IEDA Board approves projects from nine established and seven startup companies in Iowa

May 21, 2021

For more information contact:
Ms. Kanan Kappelman, 515.348.6248 
communications@iowaeda.com

IEDA Board approves projects from nine established and seven startup companies in Iowa

May 21, 2021 (DES MOINES, IA) – Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board approved awards for nine established companies, which will assist in the creation of 218 jobs and result in almost $103 million in new capital investment for the state. These projects are located in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Centerville, Clinton, Mount Pleasant, Urbandale, Washington and Waterloo. The board also approved innovation funding in support of seven startups located in Ames, Clive, Des Moines, Iowa City, Nora Springs and Washington.

Perfect Flight to build global headquarters in Ames
The Brazilian-founded company Perfect Flight plans to open its global headquarters in Ames’ Iowa State University Research Park. The company is an agtech business that provides pre-flight planning, monitoring and KPIs/reports that reduce cost and increase efficiency for aerial applications with drones, aircrafts and helicopters. The project represents a capital investment of just under $600,000. The board awarded the project tax benefits and a $250,000 forgivable loan through the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program. It is expected to create 60 jobs at a qualifying wage of $27.67 per hour.

Cedar Rapids manufacturer to expand operations
IFF is a manufacturer of enzymes for biofuels production and also manufactures enzymes for the food, animal nutrition and household products. The company plans to expand its operations in Cedar Rapids by adding 20,000 square feet of space for both the spray drying and the fermentation processes. The project represents a capital investment of just under $44 million and is expected to create eight jobs at a qualifying wage of $23.20 per hour. It was awarded tax benefits through the HQJ program.

Alliance Outdoor Group relocates from Minnesota to Centerville
Alliance Outdoor Group manufactures and distributes electric bikes and accessories, hunting tree stands, firearm suppressors, and nutritional products to hunters, outdoor enthusiasts and health-conscious families. The company will relocate its operations and construct their headquarters in Centerville. The new facility will include office space, manufacturing, warehouse and research and development. The project represents a capital investment of just under $2 million and is expected to create 25 jobs at a qualifying wage of $16.33 per hour. The board awarded tax benefits and a $150,000 forgivable loan through the HQJ program.

ADM plans expansion in collaboration with Spiber America LLC
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is a global leader in human and animal nutrition, and the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company. In partnership with Spiber America LLC’s innovative production of plant-based polymers, ADM will invest in, and operate, the processing equipment for the project at the Clinton biorefinery. The board awarded this $27.6 million capital investment project tax benefits through the HQJ program. It is expected to create 48 jobs, of which 47 are incented at a qualifying wage of $17.57 per hour.

Clinton’s Big River Packaging to expand facility
A manufacturer of folding cartons, Big River Packaging’s 54 employees manufacture and ship bakery boxes of all sizes across the country and internationally. To meet demand, the company plans to expand their Clinton facility with 35,000 additional square feet, which will create additional semi-trailer bays and increase space for better workflow optimization. The project is expected to create nine jobs at a qualifying wage of $17.57 per hour and represents a capital investment of almost $4.4 million. It was awarded tax benefits through the HQJ program.

Mid-Am Building Supply to construct new facility in Mount Pleasant
Operating in Mount Pleasant since 1984, Mid-Am Building Supply, Inc. is a “two-step” building material distributor that sells building materials to lumber yards and big box stores. With five warehouses in four states, the company distributes products across the Midwest that include shingles, doors, insulation, siding, windows, decking, door locks, fasteners and other building products. Due to significant growth, the company plans to construct a new facility in Mount Pleasant and relocate its current operations, which will allow for an expansion in distribution and door manufacturing. Representing a capital investment of just over $8.6 million, the project was awarded tax benefits through the HQJ program. It is expected to create eight jobs, of which two are incented at a qualifying wage of $17.70 per hour.

Premier Tech Prairie relocates to Urbandale
Canadian company Premier Tech Ltd. operates in 28 countries and has four business groups. Premier Tech Systems and Automations (PTSA), one of the groups, specializes in the packaging and bulk conditioning solutions for the seed industry, organic materials and peat bog harvesting equipment. PTSA acquired Prairie Engineering and renamed the business “Premier Tech Prairie, Inc.” Relocating from Johnston to Urbandale, the company plans to construct a 17,000 square foot building and expand operations. The board awarded the project tax benefits and a $100,000 forgivable loan through the HQJ program. It represents a capital investment of just under $7 million and is expected to create 16 jobs at a qualifying wage of $26.57 per hour.

Manufacturer plans expansion in Washington
Bazooka Farmstar LLC manufactures manure handling equipment for customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company plans to construct a 37,500 square foot expansion at its facility in Washington to accommodate a new paint booth and wash bay. The board awarded this $6 million capital investment project tax benefits through the HQJ program. It is expected to create 30 jobs at a qualifying wage of $20.92 per hour.

CPM to expand footprint in Waterloo
Established in 1883, CPM Acquisition Corporation is a leading supplier of process equipment and technology for the animal feed, oilseed, bioenergy, compounding, engineered materials and human food processing industries. CPM’s California Pellet Mill division designs, produces and supports roller mills, hammer mills, flaking mills, conditioners and pellet mills for nationally recognized companies. Located on 20 acres in Waterloo, the design-build-to-suit, leased facility will total approximately 140,000 square feet and support manufacturing, assembly, warehouse and a dedicated research and development facility. The project represents a $3 million capital investment and is expected to create 14 jobs at a qualifying wage of $19.01 per hour. The board awarded the project tax benefits through the HQJ program

Awards made to seven?startups

Skroot Laboratory Inc. in Ames creates technical shortcuts for the biomanufacturing industry with the creation of a sensor system that monitors the health of cells in culture, without product contact. With a focus on the biopharmaceutical industry, their goal is to shorten product development timelines and improve product quality. While currently working with customers in the pharmaceutical, food and agriculture industries, the company plans to extend their sensor platform to new markets, like aquaculture, dairy and cell therapies. The company was awarded a $125,000 Demonstration Fund loan for IP development and evaluation, market planning/entry activities, key personnel and equipment.

Based in Clive, Groma provides a web platform for land developers and home builders to manage and access their data in a single location. Removing manual, outdated processes, the technology simplifies the new construction home buying experience with a one-stop-shop to managing the entire operation in real-time. The company was awarded a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for product refinement and market planning/entry activities.

A mobile application creation for tennis players, Line Call LLC out of Des Moines helps make the right in/out call when the ball bounce is questionable. With a smartphone, the Tennis Line Call app and the phone mounts that are sent once an individual subscribes, the easy-to-use platform builds a mobile line judge for amateur games. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for proof-of-concept work.

Des Moines-based OpenLoop is a web platform for staffing clinicians. The network matches clinicians that fit the requirements and availability for open placements. Helping to make a complex, time-consuming process handled by multiple people and organizations into a painless, streamlined method, the platform collects information, attains licenses and works with partners to implement requirements in advance of the placements. The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for product refinement, market planning/entry activities and key personnel.

Iowa City’s Iowa Simulation Solutions provides an easy-to-use, radiation-free simulator to aid in the training of new orthopedic surgeons learning the skill of wire navigation. Using computer vision algorithms, the resident can utilize models and images to replicate what they would experience in the operating room while also receiving feedback about their performance. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for market analysis, proof of concept work, product refinement and market planning/entry activities.

ReEnvision Ag in Nora Springs created a planter system for farmers that uses precision seed placement to replace industry-standard disk openers for dibble-style planters, which individually places each seed with consistency in depth and spacing. The technology meets the needs of today’s agriculture environment and expands the planting window, reduces compaction and returns full yield and profit potential to the farmer. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for IP development and evaluation, market analysis and product refinement.

Starting as a consulting company to help farmers transition into a regenerative system, Washington, Iowa’s Continuum Ag developed software to keep track of field management and connect with farmers that are implementing sustainable practices. TopSoil, the proprietary software, imports soil data into a universal format to benchmark metrics, which offers growers a roadmap to soil improvement. TopSoil’s platform combined with Continuum Ag’s consultant expertise, allows farmers to have the data and be advised on best practices for each farm. The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for IP development and evaluation and market planning/entry activities.

Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Technology Commercialization Committee to the IEDA Board for approval.?

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