Last month, ISA Ventures added Mikayla Sullivan to our team. A few weeks later, Brittany Brown joined us as our Analyst. Brittany will be working with us on the math modelling and financial evaluation aspects of potential investments, helping to ensure we make smart investment decisions.

Brittany received her MBA from the University of Iowa in 2012, and BBA Accounting & Finance from Mount Mercy in 2007. She worked at Collins as a Senior Financial Analyst from 2007–2014, and then similar roles at GreatAmerica, where she worked on investments in the AAVIN private equity fund. …


A few months back, ISA Ventures posted two jobs: an Associate and an Analyst. As a small team, both roles are critical hires for a new venture fund.

Today, I’m excited to announce Mikayla Sullivan has joined ISA Ventures as our Associate. She’ll be primarily responsible for identifying and meeting founders that are new potential investments, and doing the initial intake and evaluation of these deals.

Mikayla comes to ISAV as a founder — she co-founded KinoSol six years ago in Ames. That quality is extremely important: it matters that our venture team has strong experience founding, leading, and growing…


Iowa Startup Accelerator: Investing in Iowa’s entrepreneurs

We’ve invested six years and millions of dollars into Iowa’s startup ecosystem. Now we’re aiming much bigger.

Our mission at NewBoCo is to accelerate world-changing ideas, from Iowa. To do this, we’re tackling the things holding our startup ecosystem back:

  • Ensuring entrepreneurial support programs work together at every stage of growth
  • Addressing investment capital needs that change as companies grow
  • Helping these companies find the talent they need to grow

To do this, over the past few months, we’ve announced several things:

  • We hired Alex Taylor as the managing director of the Iowa Startup Accelerator (ISA), which mentors and coaches emergent Iowa startup companies.
  • We announced the formation of ISA Ventures, a $15 million (so far) venture…


It isn’t common to have venture jobs in Iowa. As Iowa’s newest venture fund, we are looking to build our team from the ground up and are looking for the very best to join us.

The first two roles we’ll hire are an associate and a financial analyst, both described below.

Associate

ISA Ventures’ Associate is primarily responsible for working with the Manager in evaluating and recommending potential venture capital deals, writing deal memos, and building relationships with founders.

Specifically, this role will focus on:

  • Scouting and assisting in creation and building of deal flow,
  • Forming relationships with founders with high…


SBA Disaster Loans might be a useful tool to help you weather this economic downturn — or make things worse for your business.

tl;dr: If an SBA loan meets your needs, you should probably apply —you don’t have to accept what they offer. But you should go into this eyes open, knowing the pros and cons, which is what this article is about.

These are extraordinarily challenging times for startup founders and small business owners. Cash flow is likely slowing down as the economy slows and the effects of COVID-19 drag on.

At first blush, applying for an SBA disaster loan, immediately, might seem like a no-brainer. A loan gives you optionality that you can use if you need it. And if you…


EntreFEST is one of Iowa’s largest entrepreneurship and innovation conferences. For the past few years it has primarily focused on high-impact speakers and workshops aimed at entrepreneurs and innovators in existing companies. Previous keynote speakers include Scott Belsky of Adobe, marketing icon Seth Godin, and Warby Parker’s Neil Blumenthal.

As we planned the 2019 event for May 16th and 17th, the organizing team noted the large number of fast-growth startups in Iowa that are software & technology companies. To help build our region’s software development capabilities, we are adding an experimental track for software developers focused on:

  • Mobile, web, and…


As one of the oldest 1 Million Cups chapters in the U.S., we’ve experimented with a variety of approaches to our mission of helping educate and grow Eastern Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Going into 2019, the team that runs the Cedar Rapids program has some exciting new changes planned.

One big change we’re making is to make it easier to access during your busy day. We’ve moved the schedule up slightly: starting January 9th, 1 Million Cups Cedar Rapids will start at 8:15 a.m., with the program ending by 9:15 a.m.


This is the third post in a series about NewBoCo’s plans for 2022. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

The staff of NewBoCo

We’re extremely proud of the bold work that NewBoCo has done over the past three years to support entrepreneurship, education, and innovation. We’ve laid a lot of the groundwork necessary to help our community develop a sustainable, world-class innovation community. In some cases, our programs have already begun to make a meaningful and measurable difference. Other programs still need more time and support to really show results. …


Despite enormous progress, we have more work to do to face the challenges of tomorrow’s economy.

We’ve accomplished a lot at NewBoCo in the last three years.

But it’s not enough.

We are in the midst of a transformation of our economy as big and far reaching as the transition from agricultural into the industrial age. Call it “the new economy” or “the fourth industrial revolution” — hell, call it whatever, but the crux of the issue is that the rise of big data will transform the world.

Predicting the future is tough.

An important caveat: predicting the future is tough. The Jetsons assumed we’d all have flying cars and be working two hour work weeks. It nailed the sassy robot…


Part 1 in a series: A huge leap forward for entrepreneurship in Eastern Iowa

Several years ago, we decided it was time to help build Eastern Iowa’s startup community. When we looked at our region’s resilience after the 2008 flood and our density of successful tech companies, we knew it was possible to build a vibrant startup ecosystem here. We began by traveling around the country to see what made other successful startup communities work. We visited Silicon Valley, Denver, Boulder, Kansas City, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Nashville, New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. We looked at accelerators, incubators, coworking spaces, consultants, economic development agencies, and more to understand how they all…

Eric Engelmann

I build technology companies, invest in and mentor startups, and grow teams that can solve important problems in the world.

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