Iowa Startup Accelerator Updates: One Month Down, Eleven to Go!

Molly MonkIowa Startup Accelerator, Startups0 Comments

ISA Summer Batch Team, GOVRED Technologies in a mentor meeting.

Four weeks ago, three new teams joined the Iowa Startup Accelerator’s 2017 cohort. Today, Agro Connected, GOVRED Technologies, and Cargofy celebrate completing their first month in the ISA’s 12 month program. Between workshops and networking events with ISA, running their own businesses, and adjusting to their new offices in Vault Coworking, they’ve been busy!

Since all three teams in the summer batch are in different industries, it’s not surprising that they have different goalposts for their progress. However, they found common ground by focusing intensely on customer discovery for the past month. Customer discovery is crucial for all businesses, but especially for early stage startups. ISA Managing Director, David Tominsky, led several workshops on the best practices for customer discovery, and many mentors and friends of ISA reached out with connections for the teams to interview. All three teams said that they achieved significant clarity through their customer discovery interviews over the past four weeks.

[One of our biggest accomplishments was] working to narrow down our product to a MVP that fits the markets needs. Early on we were “throwing darts at a dart board” but I think through some market research and customer discovery we have begun to narrow down what our initial product will be.
– Agro Connected CEO Ryan Weekly

Customer discovery wasn’t the only thing the summer batch worked on this month. GOVRED Technologies, for example, concentrated heavily on product development. They successfully built a working prototype of their M4 Combat Weapon, the VCW-M4. They’ve also been busy transitioning NewBoCo’s Virtual Reality Lab into a mixed reality space. This will make our lab space far more functional for VR/AR development.

Cargofy hit the road and attended the Truckers Jamboree Festival at Iowa 80, the world’s largest truckstop. While there, they made great strides with customer discovery and product development through their conversations with potential and future customers. Cargofy focused intensely on introducing their product to the American market after finding great success in Ukraine and India. Meeting with truckers at Iowa 80 helped them move in the right direction.

We’re very proud of the progress the summer batch made this month, and we’re grateful for the  the time our mentor network volunteers put in to make this possible. From those who’ve told their personal story through a founder fireside to those who have facilitated panels, workshops, and Agile ceremonies, we can’t thank you enough for helping these teams grow and become part of our ecosystem.

David and I are currently reviewing applications for the fall batch of our 2017 cohort. So far, we’ve been pretty impressed by all the applicants, and we’re excited to put a selection of them in front of the ISA investment fund soon. We’ll announce which dynamic startups will be joining the cohort on August 28th. If things go as quickly as this past month did, they’ll be here in no time!

If you have any questions about how to get involved with the Iowa Startup Accelerator or the summer batch teams, you can email me at molly@newbo.co or call us at  (319) 382-5128.


Also published on Medium.

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