NewBoCo announces big plans at inaugural Annual Meeting

Rick Cushman, Computer Science Teacher at Harding Middle School, speaks at NewBoCo's Annual Meeting.

It was a big day for NewBoCo yesterday as the Cedar Rapids nonprofit held its first ever Annual Meeting.

NewBoCo made several big announcements, including a $30 million multi-stage venture capital fund and an edtech-specific accelerator program.

NewBoCo also unveiled its new outcomes dashboard, which it will update in real-time with its latest impact stats that align with its six strategic goals:

  • Develop leaders at the forefront of innovation 
  • Develop talent to build innovative products 
  • Grow new companies 
  • Invest in entrepreneurs and high-growth companies 
  • Lead the nation in Computer Science education 
  • Be a national leader in innovative K-12 education

Here are some of the highlights from yesterday’s meeting:

$30 million ISA Ventures Fund

Engelmann and Steve Gray introduced ISA Ventures Fund (ISAV), a $30 million multi-stage fund focused on bringing capital for early-stage startups, fast-growing companies, and expansion-stage companies to Eastern Iowa.

The Fund will be the key part of a “venture studio” which provides a wide array of resources in addition to capital, including technology, sales and marketing support to selected startups. 

The Fund will invest in about 125 companies from 2020-2024, across a variety of industry sectors; companies will range from early stage startups to mature, expanding companies.

All companies that receive investment from ISAV will be required to maintain principal operations in the state of Iowa.

The full-time staff will be advised by a small group of advisors, including Steve Gray of Gray Venture Partners and Cammie Greif, co-founder of TaxAct and mentor-in-residence at Iowa Startup Accelerator from 2014-2019. Two additional advisors will be selected by the end of 2019.

Iowa EdTech Accelerator

NewBoCo announced the expansion of its Iowa Startup Accelerator to Iowa City by establishing an edtech-specific accelerator program. The new accelerator program—called Iowa EdTech Accelerator—is a collaboration between regional business resources and education industry leaders, including the Iowa City Area Development Group, The University of Iowa, Higher Learning Technologies, ACT, and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The program is modeled on the current Iowa Startup Accelerator, but focuses only on educational technology, and provides mentoring, coaching, prototyping support and more.

The program will begin accepting applications this fall and will run in early 2020 in Iowa City. 

Expansion of DeltaV Code School and Intrapreneur Academy

DeltaV Code School

DeltaV Code School announced a new Code 201 nights and weekends course in 2020, making it easier for non-traditional students to continue working while taking their first coding course. 

DeltaV also announced plans to launch a Digital Marketing Developer curriculum in 2020, providing a second career path option for students – one that is also in high demand in local startup companies.

Intrapreneur Academy

NewBoCo announced that it will launch four Intrapreneur Academy cohorts in 2020, one each quarter, due to high demand for the team training program.

To date, NewBoCo’s Intrapreneur Academy has trained 71 leaders from 14 organizations.

Offering Computer Science at 100% of Iowa schools

NewBoCo announced its intention to train Iowa’s teachers until 100 percent of Iowa’s schools offer Computer Science. Today, that number is 45 percent, up from 40 percent when NewBoCo’s initiative began two years ago. 

NewBoCo’s Computer Science teacher training program has trained 364 educators who have reached 18,071 K-12 students in Iowa according to their dashboard. 

Expanded partnership with Iowa BIG

NewBoCo announced its expanded partnership with Iowa BIG, which will include growing its AgileEDU training program for teachers. The nonprofit’s goal is to have trained 1,000 educators and administrators in AgileEDU by 2024.

NewBoCo will use the newly announced EdTech Accelerator as a way to test new products and services.

EntreFEST 2020 set for June 4-5

Jill Wilkins, NewBoCo’s Events Director, announced that EntreFEST, a two-day conference for Iowa’s entrepreneurs, investors, business owners and anyone seeking to learn more about Iowa’s entrepreneurial community, will take place in Cedar Rapids June 4-5, 2020. 

EntreFEST is also now accepting speaker applications for the 2020 conference.