Innovation Index – this week in Creative Corridor startup news, August 1

Innovation Index – this week in Creative Corridor startup news, August 1

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.  News & Notes: The new Geonetric building is open for business! Home to Geonetric, Vault Coworking and Collaboration Space, the Iowa Startup Accelerator, the Iowa BIG School and Converge Consulting (with more private retail/office space available), it’s 45,000 square feet dedicated to creativity and innovation. This week Geonetric employees continued moving in and got to work, Vault moved on Thursday, and the space has already hosted a few events. A three-day Scrum master training wrapped up today, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds visited Thursday to learn about IowaBIG, the Iowa Startup Accelerator mentors gathered for a sneak peak, and the Eastern Iowa Agile group hosted a meetup in the space. The big news happens Monday, when the 10 teams of the Iowa Startup Accelerator will be publicly introduced for the first time. Meanwhile, Geonetric CEO Eric Engelmann was featured in the Des Moines Register and on CBS2. Ascent Iowa, a women’s leadership organization based in Cedar Rapids, launched Invest in She – a new program where companies that are at least 51 percent women-owned and Ascent members can pitch before investors for $5,000 prizes. Application deadline August 11. The University of Iowa released more details about upcoming Dev/Iowa programming. In addition to the flagship, nine-week intensive course (read more about that in this piece from Silicon Prairie News), this fall will bring new options – one week courses and weekend workshops on a variety of topics. Read more…
Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor Startup News, May 23

Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor Startup News, May 23

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.  News and notes: The Iowa Tech Chicks have been accepted as a new endeavor of the James Gang - an umbrella organization designed to help grow ideas through community building and non-profit status. The June meetup will focus on big ideas of what the group can do next. Andrea Flemming, one of the organizers of the Tech Chicks meetup, writes:  “As well as strengthening relationships with other community organizations, this partnership will open doors for the Iowa Tech Chicks when seeking sponsorship or grants for community education events such as Girls Tech Career Day and WordPress workshops.” Coralville-based Higher Learning Technologies, makers of test-preparation software, released a new app on the Apple Store - MCAT Mastery. As of a few weeks ago, two of HLT’s apps were among the top-10 highest grossing apps in the education category. Congrats! (via HLT on Facebook). The Iowa BIG School hosted a launch event at NewBo City Market, bringing together the Cedar Rapids Community School District and the College Community School District. Check out photos via Troy Miller on Twitter.  JPEC’s student-only summer session of Venture School - which it’s running more like an accelerator - kicks off Tuesday with 12 teams. Nice coverage of Ascent’s Startup Boot Camp for women business owners in Silicon Prairie News. Apply by June 3. Meet the press: If you want to know more about the journalists who regularly write about startups in Iowa,...
The who, what, when, where and why of the Iowa Startup Accelerator

The who, what, when, where and why of the Iowa Startup Accelerator

  By Eric Engelmann and Sarah Binder Ready. Set. Grow. Iowa’s first intensive startup accelerator is now taking applications. Accelerator programs are typically highly competitive. The young businesses that get in are supported with intensive training, mentoring from industry experts and funding to help them grow. Iowa’s first such program will last 90 days, beginning on August 4. Similar programs exist around the world and around the Midwest: in Wisconsin (Gener8tor in Madison and Milwaukee) Illinois (TechStars in Chicago), Nebraska (NMotion in Lincoln and Straight Shot in Omaha), Missouri (SparkLabKC and Sprint’s TechStars mobile health accelerator  in Kansas City and Capital Innovators in St. Louis) and more. “We’ve got some great people doing amazing things with startups all over the state. We have coworking spaces in Iowa City, Coralville, Cedar Rapids and elsewhere.  We have some really great events going on. But one thing that other states have built, that we haven’t, is a time-boxed accelerator program,”  wrote Eric Engelmann, CEO of Geonetric and one of the founders of the Iowa Startup Accelerator. Applications officially opened Feb. 19, when Engelmann appeared at 1 Million Cups in Des Moines. In the first month of the accelerator program, startups will focus on the foundations of launching a business and building connections to a pool of mentors. The second month will include a series of weekly product iterations as entrepreneurs work to quickly prototype and validate their products. The third month is all about getting ready to pitch before a demo day at the culmination of the program. “You compress learning in a really really short time frame,” Engelmann wrote. “That means an incredible mentor network,...