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Six new companies join Iowa Startup Accelerator for spring cohort

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (May 5, 2021) — Six new companies have joined the Iowa Startup Accelerator program for the Spring of 2021.

“The Spring startup cohort has an interesting mix of products and services that makes for fascinating discussions, discoveries and perspectives,” said ISA Managing Director Alex Taylor. “It’s fun to work with these founders, and watch them collaborate to help each other solve problems and grow their businesses.”

The Accelerator is an intensive 14-week program that matches Iowa-based startups with world-class mentors, seed funding, and product development expertise. The ISA Spring Cohort will graduate in time to be featured during ENtreFEST 2021 in Cedar Rapids June 10 and 11.

The six companies taking part in the spring Cohort are Steel Therapeutics, of Iowa City; Presaj, of Cedar Rapids; Lotus Razors, of Ames; Stagerie, of Clive; Curbicus, of Clear Lake; and Sevelyn, of Clive.

“Diversity seems to be a theme with this year’s cohort,” Taylor said. “We have two female CEOs (one with Egyption heritage), and one Latino CEO. And the startup diversity includes two consumer products, three healthcare services, and one real estate sales service. Combined, this is one of the most diverse Accelerator Cohorts we’ve ever worked with.”

Anna Gannon is the founder of Curbicus, which offers dog owners a clean and convenient solution to dog waste. She said the company joined the Iowa Startup Accelerator (ISA) as part of its plans to launch nationwide later this year.

“The Iowa Startup Accelerator really understands our mission and goals for growth and success,” Gannon said. “Also, the ISA’s network and mentorship are extremely valuable.”

The ISA program is a full-time commitment for participants, and is conducted virtually due to COVID-19 precautions. Capital for the program is provided through the $30 Million ISA Ventures Fund. The six participating companies receive seed capital; coaching sessions; educational workshops on budgeting, sales & marketing, raising capital, and more; Access to an extensive mentor pool of experienced founders and industry experts; and software and technical support.

ISAV is working with a portfolio of 18 different startups (and growing) at various stages of Accelerator Investment. Each progressive stage – Foundation, Growth, Scaleup, and Expansion – comes with increased investment opportunities along with an appropriate range of Accelerator programming, all designed to advance and grow the startups to gain market traction and business success.

The following six startups are participating in the Foundations stage in the spring 2021 ISA cohort:

Steel Therapeutics – Iowa City
CEO – Matt Stahl; CMO – Robbie Schwenker; CFO – Allen Phillips

A startup biotech company focused on getting the FDA approval for pharmaceutical therapies in the pharmacy compounding sector. Specifically, the initial product is a unique and convenient delivery solution for a pharmaceutical compound to treat a common medical condition, improve compliance, and increase efficacy.

“This is a pharma solution that seems very obvious,” Taylor says. “It matches a standard compound solution for a common medical condition, that will use a patent pending product to deliver the medical application. Once they get through the regulatory process, this product has a very promising future.”

Presaj – Cedar Rapids
CEO – Dr. Jim Levett; CTO – Travis Mathison

An accessible digital tool (i.e., app, website, plug-in) that gives healthcare providers access at the point of care to quantified patient-specific risk factors that accurately identifies procedural and/or prescriptive risk-factors for common medical and surgical procedures. As a result, physicians and other care-providers will improve medical treatment and corresponding results for patients, mitigate potential mistakes, and lower overall medical costs for the organization.

“When this software is deployed, hospitals and patients will save hundreds of thousands of dollars from potentially costly procedure mistakes,” Taylor says.

Lotus Razors – Ames
CEO – Steven Abramsky; COO/President – Noah Goedken; Vice President – Trace Harken

A circular razor that improves the consumer’s shaving experience and results. This ergonomic circular design allows the product to move in any direction, eliminates cuts, reduces irritation, and lasts longer than conventional razors.

“There is no doubt the founders and their patent-pending product will disrupt the shaving industry in the female razor market,” Taylor says.

Stagerie – Clive
CEO – Nora Crosthwaite

An online tool/service that provides specific staging recommendations and instructions for homeowners and realtors to improve home appearance and marketability for better open-houses, showings, and sales results.

“Stagerie is a unique service that will add value to any house going onto the market for sales,” says Taylor. “It’s a hot market for home sales, but a seller who uses Stagerie will likely gain valuable returns from using this service.”

Curbicus – Clear Lake
CEO – Anna Gannon; CTO – Casey Schwictenberg

A patent-pending, lightweight, easy-to-use vacuum device that “picks up” and disposes dog waste in a clean, hands-free and environmentally safe way with self-closing compostable capsules.

“Curbicus has taken a novel approach to picking up dog poop, and if the prototypes are any indication, these Founders will make a lot of dog owners very happy,” Taylor says.

Sevelyn – Clive
CEO – Carlos Arguello; Chief Psychologist – Jesús Mora Mejías; COO – Uriel Olivas;

Sevelyn is an online marketplace for Teletherapy services for Latinos in the U.S. Through its platform Sevelyn connects Latino patients to licensed, board-certified Therapists and Psychologists in Latin America who understand the latino culture, language,
beliefs, and daily mental health challenges faced by Latinos in the U.S.

“Mental health is a growing concern in our country (COVID notwithstanding), and Sevelyn is addressing these needs with a unique marketplace application and service for the Latin American market

About the Iowa Startup Accelerator
The Iowa Startup Accelerator is an intensive 14-week program that matches Iowa-based startups with seed funding, world-class mentors, Midwestern work ethic, and product development expertise to accelerate their business to a successful exit.

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.

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