Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

ISA Ventures announces Scout & Fellowship Programs

ISA Ventures (ISAV), a venture capital fund that invests in Iowa-based companies, announced last Friday that it is launching 3 year-long Scout and Fellowship programs in 2022.

These programs will give up to 8 highly qualified college students a unique opportunity to learn more about Venture Capital. The programs are each 12 months long and we have three tracks to choose from:

  • Venture Scouts are focused on identifying and evaluating potential investment opportunities on and around college campuses in Iowa and surrounding states. 
  • Venture Fellows work intensively with our staff on selected deals, performing due diligence, modelling, and analysis of potential investments.  
  • Venture Legal Fellows will work with our team on legal matters such as securities work, due diligence and compliance.

The applications for the Scout and Fellowship programs will have a specific focus on university students and diverse candidates. 

“The venture capital industry in Iowa is a small one, with just a handful of funds and probably less than 100 consistently active angel investors. We’re aiming to change that,” wrote ISAV in a blog post announcing the new programs. “Additionally, In Iowa, the number of underrepresented founders who have raised over $1M can be counted on one hand. This is a problem that we also want to address. One way to get started is by bringing more diverse representation to the VC side of the table.”

Those accepted into the program will work part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer. ISAV says it plans to work with colleges to fund these positions and/or provide school credit. The announcement of ISAV 2022 Scouts and Fellows will take place in December. The program will begin in January 2022. Learn more about each of the three program tracks here.

Previous coverage

Investing in Iowa: Q2 2021 -July 12, 2021

Q&A with Mikayla Sullivan of ISA Ventures -Feb. 5, 2021

ISA Ventures raises $15 million to invest in Iowa-based companies -Aug. 3, 2020

ISA Ventures announces Scout & Fellowship Programs | 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