Media Contact: Jessalyn Holdcraft, NewBoCo Director of Marketing
Cedar Rapids, IA, December 7, 2017 – NewBoCo Launch Day showcased startup successes and new ventures, with pitches from Iowa Startup Accelerator’s 2017 cohort and updates from NewBoCo entrepreneurship, education, and innovation programs.
“Not only does Launch Day give us the opportunity to show off the awesome startup teams that we’ve been working with in the Iowa Startup Accelerator, but we get to let everyone know about the great progress our nonprofit has been making and offer a sneak peek into what is coming next,” NewBoCo Chief Operating Officer Aaron Horn said.
Iowa Startup Accelerator launches fourth cohort
Four companies from ISA’s fourth cohort took the stage at NewBoCo Launch Day to showcase their progress to date in the year-long program.
Noviqu, GOVRED, Funeral Direct, and Urbie all gave updates on their businesses since entering the ISA program.
Noviqu, a company whose mission is to provide simple and engaging solutions for the manufacturing industry, kicked off the night announcing that they have earned almost $45,000 in revenue since joining ISA three months ago and are now working with Unilever, Frontier Co-op, and Guttenberg Industries.
“Iowa Startup Accelerator has been an amazing program for us and we have loved every second of it. We were originally sold on the sense of community that David touted, and we were not disappointed,” Noviqu CEO Anna Haney said. “The Iowa community has been so supportive and helpful to us during the first few months of our journey.”
“Our team couldn’t have imagined being accelerated at the pace we were, but we are so proud of our progress and success so far. It’s just the beginning for team Noviqu, and we have the ISA to thank for what a great beginning it has been.”
GOVRED uses 21st-century technology to solve longstanding problems in policing and public safety. They showed the audience a demonstration of their top-of-the-line, 360-degree fully-immersive virtual reality training platform, APEX Officer, during their presentation.
Funeral Direct makes funeral planning simple by helping families find affordable services and organize highly personalized memorial experiences online. They announced their upcoming launch in 2018 with Iowa City included in their first cities. Learn more at www.funeraldirect.co.
Urbie, an online marketplace dedicated to local food, has an event this weekend. Customers can order food from Zaza’s Pastas, Four Acre Produce, and Urban Greens, and pick it up in person at NewBo City Market this Saturday. Anyone who takes advantage of this offer will receive $5 off their next order.
“After months of working with the Iowa Startup Accelerator, we are excited to announce the launch of Urbie.co on Launch Day,” Urbie CEO Jacy Rittmer said. “We’ll be growing Urbie from right here in Cedar Rapids and working to build a community and a movement around local and sustainable food.”
ISA teams not at Launch Day
There were four teams from the ISA 2017 cohort that did not take the Launch Day stage: BluSolar, Global Healthcare Integrators (GHI), Cargofy, and SmartScripts.
BluSolar, a solar energy tech company, ran into insurmountable IP issues, but the team continues to work together. NewBoCo Accelerator Managing Director David Tominsky recently spent several days with them at Milliken University in Decatur, Illinois, where the student founders of BluSolar are helping to expose other university students to Agile and entrepreneurship.
GHI is currently in the United Arab Emirates where they found early customers. GHI has built a platform for disease management and specialty pharmacy programs that creates data transparency between the healthcare provider and patients.
Cargofy’s founders returned today from the Ukraine with plans to raise their young daughter and grow their business here in Iowa. They are a transportation tech company that is using artificial intelligence and computer learning to simplify the shipping process. Iowa is a leader in the research of autonomous vehicles and has long been a leader in the trucking industry, which is what attracted Cargofy to Iowa in the first place.
SmartScripts is a full-service pharmacy using advanced technology to deliver an easier, safer, and more convenient experience for people managing multiple medications. They just surpassed $1 million in revenue for the year and recently closed a $2.5 million round that the ISA Fund participated in. That company is based just south of Cedar Rapids in Washington, Iowa.
ISA portfolio to date
Since 2014, 33 companies have participated in the ISA program, and the ISA Fund has made 31 investments. Of those 33 companies, 19 are still in operation and have collectively raised more than $9.25 million dollars and employ 60 people.
“What we are seeing is that companies are attracted to ISA and the community that has formed in Iowa,” Tominsky said. “The support entrepreneurs can find here is difficult to find in a lot of other places.”
LendEDU, an ISA 2014 cohort alum, is on track to generate more than $2 million in revenue with a team of nine this year. CareAcademy and SwineTech, ISA 2015 alums, both have closed investment rounds of more than $1.6 million.
The three women-owned businesses from last year’s cohort are seeing continued success.
Girls With Ideas has had 900 girls complete their program, and WRITTEN Apparel is working out of Iowa’s first women’s coworking space and traveled to the New York Fashion Week this year. STRATAFOLIO is working with the NewBoCo product development team to build their real estate management platform, as well as consulting closely with their early customers to build the right solution.
NewBoCo entrepreneurship programs in 2018
Looking ahead to 2018, NewBoCo will focus on the growth of the Corridor Angel Investors network as well as increasing the number of startups they are working with through its product development team. In 2017, there were 38 investors in the Corridor Angel Investors network.
ISA will run two batches next year, the first starting in March and the second starting in September; applications for the March batch are open now. That will give the NewBoCo staff time to further explore the potential of a social good accelerator and focus on community education in the summer as they consider scaling to work with 100 startups a year.
In 2018, ISA will be capitalizing on one of the Corridor’s core industries by working with the MedQuarter Regional Medical District to design and execute a mentor network that will help attract better healthcare and medical startups to Eastern Iowa.
Building on its existing relationship with Coe College, NewBoCo will help infuse entrepreneurship into the Coe experience for all of its 1400 students.
Finally, NewBoCo will be working closely with Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC) to bring back Power Ladies Lunch in February 2018.
“It will take the entire region to achieve the goals we set, and we are looking forward to building on our partnerships in the community as we look to increase the impact in Iowa,” Tominsky said.
NewBoCo education programs in 2018
Last year, NewBoCo announced the creation of DeltaV Code School, Iowa’s only adult code school. In 2017, 75 percent of students who completed the program have found work in less than a month.
“Iowa has a lack of available technical talent, so companies and cities across the state will benefit from the high-quality developers that the DeltaV program produces,” NewBoCo UI/UX Developer and DeltaV Code School Instructor Jess Bertling said.
Next Saturday, December 16, DeltaV is hosting a Code 101 course at MERGE in downtown Iowa City, which is the first time a DeltaV course has been held outside of Cedar Rapids.
In order to bring computer science education to more Iowans, NewBoCo became a Code.org partner to train teachers how to teach computer science in Iowa’s middle and high schools. In the first year of this partnership, NewBoCo has trained 32 teachers making it possible for more than 900 students to take computer science classes.
NewBoCo’s K-12 Imagination Iowa program has provided more STEM opportunities by taking over the statewide operations of Future City, which engages more than 500 students in engineering education.
NewBoCo innovation programs in 2018
In 2017, NewBoCo expanded its corporate innovation programs to help established businesses explore new technologies and become more resilient. NewBoCo supported more than 60 organizations through workshops and in-depth consultations.
In 2018, NewBoCo plans to bring more opportunities for existing businesses to innovate, including more Agile programs, enterprise transformation services, and Intrapreneur Academy.
“I’m excited for the Intrapreneur Academy because it reinforces the idea that innovation is a mindset that you should use every day,” Director of Innovation Mandy Webber said. “We’re looking to recruit up to five local companies for the first cohort that want to drive meaningful change in their organizations.”
The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative is a nonprofit with the mission to accelerate world-changing ideas, from Iowa. The organization aims to create impactful startup businesses that grow here through its Iowa Startup Accelerator program and more; to foster world-class technical and creative talent via innovative educational programs for kids and adults; to assist thriving, innovative companies in developing new products and attracting the best talent through corporate innovation programs; and to make an outstanding social impact and make the world a better place. Since 2014, the program has grown dramatically, helping hundreds of startups get off the ground and grow, and thousands of children learn to code.