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Iowa City startup is helping women connect business tasks with their monthly cycle

After Alyx Coble-Frakes started her own health coaching company in 2018, she quickly came upon an interesting discovery. She found that she was having more sales conversions during the ovulation phase of her cycle.

“I really wanted to buy a product that would let me plan my by business around my cycle,” said Coble-Frakes. “Something that would help me know when to focus on what, based on where I was at in the cycle. And when I didn’t find that product on the market, I decided to start making it.

That product eventually became “The Agenda. Period,” a planner designed to help women connect their business tasks with their monthly cycle.

“The Agenda. Period” started out with a beta test of around 50 women testing out the product last year followed by a successful Kickstarter campaign.

“When the beta test was going really well, we decided to go ahead with a Kickstarter and raised $12,000 over 50 very intense days,” said Coble-Frakes. “It actually provided, beyond the monetary benefit, the opportunity to get a community built around us.”

Coble-Frakes said different tasks are easier to accomplish during the different phases of the menstrual cycle, and the planner can help women map out what tasks to do and when during the month.

Going forward, Coble-Frakes plans to develop an online version of “The Agenda. Period” as well.

“The Agenda. Period” was recently announced as one of four startups to be accepted in the first cohort of the Iowa EdTech Accelerator. Acceptance into the accelerator comes with $25,000 in seed capital, along with mentoring, coaching, prototyping support and early corporate customer feedback.

Coble-Frakes will also be speaking at multiple conferences this spring including YEC 2020 on April 4 in Ames and EntreFEST on June 4 in Cedar Rapids

Previous Coverage

Iowa EdTech Accelerator announces four startups for inaugural cohort -Feb. 26, 2020

Iowa City startup is helping women connect business tasks with their monthly cycle | 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
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