HealthTech Solutions, a business founded by two University of Iowa students that makes it easier to connect organ donors with recipients, won the grand prize in a start-up venture competition April 21-22 at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.
The team won $25,000 in cash and $75,000 in in-kind services, including marketing/advertising, IT consulting, legal consulting and financial services consulting at TCU's Richards Barrentine Values and Venture Competition.
Health Tech Solutions was founded by Dalton Shaull, a 2016 UI graduate from Oskaloosa, and Eric Pahl, a Health Informatics doctoral student from Ames. The company modernizes communication in the organ transplant process, using a real-time mobile software application that facilitates instantaneous communication and information flow. The innovation allows clients to coordinate organ transplants in a real-time, collaborative communication process so that donated organs do not go to waste and the more than 120,000 people in the United States waiting for a donated organ will receive one.
The business is headquartered in the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory (BELL), the UI's startup incubator for student-owned businesses.

"You have to be relentless and never give up, to continue to fight until it is successful and it becomes what you wanted it to be. I've embodied that since my accident when I hit rock bottom. That's the perfect launch pad," said Dalton Shaull, who suffered a car accident and became a nerve transplant recipient, in a TCU press release. Mr. Shaull will use the winning funds to hire a sales professional to help scale the business.
First Federal Credit Union officials and members reviewed 2016 results, elected three volunteer board members and discussed plans for a new Westdale office at the credit union's 91st annual meeting held recently in Hiawatha.

The credit union ended the year with total assets in excess of $117 million and its net worth exceeds 10.85 percent of its assets, according to a report from Chief Financial Officer Justin Salow. He said the net worth position is recognized as well-capitalized, the highest level designated by its regulators. Earnings for 2016 exceeded $1.7 million.

President and CEO Tom Chalstrom reviewed plans for a new office location at the Westdale regional shopping center. He noted the new office would be open during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Elected to the board were incumbents Mike Pickering, Tony Kendall and Judy Vondracek. Following the annual meeting, the board elected the following officers: chairman, Mike Pickering; vice chairman, Jim Maher; secretary, Mary Lawrence; and supervisory committee chair, Linda Edwards. Other board members include Doug Netolicky, Greg Schluter and James Schluter.

"The board has provided the framework for First Federal to meet the financial needs of our members while achieving financial success," Mr. Pickering stated. "We are looking to an exciting, and even more successful 2017."
The Corridor Business Journal (CBJ) is seeking applications for its 2017 Corporate Battle of the Bands.

The Corridor's top six corporate bands will face off in a live competition at the second annual event, to be held Aug. 24 at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City.  To be eligible, at least 50 percent of the band must be comprised of company employees, and the band vocalist must be a company employee. This is an amateur competition; no studio musicians or ringers are allowed.

Up to 16 bands will be chosen to participate in a preliminary, live elimination round on Aug. 4 at Cedar Ridge Vineyards. Following the preliminary, six bands will move on to the final live performance. Judges will select finalists based on music, originality, stage presence, appearance and crowd applause.

The winning band will receive a:
  • Donation directed to a charity of its choice
  • $1,000 store credit to West Music
  • Traveling trophy and bragging rights until the next event
  • Gig at the CBJ's Coolest Places to Work event on Sept. 14
To nominate your corporate band, visit and download the application. There is no cost to apply, but finalists will be required to pay a $250 entry fee. Applications and demos are due June 16. For more information, contact Ashley Levitt at (319) 665-6397, ext. 311, or

The inaugural Corporate Battle of the Bands sold out. If you were unable to join us last year, check out video footage of the bands.
Antwan Hodges (left) and Arnold Smith of Eastern Iowa NFL Flag will be in the first cohort of the Cedar Rapids Entrepreneurship Program
A new GoDaddy-backed program to foster and support low-income entrepreneurs is set for launch next month in Cedar Rapids under a partnership with the Jane Boyd Community Center.

The Cedar Rapids Entrepreneurship Program will launch in May with 15 "budding entrepreneurs" and 10 established entrepreneurs attending workshops and mentoring sessions over a five-month period. The program will offer not only more traditional entrepreneurship instruction in areas such as business planning and human resources, but GoDaddy services and support in creating a social media and web presence.

GoDaddy funded the program as a pilot for GoCommunities, a new social impact program that it plans to take global. It reflects a refocusing of the GoDaddy's social commitment toward supporting low-income entrepreneurs, GoDaddy Social Responsibility Lead Stacy Bennett said during a stakeholder event Tuesday in the city's Wellington Heights neighborhood, where the program will be based.

"Our goal is to level the playing field so anybody who wants to start a business has the opportunity to do so," Mr. Bennett said.

Selinya Carew, program coordinator at Jane Boyd, said the Wellington Heights area was selected "because it has a lot of needs." She said the program will have transportation, childcare and nutrition services available to overcome barriers for low-income and single parent participants.

A second cohort of entrepreneurs will begin the program this fall, for a total of 50 participants in the first year. Mr. Bennett said CREP is one of two pilot programs for GoCommunities, which GoDaddy plans to take global over the next several years. Open orientation and interview sessions were held from April 10-20 at Jane Boyd Community Center.

Members of the first cohort include Arnold Smith and Antwan Hodges of Eastern Iowa NFL Flag, who plan to build a nonprofit for youth sports serving lower-income households, and Sofia Mehaffey, who is planning a nutritious food business. 

A Workers Memorial Day observance Friday will honor Iowa workers who died on the job and renew the struggle for workplace safety.

The event, sponsored by the Hawkeye Labor Council, will begin at 5 p.m. at International Association of Machinists Local 831, 222 Prospect Place SW, Cedar Rapids. Speakers will include Labor Educator Paul Iversen of the University of Iowa Labor Center, Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman and State Sen. Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids. 

At least 34 Iowans died from injuries sustained on the job in 2016, according to Iowa Workforce Development, and many more were exposed to injuries on the workplace. 

The killed included five police officers in 2016. The Cedar Rapids Police Honor Guard and Chief Jerman will be among those honoring them at Friday's observance.

In Des Moines, a Workers Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the West Terrace lawn of the Capitol. 

"Workers' Memorial Day is a day to honor and remember Iowans who have died in Iowa's workplaces and serving in our military in the past year. This is also a day to reflect on the lives that were lost and to renew our commitment to workers safety and health in the workplace" Iowa Labor Commissioner Michael Mauro stated in a press release.  
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EventHeadlinesShort-Term Event Planner

April 27 
PWN April Meeting, by the Professional Women's Network, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth St. SE, Cedar Rapids. Speaker will be Chief Inspirational Officer Marlo Higgins. Free. For more information, visit 

Business PM - Watts Group & Pugh Hagan Prahm, by the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, 4:30-6:30 p.m., 425 E Oakdale Blvd., Coralville. Join fellow Chamber members at the monthly Business PM for networking, catering by Vesta, door prizes and live music. Complimentary for Chamber members. For more information, call the Chamber at (319) 337-9637.

April 28
Ribbon Cutting - New Century Events, by the Marion Chamber, 4 p.m., 1199 Grand Ave., Marion. All are invited to help celebrate. Free. For more information, call (319) 377-6316
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
The North Liberty Police Department is investigating reports of a church youth leader having inappropriate contact with multiple children. Investigators are charging 32-year-old Benjamin Tweedt with sexual abuse, lascivious acts with a child, as well as other charges. In a news release, the department said that its offers were made aware on Feb. 15 o f an incident regarding a youth church leader and mentor at Parkview Church in Iowa City having inappropriate contact with victims.  The investigation led to Mr. Tweedt, of North Liberty, being charged with one count of sexual abuse third degree, two counts of lascivious acts with a child, three counts of indecent contact with a child and two counts of lascivious conduct with a minor.  It is alleged that Mr. Tweedt had multiple one-on-one sessions as a mentor/youth church leader with four victims over the past 10 years. The investigation revealed that inappropriate sexual contact was made with the victims during the meetings.  As soon as Parkview Church was made aware of the incident, they immediately removed Mr. Tweedt from any further participation with the student ministry.   
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails'  Weather First Forecast
Cool air has moved in and is here to stay through the weekend.  Clouds will gradually break up later this afternoon and evening, but temperatures will only rise into the upper 40s and low 50s. Later tonight, under partly cloudy skies and light winds, temperatures will fall into the 30s once again. Patchy frost will be likely across the area. Frost may not be as widespread if clouds move back late tonight.  Clouds will be moving in Friday morning and showers will develop after 8 a.m. Otherwise it will be cloudy and cool with highs in the 40s. It will dry out on Friday night and stay dry through the early part of Saturday. Temperatures will start in the 30s and end in the 40s Saturday afternoon.  A stronger storm system will be taking shape in the central United States and that will lead to the potential for periods of heavy rain and storms over the weekend. Showers and storms will be most likely Saturday night and Sunday.