Iowa Startup Accelerator
Portfolio & Results

0
Portfolio Companies
$0.73
Million in Funding Raised
0
Teams in the 2018 Fall Batch

Overall Portfolio Status

Updated 09/17/2018

Status Number of Companies Percentage
Active 25 64%
Failed 13 33%
Acquired/Exited 1 3%
Total 39 100%

Notes about portfolio status:
Because the ISA program is young (the first cohort started 8/4/2014) the number of active companies is very high. Of course, we’d love to have the number of active companies stay high, and we do everything we can to help our founders build their companies. Despite our reputation here of being “Iowa nice”, a key part of our role is to accelerate world-changing ideas and ensure that dead-end ideas fail fast. Those founders could then start another company, battle-tested and wiser, the second time around.

Funding

Notes about funding:
Funding in the Midwest is different than on the coasts. Each dollar raised goes a lot further due to a lower cost of living (Cedar Rapids, for example, is often cited as a highly affordable small city.)

Midwestern startups also tend to focus on bootstrapping for longer periods of time before raising capital, whenever possible. Often, investors prefer startups to demonstrate positive revenue growth before investing as well, as they tend to be more conservative and risk-averse. We see this as a good compromise overall: startups have to work hard to actually produce a product people will buy before they raise money.

In addition, when outside capital is raised, the funding mix is different, with many startups raising money through a variety of programs designed to support them, such as the Proof of Commercial Relevance program, the Demonstration Fund, and the Innovation Acceleration program. Often, startups with positive revenue growth also qualify for attractive debt financing that prevents dilution for the entrepreneur.

In short, Iowa is a fantastic place to grow a business, and high quality startups can successfully raise money here to support growth and scale.

Company Details

2018 Cohort

Company (Original Location) Batch Status Current Location FTES*
ActWorthy (Iowa City, IA) Spring Active Iowa City, IA 3
Codemoji (Chicago, IL) Spring Active Chicago, IL 4
Kho Health (Des Moines, IA) Spring Active Des Moines, IA 1
Member Marketplace (Cedar Rapids, IA) Spring Active Cedar Rapids, IA 2
GSI Works (Cedar Rapids, IA)
*Social Good Accelerator pilot team
Spring Active Cedar Rapids, IA 1
6C Solutions (Chicago, IL) Fall Active Chicago, IL 1
Class Composer (Boulder, CO) Fall Active Boulder, CO 3
Rantizo (Iowa City, IA) Fall Active Iowa City, IA 4
Project BBQ (Cedar Rapids, IA) Fall Active Cedar Rapids, IA 2
Aging Services – Linn County Senior Center (Cedar Rapids, IA)
*Social Good Accelerator
Fall Active Cedar Rapids, IA 5
Kids First Law Center – Youth Peace Project (Cedar Rapids, IA)
*Social Good Accelerator
Fall Active Cedar Rapids, IA 2
        27

* Full Time Employees, including founders

Notes about the 2018 Cohort
ISA restructured in 2018 to offer two distinct batches in Spring and Fall. Each batch featured an intense Orientation Week that introduced them to the extensive resources in the community, Agile and customer development training, and designing the strategy and culture of their organization. The redesign of the program also focused on the idea that the first 90 days will remain intensive, but there will also be an understanding that joining the ISA portfolio is a long-term commitment and required an explicit understanding that ISA staff and the NewBoCo organization expects to work with them beyond the initial 90 days of weekly programming. We also launched the Social Good Accelerator with the Spring batch, featuring our pilot team GSI Works. Aging Services – Linn County Senior Center and Kids First Law Center – Youth Peace Project filled the two fully funded spots for the Inaugural Batch.

2018 Portfolio Videos

2017 Cohort

Company (Original Location) Batch Status Current Location FTES*
Bytable Foods (formerly Agro Connected, Urbie) (Center Point, IA) Summer Active Cedar Rapids, IA 2
Cargofy (Kiev, Ukraine) Summer Active Cedar Rapids, IA 4
GOVRED Technologies (Battle Creek, MI) Summer Active Cedar Rapids, IA 2
Noviqu (Moberly, MO) Fall Active Kansas City, MO 5
Funeral Direct (New York City, NY) Fall Active New York City, NY 2
SmartScripts (Washington, IA) Fall Active Washington, IA 8
Global Healthcare Integrators (GHI) (Reston, VA) Spring Failed N/A 0
        23

* Full Time Employees, including founders

Notes about the 2017 Cohort
ISA restructured in 2017 to offer three distinct batches in Spring, Summer, and Fall. Six out of the seven companies are still active. Noviqu (Techstars Kansas City) and Bytable Foods (Colorado Springs-based Exponential Impact) have been accepted into their second accelerator programs. In 2018, the ISA Fund provided a follow-on investment for Noviqu, a member of the Fall batch of the 2017 cohort. GOVRED Technologies has landed more than $100,000 in contracts. Cargofy has excelled in numerous pitch competitions, has been selected as an exceptional startup in Mobility & Transportation at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, and is ranked #822 on the Inc. 5000 for 2018.

2017 Portfolio Videos

2016 Cohort

Company (Original Location) Status Current Location FTES*
Stratafolio (formerly AssetRover) (Cedar Rapids, IA) Active Cedar Rapids, IA 2
Girls With Ideas (Cedar Rapids, IA) Active Cedar Rapids, IA 2
Written Apparel (Cedar Rapids, IA) Active Cedar Rapids, IA 1
Hang (Des Moines, IA) Failed N/A 0
Soteria Bicycles (Cedar Rapids, IA) Failed N/A 0
Streamweaver (Des Moines, IA) Failed N/A 0
      5

* Full Time Employees, including founders

Notes about the 2016 Cohort
We started the cohort with 3 of the 6 teams being led by female founders. Today, 3 of the 6 are still active, all led by women. These teams are generating revenue and we continue to work with all of the teams post program as part of our commitment to helping these companies thrive in Iowa and scale their companies.

2016 Portfolio Videos

2015 Cohort

Company (Original Location) Status Current Location FTES*
CareAcademy (Boston, MA) Active Boston, MA 3
SwineTech (New Sharon, IA) Active Cedar Rapids, IA 9
TaxiTapp (Champaign, IL) Active Champaign, IL 5
CareDrop (Cedar Rapids, IA) Failed N/A 0
EarMashin (Los Angeles, CA) Failed N/A 0
Goquets (Des Moines, IA) Failed N/A 0
Stratbase (Iowa City, IA) Failed N/A 0
GolfRz (Des Moines, IA) Failed N/A 0
HomeScenePro (New York City, NY) Failed N/A 0
      17

* Full Time Employees, including founders

Notes about the 2015 Cohort
Three years have passed since the 2015 Cohort joined ISA, and 3 of the 9 teams are still active. SwineTech has won numerous pitch and business plan competitions while field testing their product, and completed a $1.24 million preferred series A financing. CareAcademy finished a $1.9 million raise in 2017.

2015 Portfolio Videos

2014 Cohort

Company (Original Location) Status Current Location FTES*
Apartment Ocean (previously ClikHome) (New York, NY) Active Cedar Rapids, IA 3
HowFactory (Cedar Falls, IA) Active Cedar Falls, IA 4
KidsCalendar (Lawrence, KS) Active Lincoln, NE 1
Vinveli (Austin, TX) Active Austin, TX 1
Punctil (Palo Alto, CA) Active Fairfield, IA 1
LendEDU (Hockessin, DE) Exited Hoboken, NJ 9
Sift (Iowa City, IA) Failed N/A 0
SwarmBuild (Tel Aviv, Israel) Failed N/A 0
VenueFox (Des Moines, IA) Failed N/A 0
ProduceRun (Melbourne, Australia) Failed N/A 0
      19

* Full Time Employees, including founders

Notes about the 2014 Cohort
Our inaugural cohort in 2014 consisted of 10 teams from around the world. Most were very early stage, pre-revenue startups when they arrived. All of them adjusted business models during the program. In 2018, the ISA Fund announced the first successful exit from its portfolio. LendEDU exited the ISA Fund at a significant multiple from the original investment.

2014 Portfolio Videos