AMES, Iowa (August 21, 2017) – The Iowa State University Research Park (ISURP) today announced it received a $200,000 grant to expand the ISU Startup Factory program. The award is a part of the State of Iowa’s Entrepreneurial Investment Awards program (EIA) which provides financial support to entrepreneurial assistance providers who are working to help entrepreneurs and startup companies build their businesses in Iowa.

The ISU Startup Factory is a 52-week intensive program, based on the “3rd co-founder model,” housed at the ISURP that provides a new avenue for students, faculty, and staff to create technology-based businesses.  The Startup Factory is poised to expand its impact through partnerships with community colleges within the Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) system and private universities in northwest Iowa.

“We will pilot the establishment of four Startup Factory “nodes” with regional SBDCs and private colleges whose staff want to become early adopters and take a leadership role in establishing an ecosystem for startups,” said Bill Adamowski, managing director of ISU Startup Factory. “The partnership with SBDC will enable each region to offer Startup Factory programming to their clients.”

According to Adamowski, each partner center had an interest in implementing either an incubator or co-working space and the partnership with the Startup Factory will add value to the offering with additional programming. The Startup Factory provides a clear “front door” to accessing resources and a scalable system for developing and supporting startup companies.

Services the Startup Factory team will provide include site consulting and planning; train the trainer program; and programming. Each location will also have access to the Startup Factory mentor network, investor network and facilitated access to other resources available through Iowa State University.

“This is a great opportunity for us to take our combined expertise and leverage a broader reach across the state. We are piloting the program in northcentral-northwest Iowa working with both colleges and community colleges to really help get boots on the ground to make this the most effective program that it can be,” said  SBDC State Director Lisa Shimkat. “The Startup Factory program has had tremendous success at Iowa State University—with that success, we knew we could really raise the bar for small businesses and entrepreneurship regionally. We felt an extremely effective way to do that was working with those organizations and educational leaders across the state that can help us get in front of small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

To date, more than 35 companies have started the Startup Factory program, with the first cohort of ten companies completing the program with much success: more than $5 million in private equity, state and federal (SBIR/STTR) funding has been raised, nearly 40 jobs have been created, and annual revenues of over $350,000 from first sales have already been generated.  The second cohort is at its midway point in the program, and is poised to achieve similar success, with several cohort members generating early revenues from first sales or contracts, and/or receiving investment.  The third cohort launched in June, and one of its members has already received Demonstration funds from the state.

In its first year, the Startup Factory completed build-out of the Startup Factory space at the ISU Research Park, created the programming, assembled a teaching team, and developed a network of mentors and advisors to support the launch of successful companies.


About ISU Research Park
The Iowa State University Research Park (ISURP) is a 30-year-old real estate development community closely affiliated with Iowa State University. ISURP assists both established and startup companies in connecting with Iowa State’s vast infrastructure to grow their enterprises; whether through students, research entities, equipment or a multitude of other resources. ISURP is currently home to more than 70 companies, employs 1,700 people and occupies 600,000 square feet of commercial real estate on 400 acres. ISURP recently expanded into 200 acres of developable space, which will include tenant amenities, a park and multi-use trails. For more information on ISURP, call 515-296-4204 or visit

About Startup Factory
The Iowa State University (ISU) Startup Factory is a 52-week intensive program housed at the ISU Research Park (ISURP). Entrepreneurs in the Startup Factory receive formal training, resources, and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors, and investors in two 26-week blocks: the first is a formal curriculum centered on business validation, and the second, customized to their individual business needs. For more information on the ISU Startup Factory program, call 515-294-7444 or visit

About America’s SBDC Iowa
Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, America’s SBDC Iowa has 15 regional assistance centers located strategically across the state. Since program inception in 1981, the SBDC has helped Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs through no fee, confidential, customized, professional business counseling and practical, affordable training workshops.

For more information on America’s SBDC Iowa programs or services, call 515-294-2030 or visit www.iowasbdc.org, or

Press Contacts:

Julie Lelonek
Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations

Lisa Shimkat
America’s SBDC Iowa