What is fueling Flyover Country innovation? In this weekly feature, we share a variety of announcements covering funding, acquisitions, exits, grants, and everything in between. Got something to celebrate? Click here to share your story.
- St. Louis food innovator Benson Hill has closed a $150 million Series D funding round. It was co-led by Wheatsheaf and GV (formerly Google Ventures), along with participation from investors across the “food and agriculture value chain.”
- Icon Marketing Communications, a “strategy, marketing and advertising agency,” has announced the acquisition of Marketplace Clicks, a Seattle-based company that helps brands sell their products on Amazon. Icon recently relocated to Greater Cincinnati from Ft. Mitchell, and its officials say this is the first of many planned acquisitions.
- Iowa City’s National Advanced Driving Simulator, a transportation safety research center in the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering, has received $1.45 million from the National Highway Safety Administration through the US DOT. The grant is aimed at studying transition control in automated vehicles. Last spring, the DOT awarded the center $7 million to research automated driving on rural roads and passengers’ “perceptions and acceptance of the technology.”
- The Indiana Space Grant Consortium, located at Purdue University, has been awarded $2.8 million from NASA to help promote STEM learning. Consortium director Barrett Caldwell said the money will largely support research grants and workforce development for Indiana university students.
- Nashville startup Possip, a platform that facilitates communication between parents and their children’s schools, has been chosen for Google’s Startups for Black Founders Fund. The fund provides cash awards from $50,000 to $100,000 to Black-led startups, as well as helping them grow their business.