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Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation partners with NewBoCo on pilot program for business ecosystem

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA (Dec. 8) – Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation announced today that it is joining forces with NewBoCo of Cedar Rapids as part of a growing Community Partners Pilot Program. 

NewBoCo is collaborating with economic development organizations in communities around Iowa to  help fill gaps in their local entrepreneurial ecosystem. The goal is to combine NewBoCo programming, resources, and knowledge with each local community’s experience, partnerships, and resources.

“We believe that in order for a community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to thrive, it needs to have strong programs supporting entrepreneurs, tech education, and innovation,” says NewBoCo Executive Director Aaron Horn. “We believe that Advance Southwest Iowa is an ideal partner for us.”

“During our initial assessment of our local ecosystem we knew programming was one of the lacking components for our entrepreneurs in Pottawattamie County, especially around tech and innovation.  Of course, we didn’t need to reinvent the wheel when other organizations across Iowa have it figured out.  We have been lucky enough to work with NewBoCo in the past, so we jumped at the opportunity to officially collaborate through their Community Partners Pilot.”  -Niki Ferguson, entrepreneurial development manager at Advance Southwest Iowa Corp.

Each partnership will take shape around a foundation of established NewBoCo programming. 

“We have been developing and extensively testing this programming over the past eight years, so we have seen its power to strengthen entrepreneurial, educational, and innovation ecosystems,” Horn says.

NewBoCo’s programming addresses four focus areas that are critical to a community’s success:

  1. Entrepreneurship programs that provide mentorship, community, and access to capital for entrepreneurs with businesses of a variety of industries and sizes. Program examples include Iowa Startup Accelerator, EdTech Accelerator, coworking, events, Kiva Iowa, and NewBoCo’s ISA Ventures partnership.
  2. Tech Education programs that provide technical skill training for adults, youth, and teachers. Program examples include DeltaV Code School, CoderDojo, and K-12 computer science professional development.
  3. Innovation Services programs that provide training on NewBoCo’s four areas of innovation (Agile, Methods, Culture, and Strategy).Program examples include Intrapreneur Academy, coaching, and custom workshops.
  4. NewBoCo Studios services that may or may not currently exist within a local community. Those services could include software development, digital marketing services, and branding and graphic design.

Each NewBoCo partner community selects programming in at least two focus areas to bring to their region. Community partners provide their unique access, insights, and resources, while NewBoCo provides programming frameworks and ongoing analysis and support. 

“We believe that this holistic, yet localized approach to entrepreneurial ecosystem development is necessary for greater equity, innovation, and prosperity in entrepreneurship in Iowa,” Horn says.

About NewBoCo 

The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative, Inc. (NewBoCo) is a 501(c)(3) organization located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. NewBoCo’s programming supports entrepreneurship, innovation, and tech education to help Iowans become more resilient and thrive in a changing economy. For more information, visit

About Advance Southwest Iowa

Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation is the economic development organization for Council Bluffs and all communities in Pottawattamie County.  Advance is a one-stop shop for economic development with a focus on business attraction, retention, entrepreneurship and site development.  The Advance staff are proud to work alongside our many community partners to enhance the image and increase the tax base to make Pottawattamie County a prosperous and desirable community to live and do business. For more information visit

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