NewBoCo, ICAD awarded state grants

Funds will help programs that assist entrepreneurs

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The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board on Friday approved grants for six entrepreneurial assistance providers, including two in the Corridor.

The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative (NewBoCo) was awarded $75,000 received from the state’s Entrepreneurial Investment Awards, or EIA, program. The money will be used for launching Iowa’s first adult, boot-camp-style Code School and a second Innovation Summit Series event, and hiring on-site hardware engineering talent.

NewBoCo is a not-for-profit organization, housed in the Geonetric Building, 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. NewBoCo’s service model consists of several interconnected parts, including the 90-day Iowa Startup Accelerator program, co-working space and a mentoring program.

The IEDA Board on Friday also approved a $25,000 grant for the Iowa City Area Development Group.

ICAD has partnered with the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa to jointly fund creation of a formal startup mentorship program. ICAD and the Pappajohn center provide a variety of services to support local entrepreneurs.

The gap in services they are seeking to fill will ensure there is a robust pool of capable mentors for start-ups. ICAD and the Pappajohn center also want to build relationships with high net worth individuals who meet Securities and Exchange Commission investment criteria to encourage them to become angel investors.

The IEDA grant will be used to hire an individual who would be dedicated to accomplishing those goals.

Also receiving grants from the IEDA Board were Iowa State University’s StartUp Factory ($200,000), Mason City’s North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center ($100,000), Square One DSM of Des Moines ($200,000) and the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce ($200,000).

The Linn County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday approved a $10,000 commitment for NewBoCo for a virtual reality lab. NewBoCo had requested $20,000 from the county.

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