DM Partnership, Clay & Milk launch Iowa Innovation Dashboard

The Greater Des Moines Partnership and local digital news publication Clay & Milk have announced the launch of the Iowa Innovation Dashboard, a tool created to measure entrepreneurial activity across Iowa.

The dashboard shows measurements of business density, survival rate, research, investment capital and demographics regarding entrepreneurship in Iowa, according to a news release. Locally, Clay & Milk, BioConnect Iowa, the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa secretary of state’s office provided data for the dashboard. Other data sources include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

“We strongly believe that Iowa’s entrepreneurial community is better when we have data and transparency around key business indicators,” Diana Wright, startup community builder for the Partnership, said in a prepared statement. “Prior to the Iowa Innovation Dashboard, the data wasn’t easily accessible and where does one start? This project is the starting point. We know entrepreneurs create value in many ways. Data storytelling can be a powerful tool to better understand entrepreneurship in Iowa.”

The dashboard shows that since 2008, the year with the most investment capital deals made by Iowa firms is 2021 with 81 deals. There were 69 deals in 2020 and 58 in 2022 as of Oct. 31.

The rate of new entrepreneurs measures the percentage of the population that starts a new business in Iowa. In both 2019 and 2020, 0.31% of the population started a new business, marking an uptick from 2013 to 2017 when a lower percentage of the population was starting new businesses. The rate dropped again in 2021 to 0.22%.

The Partnership and Clay & Milk plan to update the dashboard twice a year, with plans to add new metrics in future iterations, the news release said.

The dashboard is available to view at