Wed, May 18, 2016
​While one adventure ends by graduating from Iowa State University, another begins as the Iowa State Economic Development and Industry Relations (EDIR) team prepares to launch a new avenue for students, faculty, and staff to create businesses with the StartUp Factory: a 52-week intensive program that will be housed at ISU Research Park (ISURP). An affiliated ten week summer program for students, CyStarters, also begins in June.

"It is no secret that startup companies account for much of the new job creation nationally," said Mike Crum, Vice President of EDIR. "ISURP was created primarily as an incubator for startups, many if not most based on ISU technology. Over the years these companies experienced considerable organic growth, and a number were acquired by larger companies, accounting for many of the global brands you see at ISURP today. An internal assessment of our innovation ecosystem convinced us that we can do much better in providing support for entrepreneurial Iowa Staters, and as a result increase our contribution to the state's economy."

Enter the StartUp Factory, led by serial entrepreneur and Iowa native-turned-Silicon-Valley-success-story Bill Adamowski. Adamowski joined the EDIR team to focus on growing the network of innovation throughout campus. He crafted the framework for the StartUp Factory and CyStarters using best practices from the likes of MIT, Stanford and other successful accelerators. 

Entrepreneurs in the StartUp Factory will receive formal training, resources, and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors, and investors in two 26-week blocks: the first a formal curriculum centered on business validation, and the second, customized to their individual business needs. The goal is to position Iowa State among the top five universities nationally in startups within five years.
For more information on mentoring, advising, and investment opportunities with the StartUp Factory, please email adoyle@iastate.edu.