[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px” width=”2/3″][text_output]Our approach at NewBoCo has been to identify constraints on our startup ecosystem, prioritize them, and then knock them down (or at least make a major dent) wherever possible. We’ve done this already by building a long-term technical talent pipeline, helping corporate partners develop new ideas, fostering diversity in our startup community, figuring out housing constraints for entrepreneurs, and much more.
We’re also working hard on improving the entrepreneurship environment for women in Iowa through a series of projects and programs.
Getting everyone on the same page
Our first project for 2016 in this regard was to partner with Iowa Women Lead Change to develop a program called Women’s Entrepreneurship Collaboration Council, bringing together more than 40 organizations across Iowa that support women entrepreneurs to learn from each other, share insights, and collaborate on projects. We’ve met as a group twice already, and the pace of progress is accelerating, state-wide, as we gear up new programs to support female entrepreneurs.
Building a women-only angel investor network
Our next endeavor is to build Iowa’s investor network, and in particular, female angel investors. We host the Eastern Iowa chapter of Iowa’s largest angel investor group (Plains Angels) here, in Cedar Rapids. It’s still a fairly small group, and we’ve been actively working on growing it. But an opportunity arose we couldn’t ignore that focused on women only. Natalia Oberti Noguera, founder of Pipeline Angels, is coming to Cedar Rapids as part of the IWLC Eastern Iowa conference on April 26th (don’t miss it- if you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time!). She’ll be talking about empowering women, but she’s also launching a women-only investor group here Cedar Rapids this Summer.
Pipeline Angels, Cedar Rapids, will be having an informational meeting on April 25th, open to female accredited investors and female entrepreneurs. The program includes training for angel investors as well as ongoing deal flow and evaluation.
From a big picture perspective, this is a large leap forward for Eastern Iowa’s investor community. Right now, angel investing here is a solitary thing, with entrepreneurs trying to identify prospective angels (of any gender!) more or less one at a time. But by building angel networks here, we hope to make it easier for entrepreneurs to find local investors and get their businesses to the next level. And to have a female-only investor network, focused on female entrepreneurs, is another option.
On a statewide-basis, this fits nicely with the forthcoming statewide female investor network being built in Des Moines by the Iowa Center for Economic Success. By getting Pipeline Angels off the ground now, we pave the way for a robust and healthy angel investor network going into 2017.
Stay tuned! There’s even more to come…[/text_output][/vc_column][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px” width=”1/3″][vc_cta h2=”RSVP to meet Natalia Oberti Noguera and learn about Pipeline Angels” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”RSVP” btn_color=”warning” btn_size=”lg” btn_align=”center” btn_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eventbrite.com%2Fe%2Fmeet-pipeline-angels-presented-by-iwlc-and-iowa-startup-accelerator-tickets-24634284809||” btn_button_block=”true”]IWLC and Iowa Startup Accelerator are hosting an informal meeting with Pipeline Angels founder and CEO Natalia Oberti Noguera about the launch of the Pipeline Angels program in Cedar Rapids. The rapidly growing new program is an angel investing bootcamp for women, and is building a network of new and seasoned women investors. This will be the first chapter in Iowa. Female entrepreneurs are invited as well.[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]