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BOARD ACTION: Economic Development Board approves awards to support the creation of jobs

For more information contact:
Tina Hoffman, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Phone: 515.725.3150, cell 515.783.8225 or tina.hoffman@iowaeda.com


November 21, 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 156 jobs, retain 89 jobs and will result in over $157 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding to six startups.

Monsanto Company plans expansion project in Muscatine
Monsanto Company is a leading provider of agricultural products for farmers. Monsanto Company and its subsidiaries were awarded tax assistance through the High Quality Jobs program (HQJP) to expand and improve operations at its crop protection plant in Muscatine. The proposed project, which represents a potential $73.9 million capital investment, is expected to create 51 new jobs in Muscatine at a qualifying hourly wage of $17.06.
 
Swiss Valley Farms to expand in Luana
Swiss Valley Farms Cooperative is a four-state cooperative owned and controlled by 626 dairy producers and headquartered in Davenport.  The board awarded the company $465,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax benefits from the HQJP for this $20.6 million capital investment.  The Luana-based project is set to create 10 jobs, four of which are incented, and retain 89 jobs at a qualifying hourly wage of $13.70.
 
Keokuk biotech company receives award
VAMA is a biotech company located in Keokuk that develops targeted, natural and effective solutions for insect control. The company developed this technology platform allowing them to create targeted solutions for any insect that is safe for humans and other animals. The company has recently developed a product that combats Varroa, an external parasitic mite that attacks honey bees, and is proposing a project to develop and sell this solution through a facility in Keokuk. The company was awarded tax benefits via the Targeted Jobs (TJ) Withholding Tax Credit program to complete this $408,000 capital investment and create 45 jobs, of which 30 are incented at a qualifying wage of $17.60 per hour.
 
Logistics provider to acquire site in Council Bluffs
XTL, Inc. is a leading customized logistics solutions provider that utilizes state-of-the-art robotic warehousing and inventory control for commodities and finished goods.  The company specializes in providing capacities to primary processors and employees in order to maximize on-site production while using off-site logistics resources. This $62 million capital investment project was awarded tax benefits through the HQJP to create 50 jobs, of which 16 are incented, at a qualifying hourly wage of $20.95.
 
 
Awards made to six 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 $100,000 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 IEDA’s Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) program provides up to $25,000 in the form of a grant and is designed to define and articulate the business opportunity for businesses that have demonstrated a proof-of-concept for their innovative technology. 
 
Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Technology and Commercialization Committee (TCC) to the IEDA Board for approval.
 
Crossroads Manufacturing, located in Clarksville, has developed the Worksite Hawk, a solar-powered tool that provides worksite monitoring of daytime productivity and material arrival and nighttime security of equipment and materials. An occurrence activates a strobe light and sends text/email notification within 30 seconds to stakeholders with a video clip (video is stored for 200 days).  The company was awarded a $25,000 grant through the Demonstration Fund for proving market viability of the production version of the product.
 
DataYield is a software-as-a-service provider focused on business-to-business support and service enablement in the agriculture sector. Their core cloud-based offering will enable farmer vendors such as software, equipment, and crop-inputs providers to more effectively communicate with and support their farmer customers. The company, which is based in West Des Moines, was awarded a $100,000 loan via the Demonstration Fund primarily for product refinement, market planning and entry activities and prototype design.
 
InnoBioPharma, LLC is a drug discovery and development company founded in Coralville in 2014 for the purpose of developing the next generation of anticancer drugs.  The board awarded the company a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund for hiring research personnel, acquiring research supplies, biological testing and IP development.
 
Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Iowa City, Mazira, LLC is a software development company that focuses on cloud-based technology. The company has developed proprietary software that allows small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) users to aggregate, manipulate, and search all of their files and data from multiple cloud-based accounts (email, Dropbox, etc.) in one unified interface.  Through the Demonstration Fund, the board approved a $25,000 grant from the POCR program for software development and marketing.
 
MyMedScore dba Punctil Health, a pioneer in no-wait healthcare, addresses long lines and patient no-shows simultaneously. Its cloud-based application addresses profit-loss due to patient no-show related inefficiencies.  The Batavia-based company’s HIPAA-compliant cloud application also eliminates patient wait times simultaneously by offering mobile check-in, standby appointments and virtual patient lounges.  The company received a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund to hire key personnel, product refinement and market planning and entry activities.
 
Terra Biologics, founded in St. Louis, Missouri, plans to relocate to Coralville by early 2015.  The company is commercializing a platform to increase agricultural productivity utilizing photosynthetic microorganisms called cyanobacteria or “blue-green algae”. These cyanobacteria convert solar energy and nutrients to fix atmospheric nitrogen, which becomes bioavailable for plants and has proven to promote biomass accumulation and increase yields.  The board awarded Terra Biologics a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund for research and development.  
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Download a spreadsheet of today's awards:
www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/UserDocs/documents/IEDA/nov14awards.pdf

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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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