Preparing for ISA 2016 Lift Off

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[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][text_output]Locked in an office on calls from dawn until dusk for 25 days, Iowa Startup Accelerator Managing Director David Tominsky worked to whittle down 200 applicants to the top startups to put in front of investors.

Thousands of emails, hundreds of hours on the phone, and one investor meeting later, teams have offers to join the ISA 2016 Cohort.

We started the Pre-Accelerator Program last year as an extended vetting process for applicants to ISA. Now in our third year of running the accelerator, we decided to update our recruitment and vetting process once again.

It all started months before with the birth of the Innovation Summit Series. Out of the 40 or so teams that presented at our 7 Summits, 27 went on to apply to the accelerator program. Although teams who came from the Summit Series totaled 10 percent of our total applicant pool, a third of the final teams we put before the investors presented at the Summit Series.

Blackstone Charitable Foundation along with MedQuarter Regional Medical District and Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa supported our crazy idea to host 7 Summits and bring 40+ teams to Cedar Rapids, and it paid off. The quality of these teams showed throughout the Summit Series and the Pre-Accelerator and in front of the investors.

The Innovation Summit Series was a big addition to our recruitment process for ISA, but it’s not the only change that we made this spring.

With the expansion of offerings from ISA (think: 7 Summits, 10XLevelUp, an expanded Pre-Accelerator program, just to name a few), we hired Molly Monk to be the Program Manager, the day-to-day logistical and communication genius for the accelerator.

Tominsky’s role shifted from NewBoCo Director of Programs and will now be focused solely on ISA as the Managing Director, leading recruitment efforts, running the Pre-Accelerator, managing and expanding our 140+ mentor network, directing the curriculum for teams in the accelerator, and communicating with ISA Cohort alums in the 10XLevelUp program. NewBoCo Executive Director Eric Engelmann will still be a resource for all ISA teams (past, present, future) as well as being involved in the accelerator program as a mentor-in-residence and more.

You can see the ISA team in action and meet the 2016 cohort when the accelerator kicks off on August 1.