Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news

Welcome to the Innovation Index! Each week, I’ll round up links and stories from around the web relating to startups, innovation and entrepreneurship in Iowa’s Creative Corridor and around the state. You can help! Email me news and notes.    Quotable: “Now, central Iowa may become the Silicon Valley of bioscience. Although I thought we were the Silicon Valley of wind, or was it renewable energy? We may be the Capital of Hopeful Branding.” Gazette columnist Todd Dorman on the announcement that the Des Moines-Ames region has been dubbed the “Cultivation Corridor” – making it the fourth “Corridor” in Iowa. Dorman questions how local governments can better participate in the regional movements happening across the state. -“Regional thinking is here to stay“ News and notes: Will Lenzen Jr. of Cycle Studios and Founder Health (right) launched a project to help 100 people with branding and storytelling – via willlenzenjr.com. John Schnipkoweit of Cedar Rapids-based NextStep.io weighed in on Nike’s decision to stop producing wearable technology. NextStep, which gives users and personal trainers a dashboard for their fitness data, evolved from the former RecBob at a Nike-sponsored accelerator – via Silicon Prairie News The USDA unveiled a new $150 million fund for rural small businesses. Although agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced the fund in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, it’s unclear how many, if any, of those dollars will find their way to Iowa – via KCRG Google for government? Iowa Workforce Development is partnering with Pondera Solutions, a Google Enterprise Partner, to detect and prevent unemployment insurance fraud – via IWD JPEC hosted its first Startup Job Crawl, with stops at CoLab, Vault Coworking, the BioVentures Center and other…