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IEDA Board approves assistance for an established company, two startups in Iowa

May 17, 2024

For more information contact:

Ms. Kanan Kappelman 

IEDA Board approves assistance for an established company, two startups in Iowa
SBCI funding awarded to three innovation startups

May 17, 2024 (DES MOINES, IA) – Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board approved an application for a data center in Davenport. which will assist in the creation of 35 jobs and result in $800 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding in support of two startups located in Granger and West Des Moines. In addition, IEDA approved assistance from Iowa’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Innovation Fund for three startups in Ames, Slater and West Des Moines.

Meta to construct data center in Davenport

Vemerald, a wholly owned subsidiary of Meta Platforms, Inc., will store and transfer user and customer data for their operating systems. The company plans to construct a data center, which will include office space, servers and support equipment. The project represents a capital investment of $800 million and is expected to create 35 jobs incented at a qualifying wage of $28.76 per hour. The board granted the City of Davenport the ability to utilize the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program provision for value-added property tax exemption for this project.

Awards made to two startups

Bovi-Jet, based in Granger, makes devices for cattle producers to aid in animal health. Their product overcomes the time and manual labor required to treat livestock throughout their lifetime by using sensors to detect movement of cattle and pour a stream of medicine along the backs with a farmer’s existing chute system. The company was awarded a $50,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for IP development and evaluation, proof of concept work, product refinement, key personnel and equipment, and market planning and entry activities.

West Des Moines’ Incentit is an integrated incentive management platform supporting organizations that implement their own programs along with third party program managers. The software offers program management, tracking and reporting as well as a mobile app, application intake portals and a REST API. The company was awarded a $50,000 POCR loan for product refinement.

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

SSBCI Innovation Fund awards to three startups

Ames-based biotech company PowerPollen focuses on transforming agricultural productivity and sustainability with hybrid seed and grain production systems. The company developed a revolutionary “pollination on demand” technology for the global seed industry. PowerPollen was awarded a $1 million Innovation Acceleration Expansion Fund loan for IP development and evaluation, prototype development and equipment, product refinement and testing, project team and partnerships, and manufacturing.

Tractor Zoom, located in West Des Moines, offers innovate online solutions for the farm equipment and heavy machinery market. Their primary platform,, streamlines the process for buyers to find, value and finance equipment. In addition, their cloud-based business-to-business platforms, Tractor Zoom Pro and Anvil Pro, help value, manage and sell equipment assets. The company was awarded a $1 million Innovation Acceleration Expansion Fund loan for key personnel.

Headquartered in Slater, Gross-Wen Technologies provides a patented algae biofilm treatment system under the RAB™ brand. The technology enables the effective and sustainable use of algae to remove nitrogen and phosphorous from wastewater. It can also be used with clean water to grow valuable algae for various uses that include fertilizers, bioplastics and biofuels. The company was awarded a $500,000 Innovation Acceleration Propel Fund loan for key personnel and equipment.

The SSBCI program’s Innovation Fund increases assistance available through Iowa’s innovation continuum to support entrepreneurs through concept, launch and expansion. Award recommendations for these funds are made by the SSBCI Review Committee to the IEDA director for approval. The committee met on May 14, 2024, to review eligible applications.

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Download a spreadsheet with today's HQJ award: here.

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