Meet the nine teams in the Iowa Startup Accelerator's 2015 cohort

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Let the countdown begin.

Nine startup teams, five of them from Iowa, have arrived in Cedar Rapids to take part in the Iowa Startup Accelerator's 2015 program. They're in for 90-odd days of education and business development, with a countdown clock to the Nov. 5 launch day already staring them down.

The teams represent industries including health tech, agriculture, consumer-facing and business to business software and apps.

Overall, this year's cohort is more advanced than the class of 2014, with several companies already generating revenue. Staff said the ISA intentionally searched out teams that were farther along, and tested them with a three-week vetting process.

“That will make a big difference in how they execute and get things done,” said ISA managing director Eric Engelmann.

Although the ISA had budgeted for 10 teams to receive $20,000 apiece for each of five years, only nine were selected for the class of 2015.

“There were a lot of amazing applicants right on the bubble,” Engelmann said.

This change, plus one team being affiliated with an existing corporation and opting not to take seed funding, will leave  $40,000 in the ISA's seed fund.


Without further ado, here are the nine teams. Check back this week and next for stories on each. Information via the Iowa Startup Accelerator, startup profiles on f6s, companies’ websites and previous reporting:

Care Academy


An online education platform for nannies and caregivers, giving them the option of Care Academy’s custom certification.

Care Drop

Cedar Rapids

Care packages, resources and coaching for millions of non-professional caregivers looking after a loved one.

Community connection: We first met Care Drop at Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids 2015 (disclosure: I helped organize), when staff and leadership at Mercy Medical Center pitched the idea and began to develop it. CareDrop further evolved at Venture School, the University of Iowa’s six week program in customer discovery and validation, where Geonetric staffers joined the team. Now, it’s being developed as a corporate innovation test run with Mercy and Geonetric. Iowa Startup Accelerator Managing Director and Geonetric CEO Eric Engelmann has been involved with this startup every step of the way, including pitching it at 1 Million Cups (disclosure again: I’m involved) earlier this year.


Los Angeles

Instagram for music: Community driven platform where music enthusiasts can discover new artists and independent/promotional tracks.


Des Moines

Dedicated mobile apps for golf courses, with a rewards system for golfers baked in.


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Community connection: First met ISA staffers at an event for Midwestern accelerators hosted at Gravitate, Des Moines’ coworking space.


Des Moines

Giving local florists more flexibility to use flowers that are in stock or in season, and customers a way to order boquets online in moments.

Community connection: In addition to being based at Gravitate, Goquets is another UI Venture School alum, and co-founder Lyndsay Clark has worked with several Iowa-based startups. The initial concept for Goquets was first pitched at Startup Weekend Ames* 2013.

Home Scene Pro

New York City

Hire a student or recent grad to clean your house, take photos, do your hair and makeup for an event and more – Home Scene Pro creates the connection.


Iowa City

Creating a software that allows nonprofits to set strategic planning goals, track their progress, and share results with partners and the public.


Community connection: Founder David Shafer had his ‘ah-ha moment’ at EntreFEST 2015, especially when learning about social entrepreneurship from Finnegan’s founder Jacquie Berglund.


Iowa City

Triggered by the sound of a piglet’s squeal, Swineguard’s signature product would alert a mother pig if she was about to lay on and crush a member of her litter.

Community connection: These college students-turned-founders are just a few weeks out of

Venture School’s summer student accelerator, where they won a pitch competition and the award for ‘best business opportunity.’


Champaign, Ill. and Tbilisi, Georgia

Uber-like features (book, track and pay) for traditional taxi companies.

International connection: This is the one startup in the 2015 cohort with teammates coming to Iowa from abroad (Georgia the country, not state).

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Goquets began at a different Startup Weekend event.



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