The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board approved awards for one legacy company in Fort Madison, which will assist in the creation of 91 jobs and result in nearly $32 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding in support of startups located in Ames, Iowa City, West Des Moines and West Liberty.
Manufacturer expands production in Fort Madison
Conagra Foods Packaged Foods, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Conagra Brands, Inc. and one of North America’s leading branded foods companies. Conagra’s brands include Birds Eye®, Healthy Choice®, Banquet®, Marie Callender’s®, Chef Boyardee® and Gardein®. In October 2018, Conagra acquired Pinnacle Foods, Inc., including the manufacturing location in Fort Madison. The project, which will bring the production of canned beans into the existing capacity of the Fort Madison plant, involves the investment in machinery and equipment, not an expansion of the building’s existing physical footprint. The board awarded the project tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs program. The project is expected to generate nearly $32 million in new capital investment for the state and create 91 jobs, 14 of which are incented at a qualifying wage of $17.09 per hour.
Awards made to four startups
Founded in 2018, Skroot Laboratory Inc. produces wireless sensor systems for upstream biotherapeutic process developers which allow them to make rigorous models, reduce risk of progressing costly conditions/products and decrease time to market. The Ames-based company was awarded a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for product refinement, market planning and market entry activities and key personnel.
Iowa City’s Malum, Inc. delivers a broad array of artificial intelligence-derived tools that range from keeping individuals safe from physical harm to optimizing their performance. The company was awarded a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund for equipment and key personnel.
Virtual Insurance Tools, based in West Des Moines, helps independent insurance agents, agencies, banks, broker dealers and brokerage firms grow new life insurance revenue. The company was awarded a $100,000 loan from the Demonstration Fund for product refinement, market planning and market entry activities and key personnel.
West Liberty-based Skilled Day creates software that allows providers and patients in skilled facilities access to their schedules. The software reduces waste and removes conflicts by allowing staff to schedule their time efficiently, while giving patients clarity about their schedule, leading to a more enjoyable and productive stay. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for product refinement and market planning and market entry activities.
Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Technology Commercialization Committee to the IEDA Board for approval.