Why Choose Iowa Startup Accelerator?

We invest in up to 10 startups per year, but our investment is far more than just seed capital.

  • It’s the experience of a dedicated team working deeply with you every step of the way.
  • It’s 165+ mentors sharing their expertise – and connections with you more quickly than you could ever assemble on your own.
  • It’s access to more than $250,000 in free or heavily discounted technology perks.
  • It’s a collaborative cohort of other startups working intensely together, supporting each other, and learning from each other.
  • It’s learning experiences like marketing workshops, founder firesides with the region’s best startups, and panels of experts to get you up to speed on term sheets, intellectual property, software architecture, or whatever it is that you need to know.
  • It’s the chance for you to relentlessly focus entirely on building your business, accomplishing more in 90 days than you likely would in a year on your own.

Don’t miss your chance.

The ISA Story

Iowa Startup Accelerator came to be thanks to a founding group of individuals who thought Iowa could do more, and be better at, developing tech-based startup companies.

The idea got off the ground in the Fall of 2013. The founding team consisted of nine people, almost all of them successful entrepreneurs individually, but together, the team accomplished in less than 18 months:

  • The research, planning and development of ISA, travelling to Nashville, London, Seattle, Omaha and many other cities with similar programs
  • The growth and blending of the Vault Coworking & Collaboration space into the program
  • Design and construction of a beautiful new facility to house the program
  • Creating a world-class mentor network
  • Finding the sponsors who made the non-profit program possible
  • Setting up the ISA seed fund, and acquiring investors to make the investment arm possible

The ISA Founding Team

Barry Boyer
Barry is a social entrepreneur and former CEO of Van Meter, Inc. which was recognized as National Employee Owned Company of the Year in 2011 and Inc. Magazine’s top 20 Best Small Places to Work in America in 2010.

Gilda Boyer
Gilda Boyer is a former senior member of Shuttleworth & Ingersoll P.L.C. and is involved with a number of Cedar Rapids based entities in the startup community including Seed Here and Ascent.

Lydia Brown
Lydia is the founding partner of Skywalk Group, and President & CEO of Ascent Iowa, focused on women-led startups.

Ben Dillon
Ben is co-owner of Geonetric and serves as its Vice President and E-Health Evangelist and is a partner in Cedar Rapids real estate developer Agile Ventures.

Eric Engelmann
Eric is the founder and President & CEO of Geonetric, Inc, a Cedar Rapids-based startup and 7-time Inc. 5000 award honoree.

Bruce Lehrman
Bruce is the CEO of Involta, a Marion, Iowa-based startup. He has founded and led multiple fast growth startups, including landing Involta at #40 on the Inc. 500 list.

Michael Ott
Michael is the Entrepreneur In Residence at Nidus Investment Partners. He has raised $150 million for various startups and has been the first employee at six startups.

Andy Stoll
Andy is the co-founder of Seed Here Studio, a social good startup working to grow the grassroots entrepreneurial & creative community in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area.

Amanda West
Amanda is the CEO of Vault Coworking, Co-founder and Chief Community Builder at Seed Here Studio.