CEDAR FALLS | The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council received $20,000 from Google to support a computer science program.
This is the second time Google has funded “Code Iowa,” which focuses on increasing the state’s participation in Code.org’s international effort called “The Hour of Code.” Last December, more than 450 schools took part in the event, and 50 schools signed up through the STEM Council to become a certified Code Iowa partner. Google’s first $20,000 contribution allowed the STEM Council to award five schools across Iowa with $4,000 technology awards for participating in the “Hour of Code” during Computer Science Education Week.
The council is based at the University of Northern Iowa. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
According to Code.org statistics, Iowa currently has nearly 4,500 open computing jobs with only 358 computer science graduates to fill them, which is a demand 3.1 times the state average.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said warm weather last week allowed farmers to move into the final weeks of harvest. “The warm weather last week allowed farmers to make good progress, and now 92 percent of soybeans and 73 percent of corn has been harvested,” Northey said in a statement. “Corn and bean harvests are both ahead of last year and the five-year average.” Northey said. “The warm, windy weather early in the week allowed crops to dry quickly before much of the state got some moisture on Friday that slowed things down.” Read the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crop report here.
NEXUS launches EPIC Corporate Challenge
BY BUSINESS RECORD STAFF | @BusinessRecord
NEXUS Executive Women’s Alliance announced the launch of its EPIC Corporate Challenge today at a luncheon for Central Iowa CEOs at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.
EPIC, which stands for Economic Potential for Iowa Companies, is an effort by NEXUS to positively affect Central Iowa businesses by attracting, retaining and promoting women as a workforce development strategy.
The group is inviting businesses to take the EPIC Challenge and pledge to formally commit to grow and retain women at all levels. Principal Financial Group Inc., Delta Dental of Iowa, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Iowa National Guard and Des Moines Area Community College have already accepted the EPIC Corporate Challenge.
To learn more about taking the EPIC Challenge and to make a pledge, click here.
At the event, NEXUS also released a video highlighting the business case for including more women on senior leadership teams. Watch the video >>>
Iowa Biotechnology Association invites Early- and Mid-Stage companies to apply for the
BIOTECH INNOVATION SHOWCASE
The Biotech Innovation Showcase is IowaBio’s first-ever investor conference and will be hosted as part of their annual Partnering for Growth Forum. The Showcase is looking for Early- to Mid-Stage biotech companies to present whose focus includes:
Animal or Human Health
Food, Ag or Plant Genetics
Biofuels or Biomaterials
Applications will be accepted from October 1, 2015 – January 8, 2016 at www.iowabio.org/innovation
A $100 application fee will be invoiced to each company that applies; only finalists chosen from the selection committee will be invited to present at the Showcase.
A $5,000 prize will be awarded to the best Early-Stage presentation on March 31, 2016 during the Partnering for Growth Forum’s evening reception. Click here to apply: http://www.iowabio.org/index.cfm?NodeID=84206
For any immediate questions, please contact IowaBio’s Executive Director, Joe Hrdlicka, at email@example.com or (515) 327-9156
Fitness club to build at ISU Research Park
Ames Racquet and Fitness Center will build a full-service fitness club at Iowa State University Research Park, the organizations announced Wednesday. The fitness club, in a newly constructed 52,000-square-foot building, will replace the club’s original facility located at 320 S. 17th St. in Ames. The new club is expected to open in early 2017. “A fitness center in close proximity is a long-desired tenant amenity,” said Steve Carter, director at ISU Research Park. Building plans include a 150-meter indoor track, new strength and conditioning equipment, a sauna, a steam room, a nursery/kids’ gym, and room for massage therapy.
Midwest Energy News honors 2 young energy leaders
Midwest Energy News website has named two Iowans among its 40 Under 40 list highlighting emerging leaders’ work to accelerate the transition to a clean-energy economy. Paritosh Kasotia is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Unfolding Energy. Previously she led the energy office of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and serves on the board of the Iowa Renewable Energy Association. Dwight Stewart, founder and president of Igor, focuses on building disruptive software and technology innovations for the clean-energy industry. Igor is focused on developing tools to provide intelligent automation of LED light fixtures.
DES MOINES, Iowa
Unemployment: 3.4 percent
Recent development: Convenience store giant Kum and Go relocated its headquarters
Fifty-six companies moved or expanded to Des Moines in 2013; 14 were attracted by the area’s affordability—cost of living is 10 percent lower than the rest of the nation. And there’s incentives such as the city’s economic development office, which has a MicroLoan Program that can provide up to $10,000 to businesses with five or fewer employees. Central Iowa SourceLink and the Business Innovation Zone connect companies with other owners and potential investors. For more information visit: http://www.globaltrademag.com/list/site-selection-assistance-2
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) recently awarded funding to seven startup businesses, based on the recommendation of the Technology Commercialization Committee (TCC). The companies are:
Athena GTX, Johnston, $250,000 expansion loan from the Iowa Acceleration Fund.
Eco Engineers, Des Moines, $100,000 launch fund loan.
Icon Labs, West Des Moines, $100,00 demonstration fund loan.
L8NT, Iowa City, $25,000 proof of commercial relevance grant.
Lil’ Sidekick, Polk City, $100,000 propel loan.
Workhound, Des Moines, $25,000 proof of commercial relevance grant.
An Oscar- and Emmy-winning visual effects designer, a New York Times No. 1 best-selling author and a Discovery Channel storm chaser will be among the keynote speakers during Des Moines Area Community College Celebrate Innovation Week 7. The forums, which are free and open to the public, are scheduled Feb. 29 through March 4 at DMACC’s West Des Moines campus. The theme for the 2016 event is “Free to Dream.” “These presenters will inspire DMACC students, the community and people who attend CiWeek 7 from all over the country to dream,” said DMACC West Campus Provost and event organizer Tony Paustian. For a schedule of events and speakers, click here.