Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news, August 15

Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news, August 15

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: Last week, Iowa City-based Telepharm announced a $2.5 million round of funding led by Iowa investors John Pappajohn and Bruce Rastetter – and the news from CEO Roby Miller didn’t slow down this week: The company has been accepted into the portfolio of Rock Health, a Silicon Valley-based seed fund for health tech companies. The complete telepharmacy solution will now also be available as stand-alone services: TeleCouncil will allow pharmacists to remotely chat with patients in more locations, such as long-term care facilities and health clinics. TeleCheck will allow pharmacists to verify prescriptions remotely – possibly even from within the same pharmacy, which could increase efficiency. Miller said the change was driven by pharmacies asking for each of the options independently. “It’s been crazy – it’s been a lot of work and a lot of reward,” Miller told us. “Building the team has been the best part – the people are what makes TelePharm work.” Read more via TelePharm.   Geonetric announced that four area nonprofits were selected for it’s third annual Operation Overnight charity hackathon: Area Substance Abuse Council, Children’s Theatre of Cedar Rapids/Playtime Poppy, Corridor Running and Feed Iowa First will receive new websites during the 24–hour event. Read more via Geonetric. Dream of starting a business in New Bohemia or the Czech Village? A new revolving loan fund, managed by ECICOG, will offer up to $25,000 for new or expanding…
Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news, June 6

Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news, June 6

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: Kempharm, Inc., secured $60 million in financing via New York-based Deerfield Management Company. Based at the University of Iowa Research Park in Coralville, Kempharm is a clinical-stage company seeking new, safer therapies to treat pain. (via PRWeb, hat tip Mark Nolte) Users of Higher Learning Technologies‘ test preparation apps are answering 750,000 flashcards per week, writes CEO Alec Whitters. In recent weeks, the Coralville startup has been featured on forbes.com, its apps have landed on top-grossing lists in the education category, and the company has quite a few job listings posted on its website. Sounds like something big is brewing. Cedar Rapids startup NextStep.io will launch a new product, called Onward and Upward, next week at Workplace (R)evolution. Onward and Upward hopes to help companies supplement their wellness programs with data from employees’ wearable fitness devices. (via Workplace (R)evolution.) Above: The Turnstile Cards team of Zach Sanderson and Jason Kristufek seem to be off to a productive start at the NMotion Accelerator in Lincoln, Ne., which started its second cohort Monday. Cameo from Iowa Startup Accelerator Program Manager David Tominsky, who traveled to Lincoln to participate in the NMotion kickoff. (Previously: Turnstile Cards accepted to Lincoln’s NMotion Accelerator.) Last week we told you about Re-APP, and the Iowa City company officially hit the Apple App Store Tuesday and celebrated with a launch party. Cedar Rapids startup Bandwidth Pool launched a new website. (Via Bandwidth Pool...
Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news

Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news

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.    Quotable: It wasn’t that long ago that the California region now referred to as Silicon Valley, was simply a bunch of cherry orchards.  And, there is no reason, in the coming years, the Midwest can’t turn its corn fields, into another burgeoning epicenter for technology innovation. — George Deeb, Managing Partner at Chicago-based Red Rocket Ventures, in Forbes: “Comparing Startup Ecosystems: The Midwest vs. Silicon Valley“ Cool project alert: A group in Des Moines wants to chart the history of business, commerce and entrepreneurship in Iowa. Fill out a quick form here, see what’s already been submitted here, or read more on the Welch Avenue Blog.   News and notes: Dream of being a reality star? Representatives from Fox’s new reality show, UTOPIA, will be at the Cedar Rapids Science Center’s Mini Maker Faire April 19 looking for participants. The show is looking for “candidates who are passionate, great at what they do, and also have the ideas and problem-solving skills needed for starting up a new society,” according to its website. Ben Anderson tells me Bandwidth Pool version 2.0 has officially launched. Congrats Ben! The startup is also looking to hire account managers. Also in hiring news, the Iowa Startup Accelerator is looking for a program manager.   Several local startups were announced as Iowa Demonstration Fund winners late last week, including BioPrint ($100,000 loan, Coralville), Iowa Approach ($75,000 loan, Iowa City), MCG BioComposites ($49,000 grant,...

Where public meets private: A look at state funding of entrepreneurship

What role should government play in supporting entrepreneurs? Growing up in Kalona, Roby Miller saw firsthand how hard it can be for rural pharmacies to stay afloat. His family owns several rural pharmacies in Iowa, and saw the importance of a local pharmacy to a rural community. However, having a full-time pharmacist in each small town wasn’t financially viable. Miller, 26, of Iowa City, was inspired to create a technology solution that would allow a single pharmacist to remotely consult with patients in medically underserved rural areas. He decided to build his business, TelePharm, in Iowa after his father was granted a contract to open the state’s first telepharmacy. In August 2012, TelePharm was awarded a $75,000 grant from the Demonstration Fund, a program of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, which provides financial assistance for businesses with high-growth potential in advanced manufacturing, bioscience or information technology. Miller’s was just one of 127 investments, totaling about $13 million, made by the demonstration fund between 2007 and 2012. The idea of the state giving taxpayer dollars to a medium- to high-risk startup is fairly new in Iowa — state economic development programs traditionally have focused on supporting large, existing businesses. But many entrepreneurs who have benefited from the fund believe it fills an important gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, providing hard-to-find funding for early-stage companies and prototypes. By offering multiple ways to receive funding, the state funds can also allow the entrepreneur to access capital without giving up equity or offering up the collateral a bank loan would require. “Either way you look at the demo fund, it’s good for Iowa....