IEDA Board approves support for five established companies and two startups in Iowa

November 18, 2022

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Mrs. Kanan Kappelmann
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IEDA Board approves support for five established companies and two startups in Iowa

November 18, 2022 (DES MOINES, IA) – Today the Board of Directors of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) approved awards for five companies that will help create 266 jobs and result in $202 million in new capital investments for the state. These projects are located in Charles City, Council Bluffs, Creston, Fairfax and Fort Dodge. The board also approved innovation funding to support two startups in Coralville and Des Moines.

Charles City manufacturer expands presence
Zoetis Inc. is a global leader in the animal health industry focused on the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, diagnostic products and services, biodevices, genetic testing and precision technology for animal health. The proposed project involves expanding the facility by approximately 95,000 square feet to create additional temperature controlled rooms, production storage and processing equipment. The Board granted the corporate tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program. The estimated capital investment of $75.3 million is expected to create 70 jobs, 17 of which will have a qualifying wage of $20.58.

IceCap Cold Storage to expand warehouse/distribution facility at Council Bluffs
IceCap Cold Storage is a subsidiary of US Property, a development group creating mixed-use facilities across the country. In late 2021, IceCap began construction of its first facility at the Council Bluffs site. With continued growth in the industry, the company is progressing with an expansion of the warehouse/distribution center, additional dock doors and equipment such as shelving, freezer and transport components. The project, which represents a capital investment of nearly $70 million, is expected to create 146 jobs, 96 of which have a qualifying wage of $24.42. The Board granted the Company’s tax benefits through the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit program.

Benson Hill adds an extrusion facility in Creston
Benson Hill is a food technology company with a processing facility in Creston that currently converts proprietary soybeans into high protein soy flour and high oleic oil, as well as food grade white soy flakes, flour and groats. Benson Hill acquired the company through its acquisition of ZFS Creston, LLC in December 2021. This project will include a 15,000 square foot building expansion and the purchase of equipment to create an extrusion facility to encourage product innovation and increase production scale. The resulting protein-rich soy ingredients are marketed by industry-leading consumer goods companies. In addition to food applications, Benson Hill also serves the domestic and Northern European aquaculture market. The project represents a capital investment of US$28 million and is expected to create 11 jobs, nine of which will be funded at a qualifying wage of US$19.83 per hour. The Board granted corporate tax benefits through the HQJ program.

Convergen Energy begins operations in Fairfax
Founded in 2009 in Green Bay, WI, Convergen Energy (CE) produces a renewable fuel used in a variety of solid fuel power and steam generation plants. CE takes industrial by-products before consumption that would otherwise end up in landfill and converts them into a fuel that is often used as a substitute for fossil fuels. CE also recycles some materials into higher value products that have been used in laboratory and hydroseeding applications. CE is currently involved in research and development with a major equipment manufacturer to use its products in certain components of the manufacturer’s products. CE plans to build a 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Fairfax that will better position the company to reach new and existing customers throughout the region. The Board granted tax benefits to this project through the HQJ program. It represents a capital investment of US$18.4 million and is expected to create 23 jobs, 11 of which will be funded at a qualifying wage of US$24.20 per hour.

Fort Dodge manufacturer expands production facility
AML Riverside manufactures pharmaceutical products for animals on behalf of customers. The location has belonged to the Argenta Group since 2015. Argenta occupies a unique position as the only combined global contract research organization (CRO) and contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) dedicated to animal health. The company plans to expand its manufacturing space to accommodate an output room, multiple processing rooms and large granule processing facilities. The Board awarded the project $200,000 in direct financial support and tax benefits through the HQJ program. The $11.1 million investment project is expected to create 16 jobs with a qualifying wage of $21.47 per hour.

Awards for two startups

Based in Coralville CartilaGen produces an intra-articular injection of a small molecule drug that is effective in preventing post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). This is a completely novel feat that has yet to be demonstrated by any therapeutic. The technology has demonstrated strong pre-clinical results and has now advanced to the human clinical trials phase. The Company was recognized with a $125,000 Demonstration Fund Award for product refinement, market planning, market entry activities and key personnel.

humming-bird, based in Des Moines, is a marketplace that helps brands find and collaborate with hyper-local content creators and influencers. Customers can create a campaign within the software and their content creators (known as “hummingbirds”) express an interest in the campaign. Clients select interested hummingbirds and pay a brokerage fee to work with them within the software. The company was recognized with a $100,000 Demonstration Fund Award for Market Planning, Market Entry Activities, Marketing and Promotion

Allocation recommendations for these funds are submitted by the Technology Commercialization Committee to the IEDA Board for approval.

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Download a table of today’s awards here.

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