Local Company Receives Economic Development Award

Written by Theresa Rose on September 22, 2017

Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $48 million in capital investment in Iowa

September 22, 2017 (DES MOINES, IA) – Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to five companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 346 jobs and will result in over $48 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for nine startups.

The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Mt. Pleasant, Newton, Dubuque, Marion, Waterloo, Council Bluffs, Prole, Mason City, Iowa City, Akron, Indianola, Johnston and Ames.

Beck’s Superior Hybrids to expand Mt. Pleasant facility
Beck’s Superior Hybrids, Inc. is the largest family-owned company in the U.S. that produces, processes and sells seeds. With Iowa being one of the fastest growing markets for Beck’s Hybrids, the company plans to expand its Mt. Pleasant processing capacity to meet the increase in demand. This $10.9 million capital investment was awarded tax benefits from the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program. The project is expected to create 10 jobs at or above a qualifying hourly wage of $16.56.

Fiberglass recycler to establish operations in Newton
Global Fiberglass Solutions, Inc. (“GFSI”) is a fiberglass recycling, material science and green products company that develops quality infrastructure and building products from recycled fiberglass. The company plans to create an innovative processing and manufacturing facility/operation in Newton using recycled materials, mostly fiberglass, from decommissioned wind blades and other products. This project represents a $6 million capital investment and is expected to create 57 jobs, of which 30 are incented at or above a qualifying hourly wage of $18.12. The board awarded GFSI tax benefits from HQJ.

Dubuque’s Heartland Financial USA set to create 31 jobs
Heartland Financial USA, Inc., is a multi-billion-dollar bank holding company, headquartered in Dubuque, that offers uniquely different banking solutions for business and personal clients. Heartland plans to hire additional employees, expand its facility by leasing additional space and remodel to accommodate this increase in personnel. The board awarded Heartland $80,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax benefits from HQJ for this $1.6 million capital investment. The project is expected to create 31 jobs, of which 20 are incented at or above a qualifying wage of $22.37 per hour.

Marion manufacturer to construct additional facility
Marion Process Solutions specializes in the design and manufacture of custom mixers for the food, chemical, mineral, plastics and biomass industries. The company plans to construct a facility adjacent to the company’s existing manufacturing facility in Marion. This new addition will serve as a testing facility, which will allow customers to test their solutions on-site to design the optimal configuration for new mixers. The board awarded the company tax benefits via HQJ for this $1.5 million capital investment. The project is expected to create three jobs incented at or above a qualifying wage of $24.91 per hour.

Tyson Fresh Meats to create 245 jobs in Waterloo
Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc., is a leading supplier of premium beef and pork. Tyson is planning to expand and renovate its existing building in Waterloo. The board awarded Tyson tax benefits from HQJ. This project represents a $28 million capital investment and is expected to create 245 jobs incented at or above the qualifying wage of $17.29 per hour.

Awards made to nine 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 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.

Corn Oil One (CO1) is a joint venture between two leading ag processing companies, Riley Resource Group/Pure Lipid Technologies (a fats and oils technology group), and a major ethanol technology group. The company has built a first of its kind production facility in Council Bluffs. CO1 is currently focused on developing its technology to separate lower grade bio-oils such as Distillers Corn Oil into more valuable components for the food market. The board awarded CO1 a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund primarily for key personnel, product refinement and proof of concept work.

Ag Manufacturing & Technology (AMT) is an ag-tech company that develops, manufactures, sells and services aftermarket ag machinery equipment that eliminates overseeding on all types of agriculture terrain. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in Prole. The board awarded AMT a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund for equipment, market planning and market entry activities and key personnel.

Mason City’s Stover Ventures, LLC will process corn stover to create an improved livestock feed product for use in local livestock production and extract a high value plant antioxidant coproduct to sell into the nutraceutical market for use in health supplements. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for construction engineering costs, market planning and market entry activities and key personnel.

FarrPro Inc., based in Iowa City, was founded to develop, produce and sell products that solve problems in the pork production industry, namely the farrowing process. The company’s first product, the Haven, is a semi-enclosed “brood heater”, designed to promote piglet well-being while decreasing energy costs. The board awarded FarrPro a $25,000 POCR loan for product refinement and equipment.

TreePans.com Inc. has developed Insulights, a unique product that merges insulators and light boxes. An Insulight is an agricultural electric fence insulator that helps livestock and orchard managers protect and manage electric fences, is equipped with a flashing LED light that warns farmers and ranchers of electric fence damage and can pinpoint a break in the electric fence circuit. The Akron-based company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for equipment.

ExpresSeed LLC is a startup formed in July 2017 and has developed a technology that uses nanostructures to detect genetic markers in seeds. The Indianola-based company’s point-of-use testing offers economic and technical advantages that include the ability for non-experts to more-readily perform seed testing and a lower-cost, rapid detection of genetic markers compared to existing testing methods. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for proof of concept work, product refinement and IP development and evaluation.

Structurely was founded in 2016 in Johnston and has developed an artificial intelligence real estate product, Holmes, that follows up with leads from realtors’ online lead sources and qualifies those leads using relevant multiple listing service (MLS) data. Structurely was awarded a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund primarily for key personnel and market planning and market entry activities.

Smart Ag LLC has designed a product called SmartHP™. SmartHP™ is an aftermarket kit which completely automates agricultural machinery. The product addresses many of the challenges farmers face as they attempt to increase the labor efficiency in their operations. The Ames-based company was awarded a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund for equipment, key personnel, market entry activities and product refinement.

Terva LLC is located in Ames and has developed an online marketplace where landowners and farmland professionals connect to buy, sell and rent farmland. The company received a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund mainly for market planning and market entry activities.