The Iowa Startup Accelerator, which is part of the New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative (NewBoCo) and invests in up to 10 companies throughout the U.S. each year, has chosen four companies and two nonprofits that will join its fall cohort this year.
The accelerator program offers $20,000 in cash right away and provides mentoring, as well as the ability to utilize its co-working space.
The following companies will be joining the fall cohort, according to a report from The Gazette newspaper in Iowa:
- 6C Solutions – Chicago
- Class Composer – Boulder, Colorado
- Project BBQ – Cedar Rapids
- Rantizo – Iowa City
This is the first year that the Iowa Startup Accelerator will be bringing on nonprofits as part of its Social Good Accelerator. The chosen companies – Aging Services and Kids First Law Center of Cedar Rapids – will be receiving up to $16,000 in grants each. They will further have the liberty of receiving the same benefits and privileges of the normal company accelerator teams mentioned above.
Over the span of five years, NewBoCo founders have said they want to include up to 100 companies and nonprofits into their accelerator program every year. That means the companies going forward could be more representational of states outside of Iowa, like this year’s class that features two outsiders from Colorado and Illinois.
“We’re not necessarily filtering for Iowa companies,” executive director Eric Engelmann said, according to Clay and Milk. “It’s really based on the quality of the applicant and whether or not we feel like they meet the criteria we’re looking for. What I hope is true is that this is a sign that Iowa is getting better at producing acceleratable companies.”
Engelmann spent much of the last year traveling to different accelerator programs and startups to see how they run their businesses. He said there’s a lot that the Iowa Startup Accelerator can improve on going forward and that he and those at NewBoCo are looking forward to the challenge.
“A lot of them are engineers or software developers or experts in their field, but they never had to lead across marketing and sales and operations and finance,” he said. “You have to wear all the hats, and to get entrepreneurs ready for that is a huge job.”