The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board approved awards for two companies, which will assist in the creation of 133 jobs and result in nearly $24 million in new capital investment for the state. These projects are located in Cedar Rapids and Mason City. The board also approved innovation funding in support of four startups located in Ames, Brighton, Clive and Wayland.
JRS Pharma to expand facility in Cedar Rapids
A worldwide leader in the pharmaceutical excipient industry, JRS Pharma LP supplies a wide range of inactive ingredients, including binders, super disintegrants, thickeners and stabilizers. The Cedar Rapids facility produces microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) for the pharmaceutical industry. The company plans to expand the facility by 9,000 square feet to increase capacity and add a new product line. The project represents an $18 million capital investment and is expected to create 18 jobs incented at a qualifying wage of $24.20 per hour. The board awarded the company tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program.
EVCO to begin operations in Mason City
EVCO Holdings, LLC is a new company that manufactures Street Rod EV golf carts and other electric recreational vehicles with plans to manufacture electric vehicle (EV) components. The company plans to purchase a 90,000 square foot building in Mason City and make improvements to accommodate manufacturing operations. The board awarded this project a $300,000 forgivable loan and tax benefits through the HQJ program. It represents a $6 million capital investment and is expected to create 115 jobs incented at a qualifying wage of $19.83 per hour.
Awards made to four startups
Ames-based Janas Materials, Inc. develops sustainable technology for the coating industry that improves the appearance and application of wood stains. The additive is for water-based stains to achieve the same quality as oil-based stains, but as a more environmentally friendly alternative. The company was awarded a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for IP development and evaluation, proof of concept work and product refinement.
The Agenda. Period, Inc., doing business in Brighton, created an application to better understand the four phases of an individual’s menstrual cycle. The planning system and educational resources are designed to help improve health and productivity. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for product refinement and market planning and entry activities.
Stagerie, Inc. of Clive created a platform that brings together real estate agents, homeowners and stagers into a single portal for a personalized staging consultation. The portal is a convenient and cost-effective tool for staging in the home selling process. The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for market planning and entry activities and key personnel.
Wayland’s ChopLocal, Inc. provides an alternative meat supply chain through an online marketplace that connects consumers to butcher shops, meat processors and farmers. With more consumers purchasing meat online, it is hard for the smaller operations to provide that benefit, so the platform offers suppliers with easy access to create an online storefront, manage orders and organize information. The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for market planning and entry activities and key personnel.
Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Technology Commercialization Committee to the IEDA Board for approval.