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BOARD ACTION:Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $89 million in capital investments in Iowa

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Tina Hoffman, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Phone: 515.725.3150, mobile 515.783.8225
Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $89 million in capital investments in Iowa

April 22, 2016 (DES MOINES, IA) – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to nine companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 349 jobs and will result in over $89 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for seven startups.
The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Altoona, Ankeny, Coralville, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Elkader, Iowa City, Johnston, Knoxville, Mt. Pleasant, New Sharon, St. Ansgar and Waterloo.

Dubuque’s Cottingham & Butler set to create 75 jobs
Cottingham & Butler is the 37th largest insurance broker in the U.S. and is headquartered in Dubuque. The company employs over 700 employees across the U.S. and provides a full suite of risk management and employee benefits services. The company is proposing an expansion to its Dubuque location with the creation of 75 positions that will have a qualifying wage of $20.53 per hour. The board awarded Cottingham & Butler a $300,000 forgivable loan via High Quality Jobs program (HQJP) for its expansion that will have a capital investment of $565,000.

Crossroads Cold Storage, LLC plans Des Moines expansion
Crossroads Cold Storage, LLC is a newly created entity that will be wholly owned by Des Moines Cold Storage. This company proposes to construct a new cold storage facility in Des Moines to meet expanding customer needs and international market growth. This project represents a capital investment of $16.8 million and will result in the creation of 13 new jobs, three of which are incented at a qualifying wage of $26.72. The board awarded the project tax benefits via HQJP.

New data center in Altoona brings significant capital investment
Edge Business Continuity Center (BCC) Data Managed Services Cloud Technology company serves mid-sized enterprises in the Midwest and provides the data center infrastructure for LightEdge Solutions cloud computing services. Edge BCC is proposing an expansion of its data center co-locations services with the construction of a new data center facility in Altoona. This project will provide additional capacity for affiliate company LightEdge Solutions, Inc. to continue to sell disaster recovery services in Iowa and surrounding regional markets. The company was awarded tax benefits via HQJP for this project that is expected to create six jobs at a qualifying wage of $26.72 and result in a capital investment of $30 million.
Des Moines’ Excell Marketing approved for incentives
Excell Marketing distributes trading cards (sports and gaming) and related toy products to mass market retailers throughout the USA. The company is considering a warehouse expansion in Des Moines to relieve overcrowding in the current facility, allow for expansion of fulfillment operations to new product lines, and support anticipated acquisitions of companies in complimentary businesses. The board awarded Excell Marketing tax benefits via the HQJP to create 58 jobs, 11 of which are incented at a qualifying wage of $26.72 per hour. The project will have a capital investment of $5.4 million.

Hydrite Chemical Company set to make $15.9 million capital investment in Waterloo
Hydrite Chemical Company is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of chemical products in the United States.  The company provides expertise in chemical distribution, food and dairy sanitation, food ingredients, organic processing, liquid sulfur salts, water treatment, foam control, and compliance management. Hydrite Chemical’s proposed project would increase manufacturing capabilities in Waterloo by expanding its product lines in the food, agriculture and sulfur industries. The board awarded the company tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs Program (HQJP). The project is expected to create 11 jobs at a qualifying wage of $16.79 per hour. The proposed project includes land acquisition, site preparation, the construction of a 20,000 s.f. building, and installation of manufacturing machinery and equipment and will have a capital investment of $15.9 million.

Elkader manufacturer receives award for expansion
Mobile Track Solutions, LLC, located in Elkader, manufactures heavy earth moving equipment for contractors of all sizes, including construction grade tractors, various sized scrapers, disks and roller blades. The proposed project includes construction of a 44,000 s.f. building in the Johnson Industrial Park in Elkader to rebuild components and remanufacture Caterpillar 740 haul trucks. The proposed expansion has a capital investment of $5.1 million and would create 30 jobs at a qualifying wage of $14.70 per hour. The board awarded Mobile Track Solutions $180,000 in direct financial assistance and tax benefits via HQJP.

Ankeny’s Power Distributors to build new distribution center
Power Distributors (PD) in Ankeny is a wholesale distributor based in Columbus, OH. Power Distributors provides distribution, sales, customer service and tech support from 11 distribution centers across the U.S. The company is proposing to construct a new velocity distribution center to serve the Midwest region. The project would have a capital investment of $2.2 million. The board awarded PD tax benefits via HQJP for the creation of 25 jobs, one of which is incented at a qualifying wage of $26.72 per hour.

Veyance Technologies set to make $7.4 million capital investment in Mt. Pleasant
Veyance Technologies, Inc. in Mt. Pleasant manufactures industrial hose products that are distributed through retail and replacement markets throughout the world. Customers include Home Depot, John Deere and Case New Holland to name a few. The company is proposing an expansion project to increase the number of production lines and capacity to better serve customers, grow the business, and develop new products and markets. The project would have a capital investment of $7.4 million and is expected to result in the creation of 14 jobs at a qualifying wage of $15.86 per hour. The board awarded Veyance a $56,000 forgivable loan and tax benefits via the HQJP for this expansion.
Knoxville contract manufacturer receives award
Weiler, Inc., located in Knoxville, is a contract manufacturer building parts and whole goods on an OEM basis for companies including Textron, Vermeer, Case-New Holland and Fiat. Weiler also produces and markets its own products, including road graders that serve a national rental market, concrete mixers installed on customer trucks serving the general construction industry, and road building equipment such as road wideners, asphalt transfer machines, pavers and compactors. The company is proposing a project to accommodate growth as sales increase, new markets develop, and new products are designed and released to production. The board awarded Weiler direct financial assistance in the amount of $500,000 as well as tax benefits via HQJP to create 117 jobs at a qualifying wage of $19.49. The project will have a capital investment of $5.9 million.
Awards made to seven startups

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 financial assistance 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 (POCR) Fund provides financial assistance to innovative businesses that are pursuing proof of commercial relevance and marketability of a technology.  The fund is 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 Commercialization Committee (TCC) to the IEDA Board for approval.

Denim Labs Inc. is a technology startup located in Des Moines that is building cloud-based enterprise software for use by insurance and financial services companies.  The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR grant for team assembly, validating market potential and beta testing.

MetaCommunications (Meta) is an enterprise software company founded in Iowa City by Robert Long and a small group of engineers dedicated to developing project management solutions for creative and marketing teams. The company has developed ProofMe, a web-based content collaboration tool that simplifies, organizes and accelerates the review and approval process.  The company was awarded a $300,000 loan via the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund for hiring key personnel and marketing planning and entry activities.

NaturemiRI was founded in 2014 and based in Coralville.  The company was formed in response to an unmet need in biological research, specifically the lack of availability of an effective, specific, and non-toxic microRNA inhibitor.  NaturemiRI’s novel technology, the plasmid-based and long oligonucleotide microRNA inhibitor system (PMIS), has potential for far-reaching impact as an innovative force in microRNA research and therapeutic applications.
The company was awarded a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund primarily for acquiring mission-critical equipment and reagent and personnel requisitions, which are necessary to begin manufacturing the product and subsequent commercialization.  

Optimum Fleet Health (OFH) (dba of, LLC), currently located in Davenport, was started in late 2012. OFH is a provider of maintenance guidance for diesel-based transportation fleets using predictive analytics on diagnostic data generated by all diesel-powered heavy equipment and transmitted through a telematics system.  OFH identifies emerging issues before they become large problems and affect other systems. Additional benefits include: minimizing downtime events, minimizing maintenance costs, minimizing fleet and customer disruption and increased fuel economy. The company received a $25,000 POCR grant for market research and validation of market potential activities.

Performance Livestock Analytics (PLA), founded in 2015 and located in St. Ansgar, creates software that aims to help livestock producers become more sustainable and profitable with the power of big data and software analytics.  The company’s cloud-based software solution provides actionable information required for data-driven decision making for efficient livestock management, risk reduction and mitigation, and resource allocation decisions.  PLA received a $25,000 POCR grant for validation of market potential, corporate formation activities and sales and marketing.
Johnston-based PFE LLC has invented one of the only truly portable baby and pet gates on the market.  The gate is designed for travel and at-home use. With a state-of-the-art telescoping system, the gate can be used in openings with different widths on the top and bottom, such as bannisters.  When not in use it folds up and comes with a sturdy carrying case.  The board awarded PFE a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund for market planning and entry activities.

Swine Tech is a startup biotech company based in New Sharon that is focused on developing technologies to support the pork industry.  The company’s “Echo” solution allows pig farrowing confinement owners to increase litter size of piglets, thus providing a solution to capture missed revenue.  The company received a $25,000 POCR grant for validation of market potential conducting a competitive inquiry/analysis.
Download a spreadsheet of today's awards: 

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