Techstars partners with Grinnell College to launch Techstars Iowa

Techstars, in partnership with Grinnell College, has announced the creation of a new accelerator program, Techstars Iowa, which will take place in Des Moines starting next year.

The investment office of Grinnell College will provide the initial funding for Techstars Iowa, committing enough money to support the program through its first three years.

“Techstars Iowa will address two critical gaps faced by Iowans today. First, it will connect local teams with world-class investors, advisors, mentors and through the Techstars global platform,” said Jainen Thayer, Chief Investment Officer at Grinnell College. “Second, Techstars will fund companies at the earliest stages of development and will provide access to capital, dedicated to supporting the growth of successful companies that emerge from the accelerator.”

The inaugural cohort will run for 13 weeks, from Sept. 2020 to Dec. 2020 and will accept 10 startups. Startups accepted into the program will receive $20,000 in funding and will have the option of taking an additional $100,000 in convertible notes.

The program will be lead by Techstars Iowa Managing Director, Kerty Levy. Prior to taking the Managing Director position, Levy served as the Interim Managing Director of the Iowa Agritech Accelerator.

“I am so excited to be the Managing Director of Techstars Iowa,” said Levy. “In Iowa, there’s no shortage of talent, ideas and hard work. But it’s challenging for new companies to find the tools and funding they need to take their ideas to the next level. That’s where Techstars Iowa can come in and fill the gap.”

Techstars first showed interest in expanding to Iowa in September when they posted two job-listings based in Des Moines. The position for Program Manager is still open and Levy says she hopes to see the position filled before the end of the year.

Applications will open on Feb. 17 and be accepted through May 10, 2020.

Previous coverage

Techstars shows interest in expanding to Iowa -Sept. 30, 2019