Funding, Finance, and Flooding: ISA Week 8

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[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px” width=”1/1″][text_output]Startups thrive when they adapt quickly. On Thursday, flood predictions made the Iowa Startup Accelerator’s 2016 cohort adapt very, very quickly. Enormous efforts by volunteers and the city of Cedar Rapids mitigated extreme damage in the New Bohemia district. Teams in the accelerator pitched their businesses on Friday morning and then quickly pitched in to help protect the community.

Until flood waters recede further, the teams will work remotely to continue growing their businesses. Programming will be slightly disrupted, but the cohort’s flexibility and drive makes sure progress never stops.

This week ended the ISA takeover of 1 Million Cups Cedar Rapids / Iowa City. During the past three weeks, the 2016 cohort pitched to over 215 people in Creative Corridor. Activities like 1MC keep the community informed of each team’s progress and connect the entrepreneurs to resources and support that they might not have otherwise been aware of.

Some of the teams in the 2016 cohort aren’t done with 1MC though. AssetRover submitted a 60 second video entry to the national 1 Million Cups Kauffman Foundation competition.  
[/text_output][blockquote cite=”” id=”” class=”” style=””]“The cool thing about the video competition is that we learned quite a lot about ourselves and what we would do to change our actual pitch. We can use this video for all sorts of advertising now. It helped us really nail down our message.”

AssetRover CFO Bill Kearney[/blockquote][text_output]Nate Matherson, CEO of LendEDU and a 2014 alum of the Iowa Startup Accelerator, led a remote session about strategic growth for the 2016 cohort. Later in the week, Kendra Smith, CMO of Braceability, facilitated a workshop on keywords and how to use them to boost search engine optimization for a company’s website. These workshops were the latest in a series of workshops geared around marketing.

In previous iterations of the Iowa Startup Accelerator, marketing workshops were condensed into “Marketing Hell Week.” During Marketing Hell Week, the cohort went through nonstop training over five days. This year, programming regarding marketing stretches over several weeks to give the cohort time to implement skills learned from the workshops and continue to grow their business.[/text_output][blockquote cite=”” id=”” class=”” style=””]“Learning more about marketing amazes me because of how scientific it is. If you use certain frameworks, you can see real results.”

WRITTEN Apparel CEO Emily Carlson[/blockquote][text_output]This week, two sessions discussed alternative funding sources for startups. With less than 50 days till Launch Day, teams are increasingly pushed to focus on what come after their time in the Iowa Startup Accelerator.

In Tuesday’s session, Curt Nelson and Jane Burroughs of the Economic Development Center went over state sponsored loan programs for entrepreneurs. Since all six teams in the 2016 cohort are from Iowa, these programs are available to all of them.

On Thursday, Eric Engelmann, Geonetric founder and NewBoCo’s Executive Director, described Geonetric’s funding history, highlighting how they were able to bootstrap their way to success. Bootstrapping can take the form of very different paths for each company. For example, Swinetech, a company from the 2015 cohort used pitch competitions as a way to finance their business while their product went through trial testing. Eric also discussed the mindset of angel investors and strategies on how to approach them.

Time in the second half of the Iowa Startup Accelerator is moving incredibly quickly. Subscribe to each team’s newsletter to keep up with their progress. Join us for Launch Day on November 3rd to celebrate their success and being above water![/text_output][line id=”” class=”” style=””][text_output]AMP’d Cycles
Smart bicycles creating a safer experience for cyclists.

Asset Rover
Real estate investing simplified.

Girls With Ideas
Leadership development program for young females.

A mobile app that increases awareness of gatherings, hangouts, and local events to help users be more present in their lives and communities.

Influencer marketing platform for e-sports.

Creating a globally respected and desired fashion brand from Iowa.