With expanded mission, Care Academy joins Iowa Startup Accelerator to train nannies and caregivers

With expanded mission, Care Academy joins Iowa Startup Accelerator to train nannies and caregivers

One in a series of stories introducing the Iowa Startup Accelerator’s 2015 cohort – check back all week for more and find the series here. We’re all getting older – and someone’s going to need to take care of us. According to the 2010 census, the largest segment of the U.S. population is now aged 65 and older, and this segment is growing at a faster rate than the general population. Every state also saw an increase in the number of residents aged 85 and older. Meanwhile, with more women in the workplace, more care for both the oldest and youngest members of the family is being outsourced. Care Academy, a Boston-based startup that recently joined the Iowa Startup Accelerator’s 2015 class, plans to train this new wave of caregivers. “I assumed that if somebody was going to go in to another person’s home, to take care of a loved one, that they would have at least some basic skills. There’s a lot of literature out there, that says really basic techniques can help prevent falls and other accidents,” said Madhuri Reddy, co-founder of Care Academy. “I was just shocked to learn that caregivers, paid caregivers, require no such training at all. There’s no standardization…I thought, ‘this is just crazy.’” “This whole profession of caregiving is limited by this lack of educational standards,” she added. Care Academy offers online classes on a variety of topics, from baby sign language to nutrition. Nannies and caregivers can earn a certification by completing enough classes, or agencies that place caregivers can offer the training to their workers. Helen Adeosun, a former teacher and nanny,…
Goodnight Earth

Goodnight Earth

Welcome to this weeks urbanist goodreads. I took the name out of the headline because, whatever. I felt like it. Also, I formatted this one differently, more essayish, more quotations. Anyway, here’s your listicle: There’s really no decent argument that climate change isn’t both real and already happening. Recently, however, something remarkable has started to happen. The alarm bells have moved from the fringes, or, say, every single serious scientific journal, into mainstream publications. I should clarify what I mean by alarm bells. For decades scientists have been warning us that we need to cut carbon emissions in order to arrest the damage we’ve done to the planet. That’s out the window. We will not be able to stop the damage we’ve done. Mass extinctions, hundreds of millions, maybe billions, displaced by rising oceans, freak weather events, crop failures, droughts, the political instability that is created by crop failures and droughts, all of this is inevitable. The alarm bells have metastasized from a persistent morning alarm clock, chiding us to wake up, to tornado sirens screaming at us to take shelter now or suffer dire consequences. We thought we had more time. The climate is changing at the pace of the most aggressive predictions, not the least. What are we on track for? John H. Richardson, writing in Esquire, spells it out; “In the blunt words of the 2014 National Climate Assessment, conducted by three hundred of America’s most distinguished experts at the request of the U. S. government, human-induced climate change is real—U. S. temperatures have gone up between 1.3 and 1.9 degrees, mostly since 1970—and the change is...
Innovation Index: Updates from Venture School, the Iowa Startup Accelerator, and 1 Million Cups

Innovation Index: Updates from Venture School, the Iowa Startup Accelerator, and 1 Million Cups

Welcome to the Innovation Index. This is our weekly(ish) spot to round up links and news items from around the web relating to startups, innovation and entrepreneurship in Iowa’s Creative Corridor and beyond, so you never miss a thing. You can help! Email me news and notes.  News and notes: Congrats to the 11 teams that completed Venture School‘s student accelerator yesterday! Final pitches and demonstrations happened at hotelVetro, with question and answer from a panel of judges and several prizes awarded. Laugh out loud moment from video game blog Bosscaster (pictured): “We got out of the building, we went to do our customer discovery. The first thing we learned is, our customers are not outside.” Prizes: $500 for business continuity to Flourish and Post Grad Nation $500 for best customer discovery to Baby Brusher $1,000 for best pitch to Bosscaster $1,000 for best pivot to inVisible $1,000 for best opportunity to SwineGuard $1,000 for most improved to Podmi Hydroponics More from Venture School: Read about the new program just for university faculty, that is being developed with a grant from the National Science Foundation. Applications are open. (Iowa Now) (Hopefully) exciting announcement from 1 Million Cups, the weekly event for education and inspiration (that I help organize): On August 5, we’re testing out a new location! We’re going to FilmScene, in hopes that a setting in the heart of the Iowa City ped mall can make the event that much more engaging. Please attend (RSVP and info on meetup) and help us spread the word. Nate Matherson, co-founder of Iowa Startup Accelerator portfolio company LendEDU, wrote a great blog post on ‘how to launch...
Innovation Index: toddlers using tech, company updates, and more startup community news for July 12

Innovation Index: toddlers using tech, company updates, and more startup community news for July 12

Welcome to the Innovation Index. This is our weekly(ish) spot to round up links and news items from around the web relating to startups, innovation and entrepreneurship in Iowa’s Creative Corridor and beyond, so you never miss a thing. You can help! Email me news and notes.  News and notes: Not sure which says more about our modern times: that toddlers are prolific users of tablets and smartphones, or that research on how said toddlers use tablets and smartphones was completed “through an analysis of relevant YouTube videos.” Either way, the University of Iowa is on it. (IowaNow, full research paper) You can now charge your Tesla in the Corridor. You know, assuming you have a Tesla. (CBS2, The Gazette) Some very nice press coverage: Telepharm, which now operates 122 pharmacies in nine states, in The Gazette, Fanstreamm, almost a year out of Lincoln’s NMotion Accelerator, in Silicon Prairie News, and Built By Local, the new media-for-equity venture (ok, it’s more complicated than that), in Capital New York, and anchors of local Main Street Iowa districts in The Gazette. Kudos to Venture School, the University of Iowa’s customer discovery and business model canvas bootcamp, on a $300,000 federal grant to expand its impact. Since launching in 2013, Venture School has worked with 81 startups and fledgling businesses in Iowa. (The Daily Iowan) Check out several updates on Western Wise, a UI student startup that provides one-on-one virtual English language tutoring to Chinese youth. The team has participated in several competitions and was named Student Startup of the Year by the college of Engineering. (eVenturing, College of Engineering) Blake Rupe, founder of Sift, will take her passion for environmentalism and social entrepreneurship to...
2nd Street SE sucks (and that’s okay)

2nd Street SE sucks (and that’s okay)

  Should every street be a great? Can every street be a great street? Nope. Cities need spots that are about function. In Cedar Rapids 2nd St SE beween 5th Ave and 8th Ave is nothing but function. This stretch of downtown is all parking lots, loading zones, and blank walls. It’s also necessary. This space functions as a repository for the stuff that you need to help 1st Street and 3rd Street be great streets. Just on 1st Street you have condos, offices, restaurants, with more on the way. 1st Street is meant to be experienced on foot! One of the things that makes 1st Street great is that there’s a massive parking garage on 2nd Street that can service all of these places. Cars aren’t going to disappear, but we have a choice in how thoroughly we capitulate our urban environment to their needs. The great pedestrian space on 1st Street, and that are possible on 3rd Street, benefit from having space nearby that can be used for cars without interrupting otherwise great streets. 2nd Street doesn’t forego good pedestrian infrastructure. It’s actually one of the best examples in the city of what kind of facilities should be built for pedestrians. It has wide sidewalks, comprehensive crosswalks, lighting, and even street trees. It uses this infrastructure to make it easy for people to get to the parts of downtown that are vibrant experienced on foot. That’s why it works. Without the comprehensive pedestrian infrastructure 2nd Street would be a blackhole instead of a useful repository. You’re still supposed to walk here, from the car to the office, or theater or restaurant....
This weeks goodreads aren’t sure what to do with the ‘burbs

This weeks goodreads aren’t sure what to do with the ‘burbs

What are the suburbs? What does their future hold? The most recent Congress for the New Urbanism had a debate over these questions. Two of the participants, Ellen Dunham-Jones and Kevin Klinkenberg have great stuff online about their perspectives on these questions. Let’s dive in and see what are some possible futures for suburban sprawl. 4 Types of Sprawl - Kevin Klinkenberg “Drivable suburbia, or sprawl, also is not just one, big, lumpy ‘thing.’ It’s fine to use the basic term as a starting point, but it’s important to also see the nuance that is found in the typical suburban environment” Thinking about the way cities work as being either urbanism or sprawl is a good starting point, says Klinkenberg, but there’s a lot of nuance and variance found within those broad categories. Check out how he categorizes different types of sprawl before checking out his and Dunham-Jones arguments for the possibilities of retrofitting our built environment. Retrofitting Suburbia - Ellen Dunham-Jones Can sprawl be repaired? In a captivating Ted Talk Ellen Dunham-Jones argues that yes it can and that we’ve already started to fix it. Do You Really Believe That? - Kevin Klinkenberg “Our primary struggle as urbanists or new urbanists, is with bigness and our system of mass production. Jane Jacobs described it in cities as cataclysmic money. Too-big projects. Fragile, too-big that do in fact fail. And fail disastrously. Everything that we love about urbanism, virtually everywhere in the world, is about what was built in gradual increments… Suburbia, or sprawl as we tend to interchangeably call it, is all about bigness and mass production.” Klinkenberg doesn’t think...