Resources for Entrepreneurs

The State of Iowa boasts a diverse economy and is riding a wave of unprecedented support for economic development.

NVCA model documents

To reduce the cost of early stage venture financing the National Venture Capital Association (“NVCA”) provides a set of model legal documents for early stage companies. This document set includes incorporation documents, founder agreements, term sheets and financing agreements for various stages of angel and institutional equity investment.

Understanding angel investors

The Angel Capital Association provides valuable resources to better understand angel investors and how to find an angel investor.

Educational resources

Startup Savant has created an extensive list of the best resources for starting a business in Iowa.
NewBoCo in Cedar Rapids hosts Mastermind Groups.

State assistance

The State of Iowa provides strong financial and operational assistance to local early stage businesses and startups.

Iowa Economic Development Authority provides financial assistance.
The EDC and Square One DSM provide operational assistance.
The Iowa Innovation Corporation provides fundraising and SBIR grant writing assistance.

Accelerators and incubators

The following organizations are fostering homegrown Iowa startups and assisting out-of-state startups move to Iowa.

Global Insurance Accelerator
Iowa Startup Accelerator
West Des Moines Business Incubator
Lorenzen Student Hatchery program at Drake
Square One DSM provides mentorship, networking and a resident accelerator program.
Ag Startup Engine
Gravitate provides co-working space and long term office space for startups in downtown Des Moines area.
Vault Coworking offers prototyping and shared co-working space in the NewBoCo district of Cedar Rapids.
The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center hosts venture school to accelerate startups through customer development, testing and prototyping.
The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center has an incubator and accelerator program for early stage companies and small businesses.

Startup events in Iowa

The Iowa startup community is thriving. The list below highlights just some of the events and activities for early stage businesses and startups.

Technology Association of Iowa calendar and list of events is a fantastic summary of what is happening.
Gravitate in Des Moines promotes local startup events.
1 million cups in Des Moines and eastern Iowa is a great place to tell your company story or idea on stage for feedback.
EntreFEST and the Innovation EXPO celebrate and educate startups.
AccelerateDSM is a full day entrepreneur and startup focused conference.