Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $43 million in capital investments in Iowa

May 20, 2016 (DES MOINES, IA) – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to eight companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 1,275 jobs, retention of 53 jobs and will result in over $43 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for six startups.

The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Cedar Falls, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fairfield, Iowa City, Keokuk, Sheldon and Waukee.

Read the entire list by visiting:


Downtown to get more than 1,000 high-tech jobs in major lease and construction deal for Des Moines

BY KENT DARR Business Record | Senior Staff Writer | @KentDarr

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., a multinational corporation that is based in New Jersey with a presence in Des Moines, plans to hire more than 1,000 people and occupy office space in Two Ruan Center as well as build two office building in the Gray’s Landing development.

The company, one of the leading STEM recruiters in the United States, currently employs slightly more than 400 people in Des Moines who work out of two office buildings downtown.

According to an application for state of Iowa high-quality-jobs tax credits, the company will spend more than $14 million to lease 50,000 square feet of office space in Two Ruan Center and to lease two 54,000-square-foot built-to-suit office buildings. The costs also include expenses for remodeling and computer hardware.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board will consider a forgivable loan of $812,000 when it meets Friday as well as a rebate of sales taxes on construction materials.

The city of Des Moines also is working out the details of an incentive package that includes tax increment financing for the Gray’s Landing office building project.

Continue reading about the affect the company’s decision is likely to have in Des Moines. Full Insider story >>>

Free workshop for small businesses


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Time: 9:30AM – 1PM, May 21st
Place: Ames Public Library

If you are taking the first steps towards starting a small business, or have always been curious about owning one, this is an invitation to learn more about what it takes for a small business to be successful! A Small Business – Your Opportunity for Success will host an array of speakers to touch on things such as accounting, marketing, legalities, and more. 

The ISU Small Business Development Center and the Ames Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring a workshop for emerging small businesses. This program is open to anyone who owns or is considering starting a small business. The program will feature local business successes, as well as business professionals and advisors.

The event will be held at the Ames Public Library in the Danfoss Room from 9:30AM to 1:00PM.

The event is free, but REGISTER HERE.

Percival Scientific receives Department of Commerce “E” Award

Percival Scientific Inc. has received the nation’s highest recognition for contributions to U.S. exports. Percival was one of 123 recipients of the President’s “E” Award that were part of a ceremony Monday in Washington, according to the Commerce Department. The award was created in 1961.

About Percival Scientific:

Percival Scientific, Inc. has the unique distinction of being in business for over 125 years.  In 1886, C.L. Percival and J.E. Smith established Percival Manufacturing in Des Moines, Iowa. Initially, the company manufactured and sold butcher tools, machinery and fixtures. By 1901, the need for a refrigerated cabinet became evident, prompting Percival to pursue and receive a patent. Forty years later, in 1941, the company moved to a new 24,000 square foot facility and continued to manufacture a complete line of refrigerated display units. Since May 2000, we’ve occupied a state-of-the-art 60,000 square foot facility in Perry, Iowa.

Percival Scientific, a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of environmental growth chambers, is proud to call Perry, Iowa our home. Our facility encompasses all engineering, design, fabrication and construction of our extensive product line, allowing Percival Scientific to maintain complete control of the manufacturing process.

Percival chambers have become the preferred choice among universities, colleges, government institutions and businesses both domestically and internationally. Our chambers are found in Europe, Asia, Brazil, India, China, Australia as well as many other countries. Our ability to meet individual requirements and to control multiple critical testing variables is what has allowed Percival Scientific to become an industry leader.

For more information visit:

TechBrew Des Moines Wednesday, May 18


Join TAI for TechBrew at the Accelerate DSM event on Wednesday, May 18 at the Science Center of Iowa. Produced in collaboration with 1 Million Cups DSM, the Technology Association of Iowa and dmStartupDrinks, Accelerate DSM will feature panels, keynotes, roundtables and networking with members of the Des Moines startup community. In the afternoon, listen to Global Insurance Accelerator pitches from the class of 2016.

Learn more and register for the full day conference at

Your first drink at TechBrew is on us starting at 5 pm!

When: Wednesday, May 18
Time: 5-7pm
Where: Science Center of Iowa
401 W Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50309
May TechBrew Des Moines is Sponsored by: DavisBrown Law Firm


Iowa Biotechnology Association Names Central Lee High School Sophomore as Iowa BioGENEius Finalist

Aaron Wills Advances to San Francisco to Compete Against Top Students from Across the Nation and Canada.

IowaBio has named Central Lee High School sophomore, Aaron Wills of Donnellson, as the winner of the 2016 Iowa BioGENEius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding research and innovation in the biotechnology field.

As Iowa’s BioGENEius finalist, Aaron Wills will attend the 2016 BIO International Convention in San Francisco, the industry’s trade conference, where he will engage with leading companies, scientists and innovators currently transforming the scientific landscape in order to gain invaluable insights into an industry making significant contributions to the world. While in San Francisco, Aaron will compete against students from the U.S., Canada and Germany in the International BioGENEius Challenge. The projects presented will represent a range of biotechnology topics such as healthcare, agriculture, and the environment. “The Challenge highlights the breakthroughs made when we invest and encourage our younger generations to pursue their ideas.

These students are facing the world’s greatest problems head on and providing solutions to heal, feed, and fuel people and the environment,” said IowaBio Associate Director, Melissa Moyer. “IowaBio is excited to cheer Aaron on in San Francisco at the 2016 BIO International Convention as we already know that his research has great potential to help society as well as inspire others to pursue research projects.”

“Our mission is to engage and excite student innovators by creating an environment that allows them to showcase their talents and help accelerate their development as the next-generation of scientists. The BioGENEius Challenges encourage students to apply their scientific knowledge to solve some of society’s most pressing issues through biotechnology, allowing them to see the tremendous potential they have to make change in the world,” said Dr. Lawrence Mahan, President of Biotechnology Institute. “We bring students, mentors and industry leaders together to promote excellence in scientific research from the best and brightest minds in the next generation of biotechnology innovators.”

Aaron Wills’ project focused on the ability of Lemna minor (duckweed) to metabolize and lower the nitrate level in Iowa’s spring water, additionally reducing the occurrence of algal blooms. This has become a recent problem within our state and Aaron’s project showcased an innovative, biological and environmentally-friendly solution.

The IowaBio judging panel was captivated by his passion, depth of research and interest in working with his local community to finding a global solution. He will be a great student to represent the state of Iowa and the ag/environmental side of biotechnology. “I am honored to represent Iowa and compete in the U.S. in the 2016 International BioGENEius Challenge,” said Aaron Wills. “The best part will be meeting kids from other countries and being in San Francisco.”

For more information, visit

Venture competition offers $50,000 in cash

The Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is an opportunity for young businesses to win funds for their company. APPLICATION DEADLINE is midnight MAY 17.

Eligibility requirements:

  • The plan must relate to an original idea for a business in operation for four years or less or a business that is not yet cash flow positive
  • The principal business operations must be located in Iowa
  • Businesses can include, but are not limited to: technology, biotechnology, green technologies, medical, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and agri products, engineering or education. Eligible businesses must not be engaged primarily in retail sales, real estate or the provision of health care or other professional services. 

For additional information, visit:, or contact Anna Hobart, 319-384-3262. 


Meet with federal funding agencies

Get On the Bus!

From the Iowa Innovation Corporation: Details are coming together for the SBIR/STTR National Road Tour in August. This conference gives Iowans the opportunity to meet face-to-face with representatives from federal funding agencies including NASA, National Institutes of Health, USDA and National Science Foundation. The national bus tour event will be Wednesday, August 17 in Ames. To prepare participants, we are again sponsoring two pre-conferences:

Monday, August 15 in Iowa City
Tuesday, August 16 in Ames

The pre-conferences are highly recommended for those who want to get the most of the 1:1 sessions with federal funders. Pre-conference speakers will be Mark and Catherine Henry, Jim Greenwood and Jordan Hobfoll. Each will provide information about SBIR/STTR programming, and will set up appointments with participants for a 10-minute prep session for Wednesday’s federal 1:1 sessions.

Register here


Outstanding STEM teachers honored at Terrace Hill


The six 2016 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award recipients were recognized by Governor Branstad and STEM Council Co-Chairs Lt. Governor Reynolds and Kemin Industries President and CEO Dr. Nelson at the STEM Council’s reception of the Future Ready Iowa Summit at Terrace Hill on April 18.

Iowa has been known as “a place to grow” and “life-changing,” yet to the STEM Council — thanks to the vision and investment of Kemin Industries — I.O.W.A. represents our state’s excellent STEM educators who are Innovative in their methods, Outstanding in their passion for education, Worldly in how they help their students see STEM all around them and Academic in engaging students both in and out of the classroom.

“We are extremely appreciative of STEM teachers in Iowa. This award is just one of the ways we enjoy honoring the hard work and dedication of exceptional teachers in our state,” said Kemin Industries President and CEO Dr. Chris Nelson, STEM Council co-chair. “These teachers deserve recognition for preparing today’s students to become tomorrow’s workforce, which includes an abundance of STEM opportunities.”

In the second year of the I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award, six of Iowa’s most inspiring teachers of STEM subjects received award presentations in March at their schools and then formal recognition earlier this month at Terrace Hill. Each teacher received $1,500 and an additional $1,500 for their classrooms.

The 2016 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award recipients are:

North Central STEM Region

Ed Birkey, Technology and Engineering Teacher

Fort Dodge High School

Northeast STEM Region

Dirk Homewood, Project Lead The Way and Mathematics Teacher

Cedar Falls High School

Northwest STEM Region

Kent Muyskens, Science Teacher

Carroll High School

South Central STEM Region

Ryan Lensing, Science Teacher

Dowling Catholic High School

Southeast STEM Region

Reagan Boeset, 6-8th Grade STEM Teacher

Clear Creek Amana Middle School

Southwest STEM Region

Erin Wetzel, Project Lead The Way and Computers Teacher

Southwest Valley Middle School


To read more about each recipient or to watch videos from the 2015 awardees, head to

Hargens, Spiegel receive advanced manufacturing leadership awards

Roger Hargens, president and CEO of Ankeny-based AccuMold, received NACFAM’s Advanced Manufacturing Leadership Award at its Annual Conference dinner on April 28. Hargens was selected to receive the Advanced Manufacturing Leadership Award for a mid-size company CEO. In his letter supporting Hargens’ nomination, Gov. Terry Branstad called Accumold “a home-grown Iowa success story” and Hargens “a guy who makes things happen.” Accumold produces super-micro, ultra-precision, plastic injection-molded parts that are critical components of the medical, micro-electronics and micro-optics industries. Also at the conference, Eric Spiegel, president and CEO of Siemens USA, was chosen as the recipient of the Advanced Manufacturing Leadership Award for a major company CEO. Spiegel is a national leader in the effort to address the skills gap that confronts America’s advanced manufacturers. Siemens operates six locations in Iowa.

For more information visit: