Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Fin Capital reaches $1 million investment milestone

FIN Capital, Iowa’s female angel investor network, announced last week it has invested more than $1 million into eight different startup companies.

This milestone comes just four years after FIN’s effort began. Fin Capital started in 2015, when the Iowa Center for Economic Success was approached by Gov. Kim Reynolds and Debi Durham the Director of Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority to create the first women’s angel investing network in Iowa.

Jump to today and FIN Capital now has 24 members who are individually accomplished, accredited or share a common interest in angel investing.

“When we started FIN Capital, women were not participating in angel investing in our state; we even had to go outside Iowa to source education and training opportunities,” said Megan Milligan, president of the Iowa Center for Economic Success, in an announcement. “Now, just three years since that first day-dreaming conversation with Gov. Reynolds and Director Durham and two years since our first investment, not only have women injected more than a million dollars into startups, we have created dozens of experts, several of whom have traveled the state and country teaching others about angel investing.”

Based in Des Moines, FIN Capital invests between $50,000 and $100,000 in early-stage companies, with preference to Midwest companies. The organization leverages its member’s backgrounds and expertise to vet deals across all industries, though FIN’s primarily invests in companies focused on: insurance, agriculture, and medical and health technology.

“Entrepreneurship is one of the most important activities that contribute to economic vitality and wealth creation,” said Director Durham. “FIN Capital is a platform to empower women as they pursue opportunities for financial success via investments in early-stage companies.”

FIN Capital’s portfolio companies include: AbiliTech Medical (St. Paul, MN); ClearFlame Engines (Chicago, IL); Gain Compliance (Des Moines, IA); LEAH Labs (Rochester, MN); Metametrix (Minneapolis, MN); Oculogica (New York, NY); Starting 11 (Minneapolis, MN); STRATAFOLIO (Cedar Rapids, IA).

Individual member investments include ClinicNote (Des Moines, IA) and The Best of the Midwest DSM LLC, a special purpose entity that invested $470,000 from Midwest investors to nine companies at the 2018 event hosted by Plains Angels.

Previous coverage

Fin Capital invests in Gain Compliance -June 6, 2017

Making the case for female-focused investment firms in the midwest -May 16, 2017

Fin Capital reaches $1 million investment milestone | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now