Thursday, September 19, Cedar Rapids, IA – NewBoCo – the Cedar Rapids-based nonprofit that supports entrepreneurship, innovation, and tech education – updated its impact stats and made a number of program announcements at its inaugural Annual Meeting.
The nonprofit unveiled its new outcomes dashboard, which it will update in real time with its latest impact stats that align with its six strategic goals:
- Develop leaders at the forefront of innovation
- Develop talent to build innovative products
- Grow new companies
- Invest in entrepreneurs and high-growth companies
- Lead the nation in Computer Science education
- Be a national leader in innovative K-12 education
“NewBoCo is taking on some of the most complex challenges our community faces. By publicly tracking progress, we can keep our team, our collaborative partners, and our stakeholders focused on solving them,” NewBoCo Executive Director Eric Engelmann said.
Develop leaders at the forefront of innovation
NewBoCo’s Intrapreneur Academy has trained 71 leaders from 14 organizations. Due to demand for this team training program, NewBoCo announced that it will launch four Intrapreneur Academy cohorts in 2020, one each quarter.
“Intrapreneur Academy is providing much-needed professional development for emerging leaders in our existing companies to help them be truly innovative,” NewBoCo Chief Relationship Officer David Tominsky said. “For companies large and small, our region depends on having leaders who understand new product development, organizational agility, and how to respond to disruptive change. Our expert instructors and facilitators help them explore that knowledge and make Iowa stronger.”
Develop talent to build innovative products
NewBoCo recapped major program announcements about its DeltaV Code School, including:
- A recent $175,000 grant from Google.org to bring DeltaV to incarcerated women in the Iowa Department of Corrections’ Mitchellville facility.
- NewBoCo announced that it was also a recipient of a Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund matching grant, which will help fund 10 scholarships to DeltaV students with their Diversity Tuition Award Program.
- In addition to these grant awards, DeltaV announced a new Code 201 nights and weekends course in 2020, making it easier for non-traditional students to continue working while taking their first coding course.
- DeltaV is also planning to launch a Digital Marketing Developer curriculum in 2020, providing a second career path option for students – one that is also in high demand in local startup companies.
“We are really excited about the growth of DeltaV Code School and how we continue to help fill the tech talent gap in Iowa with new software developers. It is especially exciting when we can grow the number of students that come from backgrounds typically underrepresented in tech,” NewBoCo Chief Operating Officer Aaron Horn said. “Our Diversity Tuition Awards and new Income Sharing Agreements allow participation by adult career changers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to pursue the education they need to fill these high-demand tech jobs.”
Grow new companies
NewBoCo announced the expansion of its Iowa Startup Accelerator to Iowa City by establishing an EdTech-specific accelerator program. The new accelerator program – called Iowa EdTech Accelerator – is a collaboration between regional business resources and education industry leaders, including Iowa City Area Development Group, The University of Iowa, Higher Learning Technologies, ACT, and NewBoCo, along with the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The program is modeled on the current Iowa Startup Accelerator, but focuses only on educational technology, and provides mentoring, coaching, prototyping support and more. The program will begin accepting applications this Fall and will run in early 2020 in Iowa City.
Invest in entrepreneurs and high-growth companies
Engelmann and Steve Gray introduced ISA Ventures Fund, a $30 million fund focused on bringing capital for early-stage startups, fast-growing companies, and expansion-stage companies to Eastern Iowa. The Fund will be the key part of a “venture studio” which provides a wide array of resources in addition to capital, including technology, sales and marketing support to selected startups.
Lead the nation in computer science education
NewBoCo’s Computer Science teacher training program has trained 364 educators who have reached 18,071 K-12 students in Iowa according to their dashboard – three times the number from a year ago.
“Computer science is a foundational subject that is relevant to all students no matter what career they choose,” NewBoCo K-12 Education Director Samantha Dahlby said. “Advanced manufacturing companies are retraining employees to handle the data produced by their machines. Farmers are at the forefront of technology, trying to manage their ever-changing challenges. Major companies fight to stay ahead of cybersecurity issues. Our efforts and partnerships statewide make computer science education accessible to all schools and support them where they are.”
NewBoCo announced its intention to train Iowa’s teachers until 100 percent of Iowa’s schools offer Computer Science. Today, that number is 45 percent, up from 40 percent when NewBoCo’s initiative began two years ago.
Be a national leader in innovative K-12 education
NewBoCo announced its expanded partnership with Iowa BIG, which will include growing its AgileEDU training program for teachers.
EntreFEST 2020 dates, speaker apps open
Events Director Jill Wilkins announced that EntreFEST, a two-day conference where big ideas meet opportunity, will return to Cedar Rapids June 4-5, 2020.
“I’m excited to be producing EntreFEST for the fourth year and to see it return to ICR in June 2020,” NewBoCo Events Director Jill Wilkins said. “This statewide event is a great opportunity for us to bring together entrepreneurs, business leaders and software developers from across the Midwest into one space to learn, network and grow this innovative community.”
EntreFEST is also accepting speaker applications.
Media contact: Jessalyn Holdcraft, Director of Marketing