Iowa’s first publicly funded venture capital fund—the InnoVenture Iowa Fund —is set to launch soon with the goal of supporting early-stage startup companies in Iowa.
The $30 million fund will invest in early-stage, Iowa-based startups in the industries of bioscience, advanced manufacturing and information technology. biosciences, advanced manufacturing, and information technology.
Eligible companies must be headquartered (or have “significant operations”) in Iowa, be fundraising between $250,000 – $2 million, and be in possession of a term sheet from a lead investor.
The new venture capital fund is one part of $96 million in federal funding to Iowa from the Treasury State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).
Kaylee Williams was hired in August as Investment Director for the fund. The fund will be ready to begin making deals in January 2023 and already has about 30 startups in its sights, said Williams in an interview with the Business Record.
InnoVenture Iowa Challenge
The InnoVenture Iowa Fund also announced this week that it is partnering with BioConnect Iowa to launch the InnoVenture Iowa Challenge, an annual statewide pitch competition that will bring together startup companies to compete for a $100,000 cash prize.
Any early-stage bioscience, advanced manufacturing, or information technology startup based in
Iowa or with significant operations in Iowa are invited to apply.
“We are calling on Iowa’s innovators to participate in the first annual InnoVenture Challenge,” said Williams in a press release. “Our outstanding organizing team is ready to shine a light on promising technology startups all across the state.”
Applications opened this week and will close on November 15. Applicants will be notified on November 28 if their startup has been selected to participate as a semi-finalist. The competition will take place on Dec. 7 at the Temple Theater in Des Moines.