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Iowa Startup Accelerator and NewBoCo announce incoming startup teams

From left to right: The Gazette Business Reporter Matthew Patane, Kho Labs Business Development Bryce Colston, Kho Labs CEO & Founder Ian Warner. Photo credit: NewBoCo/Jessalyn Holdcraft

NewBoCo kicked off its fifth year investing in Iowa’s entrepreneurial community on Monday by accepting four startups into the Iowa Startup Accelerator’s 2018 Spring Batch, and the pilot team from its Social Good Accelerator program.

The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative (NewBoCo) is a nonprofit with the mission to accelerate world-changing ideas from Iowa, and to create impactful startup businesses that grow through its Iowa Startup Accelerator program.

Iowa Startup Accelerator is an intensive program that matches tech-based startups with world-class mentors, Midwestern work ethic, seed funding, and product development expertise to accelerate their business to a successful exit.

Three of the teams, Actworthy, Kho Labs, and CR Marketplace, were founded in Iowa. The full cohort represents key Iowa industries such as health tech and ed tech, and addresses Iowa issues about disaster preparation and developing tech talent.

Following orientation week, the teams will have 13 weeks of structured curriculum and a year of facilitated mentoring and networking.

“While there’s a formal timebox on our program, we continue to work with our startups long after their time in the accelerator ends,” Accelerator Managing Director David Tominsky said. “Our most successful startups work closely with us years after they joined our portfolio.”

The 2018 Spring Batch also includes GSI Works, the pilot team for NewBoCo’s Social Good Accelerator program.

GSI Works is a nonprofit that uses green infrastructure to combat flash flooding. CSI Works will join the four other startups as a full member of the 2018 cohort, minus an investment from the ISA Fund.

They will receive the same training and mentoring as the other startups in the program and will work to validate their business model as quickly as possible to increase their impact on Cedar Rapids’ neighborhoods.

“Nonprofits share many of the same needs that startups have: a strong financial model, understanding of their customers and users, a great leadership team, and a strong organizational culture,” said Aaron Horn, Executive Director and COO at NewBoCo. “GSI Works, with their connection to flood relief, is a perfect fit to be the pilot team in our Social Good Accelerator.”

Funds are still being raised to support the full Social Good Accelerator Program. United Way of East Central Iowa, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, Transamerica Foundation, CRST Family Foundation, and the University of Iowa Credit Union are all supporters of the program, as well as several individual donors.

The Iowa Startup Accelerator Fund also announced on Monday the first successful exit from its portfolio. LendEDU, a member of the inaugural 2014 cohort, exited the ISA Fund at a significant multiple from the original investment. LendEDU is a privately held company and will not be releasing financial information regarding the exit.

The ISA Fund also provided a follow-on investment for Noviqu, a member of the 2017 ISA cohort. Noviqu, a software platform for safety, maintenance, and training processes in the manufacturing industry, is the latest ISA team to receive follow-on investment from the ISA Fund.

Spring Batch 2018 Teams

ActWorthy (Iowa City, IA)
Social media for social change. For Citizens: A Netflix for Political Action. For Organizers: A Platform to Build a Movement.
Team: Ross Katz, CEO & Matt Swan, Lead Front-End Developer

Cedar Rapids Marketplace (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Online shopping and buy local now mean the same thing. Shop easily from many local small businesses at the same time on CedarRapidsMarketplace.com.
Team: Cherie Edilson, Robert Edilson

Codemoji (Chicago, IL)
Codemoji.com makes it easy to bring coding into the classroom. Codemoji has helped 200,000+ students get started in coding to date.
Team: Livio Bolzon, Will Goff, Chase Engelbrecht

Kho Labs (Des Moines, IA)
Kho connects injured athletes to local healthcare solutions.
Team: Ian Warner; Declan Land, iOS engineer; Bryce Colston

GSI Works (Cedar Rapids, IA)
GSI Works engineers prosperity in our urban core neighborhoods by investing in green infrastructure and connecting folks with employment barriers to those with the greatest likelihood of experiencing localized [flash] flooding.
Team: Stacie Johnson, Director of HIRE Learning

Those interested in supporting the Social Good Accelerator Program can contact Kaitlin Byers, NewBoCo Director of Development, at kaitlin@newbo.co.

Applications for the Iowa Startup Accelerator’s Fall Batch are open until July 28th. Interested teams can apply today at https://gust.com/accelerators/iowa-startup-accelerator-2.

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