A grant from Iowa’s Department of Economic Development is aimed at high-tech entrepreneurs. In Vinton, Mike Svoboda will use the 60-thousand dollars to offer his digital advertising system to more movie theatres. He says most already have an automated system to show slides, but his computer adds digital ads. Svoboda says one big benefit of his system is the ease of getting new material to theatres, without having to ship bulky films or tapes He says it takes no labor, and there’s no keyboard or mouse on the computer, which is networked into the theatre. Svoboda says new ads come on CD, or directly via an online download. He says the digital system gives moviehouse managers the flexibility to advertise certain products to certain audiences, based on the kind of film they’re waiting to see. A toy company’s ad could accompany G-rated movies, sunglasses or Chevys could run adjacent to PG-13 or “R” movies. Svoboda says his digital ads are now running on 100 screens, and he hopes to expand to more theatres in the region and beyond. Two other tech grants went to an Ames firm that makes software for high-powered microscopes, and a Des Moines company that wants to market its airline budgeting software to other kinds of corporations.
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