature medical monitors.  Athena GTX® moved from Southern California to Des Moines seven years ago. The company’s product technology is focused on lightweight, portable, wireless, medical devices that enable medical care providers to connect with multiple patients’ vital signs data remotely via Wi-Fi and web-based applications on mobile computers and smart phones. The company was awarded a $100,000 loan through the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund to complete the commercialization of their product prototype and market planning and entry activities.

Des Moines-based Bawte was awarded a $25,000 grant via the Proof of Commercial Relevance Fund.  Bawte's mission is to declutter and simplify their users’ lives while making product ownership easier. The company’s product eliminates the need for paper instruction manuals, notifies users of a product recall or warranty expiration, allows users to keep digital receipts and helps users when a product is not working right.  The company will utilize this award for marketing and the development of the product.

Krato’s mission is to develop natural, non-toxic and highly effective solutions for pest control.  The Keokuk-based company’s technology involves using a combination of natural plant oils for controlling bed bugs.  The company was awarded a $75,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund for hiring managerial expertise.

Kyoger is a content strategy firm that offers products and services including website, digital media, video and marketing development. They have worked with multiple small businesses on process management and have pivoted to a focus on creating a SaaS product.  The Cedar Falls-based company was awarded $25,000 from the Proof of Commercial Relevance Fund for market planning and market entry activities.

Iowa City’s Pear Deck was awarded a $100,000 loan from the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund.  The company has developed a platform built on Google Drive that lets teachers quickly create interactive presentations and Formative Assessments. Their initial customers are school districts or teachers that use Gmail as their email client.  This award will be used for hiring key personnel.


Download a spreadsheet of today's awards:


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Iowa Economic Development Authority
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: 1.515.348.6200
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