Innovation Index: Women in tech, Iowa’s investment landscape and more startup news for Nov. 15

Welcome to the Innovation Index! Each week, we’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. Plus, a new way to read this curated feature – check out wecreatehere.net/innovation-index. Better? Worse? Indifferent? Let me know. News and Notes: Check out Eric Engelmann and Andy Stoll of the Iowa Startup Accelerator representing Iowa in Washington DC. Several Corridorians visited for a SBA conference on startups. ‘Women of Innovation’ honored: The Technology Association of Iowa honored women from academia, startups and established tech companies in their annual awards ceremony. The winners include: Amy Lee, University of Iowa Peggy Watkins, Boone High School Renee Cole, University of Iowa Lisa Gran, Splashlight Susan Wood, VIDA Diagnostics, Inc. Sophia Walsh, Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health Ini Augustine, SocialWise Media Group Beth Hochstedler, University of Iowa Student Winners: Krysti Knoche, University of Iowa, Kayla De Weerd, Boyden-Hull Community School, Read more via the Technology Association of Iowa and the Des Moines Register. Congrats to all! More good stuff for women in tech: the Iowa Tech Chicks hosted their second Girls Tech Career Day, exposing 16 fifth- to eigth-grade girls to careers in various aspects of the tech industry. Check out one adorable outcome on the right. Our friends at Silicon Prairie News have a new, in-depth report on the state of funding for startups in Iowa. Read and share here. The series is ongoing, with features on Higher Learning Technologies and TelePharm published so far. Congrats to the Cedar Falls/Waterloo crew for hosting “Up The Valley,” yesterday, bringing together startup community builders from…

Re-APP launches to encourage recycling

Walking on the beach in Mexico, collecting garbage, Blake Rupe never thought she’d be an Internet entrepreneur. But almost exactly one year later, that’s what happened. Re-APP is set to launch in the Apple App store June 1, and the company will host a launch party in Iowa City June 3. Rupe recently graduated from the University of Iowa with a master’s in international studies, with an emphasis on marine conservation. While in Mexico, she studied what kind and how much garbage would wash up on the beach. “What I was finding, 93 percent of the time, was this garbage was recyclable,” she said. She started thinking about how to encourage more people to recycle, researching apps in the evenings. She found games for children and educational resources, but few recycling apps geared at adults. Re-APP was designed to help people track and share their recycling habits. Within the app, users can document what they recycle into a virtual bin, share their progress on social media, and see what other friends who have the app have recycled. “The social pressure behind it, I think, is half the reason people recycle today,” Rupe said. In a four-week beta test, 18 users documented nearly 2,000 recycled items.  Rupe and twin sister Blaire Rupe are co-founders of Re-APP, and from December to May were residents in JPEC’s Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory (BELL), which provides office space, resources and mentorship to companies started by UI students. BELL helped connect the team to app developer a fellow student-run company Bellwether Creation Company, which created the first version of the app. Rupe referred to the iOS launch as “the...