The Iowa Economic Development Authority on Friday awarded a $100,000 loan to Bandwith Pool, the Cedar Rapids startup that wants to make it easier for businesses to find reliable and affordable Internet providers. The assistance came through the state’s Demonstration Fund, a fund that aims to help potential high-growth companies reach a position where they’re able to attract later-stage private sector funding.
When we first covered Bandwidth Pool in March, it had just released its public beta—users could sign up, pay the service’s $99 deposit and have around 20 providers bid for their business. Since then, the startup has pulled back its aim to add users, and has instead focused on improving its website’s user experience, Bandwidth Pool founder Ben Anderson told Silicon Prairie News today.
The state loan will cover the cost of needed site updates—currently done by a team of contractors—and over the next 18 months, Anderson said he plans to hire two to five employees in sales and marketing roles.
“We’re going to be working to try to create better awareness on a state-wide level of the service that we offer,” Anderson (right) said. When that’s complete, and the startup has proved its approach to finding an Internet service provider works, he’ll focus on expanding Bandwidth Pool in other states.
Anderson has put $50,000 of his own money into Bandwidth pool and angel investors have added $75,000. The state loan required a 50 percent match, which is accounted for in the angel investment. Anderson said he anticipates the need for additional funding in the future.
For more on Bandwidth Pool, check out the startup’s promotional video below and see our post, “Bandwidth Pool puts Internet providers in the same boat for buyers“.