Small businesses and entrepreneurs are paramount to economic growth in our region. We're here to connect future innovators and existing businesses [regardless of size] with the resources needed to succeed and grow!
The Iowa Western center is one of 15 regional business assistance centers statewide and serves small business needs in Pottawattamie, Shelby, Harrison, Page, Mills, Cass and Fremont counties. Along with free one-on-one business counseling, the center offers other practical business services including market research services and a variety of business education classes.
The region’s largest incubator for food entrepreneurs - Kitchen Council is a food startup incubator designed to lower barriers to market entry for food entrepreneurs. Through shared commercial kitchen space and accelerator programming, Kitchen Council aims to increase the startup success and expand inclusivity into “the new food economy.”
We believe that in order for a community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to thrive, it needs to have strong programs supporting entrepreneurs, tech education, and innovation.
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.
Kiva is a global nonprofit microlending platform. NewBoCo is partnering with a global nonprofit organization called Kiva to create a statewide Hub for Iowa that gives these entrepreneurs access to a microlending platform to raise zero interest, zero fee, extended grace period loans from active lenders motivated by social impact. These loans range from $1-$15k and lenders can give as little as $25 at a time.
So you're ready to start or grow your business? Figuring out funding can be a daunting task. Self funding, family & friends, angel investors, grants, incubators, venture capital, and bank loans - Not all sources may be a fit for all businesses.
HELPING BUSINESSES DEVELOP AND BRING NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND CONCEPTS TO MARKET
The Demonstration Fund is designed to provide assistance to companies with market-ready innovative technologies or products that have a clear potential for commercial viability.
The Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund promotes formation and growth of businesses that engage in the transfer of technology to competitive, profitable companies that create high-paying jobs. Funds are designed to accelerate the pace of market development, leverage private investment and industrial expansion efforts that result in significant capital investment. The fund provides financing to eligible businesses through two program components that correspond to different stages of growth for investment-grade, high-growth enterprises.
The Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) program is designed to define and articulate the opportunity for businesses that demonstrate a proof-of-concept for innovative technology.
Bio-medical companies in the medical device, therapeutic drugs and diagnostics areas that require regulatory approval may be eligible for the Investigative POCR program to identify gaps in technology; explore commercialization feasibility; and provide the foundation to attract management
The Iowa Economic Development Authority has delegated the delivery of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Outreach Program to the Iowa Innovation Corporation to help companies apply for federal small business funding. This program reviews ideas, offers professional proposal assistance and matching funds for awarded companies. This program assists Iowa companies by reviewing SBIR/STTR grant proposal applications and providing commitments to matching grant funds for Phase I SBIR/STTR awards.