For more information contact:
Ms. Kanan Kappelman


November 19, 2021 (DES MOINES, IA) – Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board approved awards for one established company in Sergeant Bluff, which will assist in the creation of two jobs and result in $71.1 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding in support of four startups located in Ames and West Des Moines.

Ag Processing Inc to expand in Sergeant Bluff
Ag Processing Inc a cooperative (AGP) has six Iowa locations and engages in the procurement, processing, marketing and transportation of grains and agricultural products. With soybean processing as AGP’s primary function, the Sergeant Bluff facility also further refines crude soybean oil to vegetable oil. The company plans to upgrade the facility to increase the sustainable crush rate, allowing members to sell products locally where demand is higher. The project represents a capital investment of $71.1 million and is expected to create two jobs at a qualifying wage of $20.56 per hour. The board awarded tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs program.

Awards made to four startups

Ames-based Mazen Animal Health, Inc. develops oral animal vaccines for animal disease prevention. The edible vaccines can be dosed with feed, offering a cost-effective, safer delivery, efficacious, room-temperature option for animal vaccines. With the opportunity to treat a variety of animals and animal diseases, Mazen plans to focus on commercialization of swine vaccines. The company was awarded a $125,000 Demonstration Fund loan for IP development and evaluation, marketing planning and entry activities, key personnel, and regulatory requirements.

Formed in the Iowa State University Startup Factory in Ames, NanoSpy, Inc. produces a biosensor for the rapid detection of Salmonella in food processing facilities to reduce the economic impact of foodborne illness. The technology overcomes the burdens of current methods that require a two-day period before receiving lab results with a quantitative rapid test that allows for near real-time decisions that mitigate the risk of a pathogen contamination in the consumer market. The company was awarded a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for IP development and evaluation, proof of concept work, and market planning and entry activities.

Townhall LLC, an educational technology (EdTech) software development company in Ames, is creating a desktop-based app to improve the video conferencing experience. The app increases engagement for large remote meetings on any platform through gamification and instant feedback. The company was awarded a $25,000 POCR loan for IP development and evaluation, product refinement, market planning and entry activities, and key personnel.

Headquartered in West Des Moines, Lola’s Fine Sauces, Inc. holds a family’s secret hot sauce recipe with a mission to provide a unique sauce for everyone to enjoy. The product line has expanded to seven sauces, five salsas, a seasoning mix and a Bloody Mary mix and is sold in more than 10,000 stores nationwide. The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for market analysis, proof of concept work, product refinement, market planning and entry activities, key personnel, and equipment.

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