NewBoCo’s Intrapreneur Academy announces second cohort

Teams participating in the second cohort of the Intrapreneur Academy meet on Friday, October 5. Photo courtesy of Ben Kaplan.

Five teams from across Iowa joined NewBoCo’s second Intrapreneur Academy cohort last Friday in hopes of sparking innovative change within their organizations.

Brucemore, Eco Lips, Grinnell Mutual, Rockwell Collins and Woodward Communications Inc. will spend the next year together focusing on the four competencies of innovative organizations: Culture, Strategy, Agile, and Methods.

“I thought the first cohort was an eclectic group, but we’ve almost duplicated the types of companies participating in this second cohort,” Mandy Webber, NewBoCo Director of Innovation said. “Rockwell is sending another team of engineers, and we have another ESOP and a nonprofit. The learning they will derive from each other is an invaluable benefit. It’s been interesting to see the first cohort learn that they all have similar struggles when it comes to innovation despite being in different types of organizations.”

Each quarter will focus on one of the four innovation competencies through workshops, networking groups, expert-led sessions, and immersive tours as well as access to other NewBoCo events.

“We have been thrilled to see the impact that Intrapreneur Academy has already had with the first cohort,” Aaron Horn, NewBoCo Chief Operating Officer said. “The teams have been doing amazing work, and we are super excited to see a new group of motivated intrapreneurs kick off their innovation experience within their companies.”

NewBoCo launched Intrapreneur Academy in January as a training program to help established companies build a culture that embraces experimentation from within. 

“The traction we’ve made in such a short amount of time with Intrapreneur Academy has been really exciting,” Webber said. “We have 10 companies, 11 teams, and 47 people participating – not to mention tour hosts and guest speakers – with organizations joining us from Coralville, Cedar Rapids, Marion, Dubuque, Grinnell, Des Moines, and Hiawatha. The reach we have both to people in and working with the program, as well as getting companies to join outside of the Corridor, is definitely aligned with our mission as a nonprofit.”