Accelerators Iowa

Simple Name, Serious Mission, Iowa’s First Accelerator Debuts This Week

Iowa Startup Accelerator

It’s hard to believe that in all the startup activity in the midwest that Iowa has been without a startup accelerator. Cedar Rapids Iowa even played host to last years Startup America/UpGlobal Summit and the community was bursting at the seams with startup activity.

That’s why Eric Engelmann, the 39 year old founder of Geonetric, is opening up part of his web and software company to house 10 startups in an intense three month accelerator.

The accelerator, simply called the Iowa Startup Accelerator, will put ten startups through an intense 90 day accelerator program. Engelmann described the program to the Des Moines Register as “incredibly aggressive and incredibly brutal. We will hit the ground running. It’s not a gentle introduction. It has been a lot of fun putting that together.”

Although some may say they’re a little late to the accelerator game it appears that the Iowa Startup Accelerator is coming at the right time. Several programs around the country have been through a class or two trying to work out the kinks.  Engelmann has toured the midwest looking at how other accelerator are run and clearly defined the Iowa Startup Accelerator Program.

The program, which seeds each startup with $20,000 for 6% equity, begins on August 4th. Then the entrepreneurs will jump head first into a month of “foundation and mentors” where they’ll get to know the vast mentor network for the program and then go out for real world customer discovery. As a bonus these startups will be working downstairs from Geonetric which is a fairly large company and has been in business for 15 years. “‘I don’t know what it looks like to pitch an enterprise company.’ Well, just go upstairs and see. We share the knowledge of the group and everyone is better.” Engelmann said.

Month two will be all about “Product, Prototype and Market Validation”. The startups will be working up their products, refining them and maybe even pivoting until they get it right.

The final month the group will be “Preparing For Pitch and Fundraising”. Demo day always marks the end of an accelerator but the start of a new startup company. The startups will spend the last month of the program, October, preparing for this crucial day and what comes after it.

You can find out more about the Iowa Startup Accelerator, here.