Over 900 members of the regional startup community attended the Iowa Startup Accelerator Launch Day in downtown Cedar Rapids last Thursday.
“The evening was amazing,” said Eric Engelmann, ISA Managing Director. “The program was high energy, impactful and really showcased how ISA’s startups are focused on real-world, practical problems and building meaningful solutions to those challenges.”
The Iowa Startup Accelerator 2015 program began August 3rd and included input from over a hundred mentors and customer research. The teams received $20,000 in exchange for 6% equity in their company. One of last year’s cohort, HowFactory, has received national recognition and was the winner of the “Best New Startup of the Year” at this year’s Silicon Prairie Awards.
The following nine teams pitched at Launch Day this year:
- CareAcademy (Education, Boston, MA)
- CareDrop (Health, Cedar Rapids)
- EarMashin (Music, Los Angeles, CA), (SPN Story)
- GolfRz (Sports, Des Moines)
- GoQuets (Ecommerce, Des Moines), (SPN Story)
- Stratbase (Software, Iowa City)
- SwineTech (Agriculture, Iowa City), (SPN Story)
- TaxiTapp (Mobile, Champaign, IL)
Home Scene Pro, an ecommerce startup from New York City, was not mentioned on the press release following the event.
Engelmann notes that the startups this year were more mature that the first year’s cohort.
“They were simply further along on average, and it showed,” said Engleman. “Half of the eight teams had products in the field, generating revenue as of Launch Day. Last year only one did.”
The Iowa Startup Accelerator’s success so far can be attributed to the partnerships it has made across the state.
“While I think ISA makes a tremendous impact in Iowa, we realize that building an innovation economy is a collaborative endeavor,” said Engelmann. “So, we’re really working hard at building bridges state-wide, so we can all learn together and make Iowa the best place in the US to start a business.”
Ryan Pendell is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.