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Iowa EdTech Accelerator announces four startups for inaugural cohort
The Iowa EdTech Accelerator has announced the four companies that will take part in its first-ever cohort beginning this March. This year's Iowa EdTech Accelerator participants are: Apprenticeship America IEP Equity The Agenda. Period TuitionFit The four selected startups will each receive $25,000 in seed capital, along with mentoring, coaching, prototyping support, and early…
Applications open for Iowa Edtech Accelerator
Applications are now open for the first cohort of the Iowa Edtech Accelerator. The Edtech Accelerator is an intensive, highly focused 14-week program aimed at early stage edtech companies. The first cohort of the accelerator program will begin March 2, 2020. Startups must be located in Iowa. The first cohort will be about five companies,…
New accelerator will spur growth in Iowa’s edtech sector
Last month, NewBoCo announced a new accelerator program in Iowa City, establishing the Midwest's first-ever edtech-specific accelerator program. The new accelerator program—called Iowa EdTech Accelerator—is modeled after NewBoCo's current Iowa Startup Accelerator (ISA), but will focus only on educational technology. "Not every sector in Iowa has enough density to have its own programming, dedicated resources,…
NewBoCo announces big plans at inaugural Annual Meeting
It was a big day for NewBoCo yesterday as the Cedar Rapids nonprofit held its first ever Annual Meeting. NewBoCo made several big announcements, including a $30 million multi-stage venture capital fund and an edtech-specific accelerator program. NewBoCo also unveiled its new outcomes dashboard, which it will update in real-time with its latest impact…
Iowa EdTech Accelerator Archives | 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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