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Iowa Startup Accelerator announces spring cohort under new programming
CEDAR RAPIDS - Going into its fourth year, the Iowa Startup Accelerator has announced two participating companies for the spring batch in the 2017 cohort - BluSolar and Global Healthcare Integrators (GHI).
BluSolar is a clean tech start-up based in Decatur, Ill., that uses cryogenics - a chemical and thermal treatment process - to increase the efficiency of solar cells.
Estefano Martinez, CEO of BluSolar, said its target customers are domestic manufacturers of solar cells.
'We can provide these cryogenic processors to the manufacturers and, more importantly, help them integrate it into their existing processes,” Martinez said.
The team is made up of 10 Milikin University students in Decatur.
The Reston, Va.-based GHI has developed a software platform meant to help hospitals and other health care operations 'manage and share data with patients who are on very expensive medications,” said Christine Arakelian, CEO and founder.
The platform, essentially, would enable health care systems' internal records to merge with pharmacy records, which in turn would allow patients and involved health care professionals to have an overarching view of the patients' health care plans.
'The issue is these health care systems have financial risk in terms of these patient outcomes and they don't really have the data, they don't really have the knowledge of how these patients are being interacted with in external pharmacies,” Arakelian said.
The company has raised $1.1 million since its founding in October 2015. GHI's team of eight hopes to develop their target customers before deploying internationally.
BluSolar, which began its research in August 2016, also hopes to research its target market and customers, Martinez said.
The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative, also known as NewBoCo, the umbrella organization for the Iowa Startup Accelerator, announced last month the expansion in the program's model to include a full-year commitment, foregoing its original 90-day model. This way, participating companies can spend more time working with mentors and building their business model or products.
'I would say the plan that we have, and what we've addressed, is that we either want Iowa-based teams or just a very clear and explicit understanding of how Iowa will benefit their business,” said David Tominsky, managing director of the Iowa Startup Accelerator.
A total of 10 companies will go through the program this year, he said, separated into three 'batches” - in the spring, summer and fall.
He added that the accelerator also is changing how it invests in the participating businesses. Instead of investing $20,000 for six percent equity for each company, Tominsky said the accelerator plans to invest up to $500,000 in capital in total in the 10 companies, based on each specific team's needs and progress.
'We'll be looking at each potential investment independently and getting what they need,” Tominsky said. '$20,000 for 6 percent is probably a starting point, but for a business that's further along, that might not make the most sense.”
BluSolar received $20,000 for 6 percent equity, and GHI also received $20,000 for a convertible note, or a short-term debt that converts into equity, said Molly Monk, accelerator program manager.
Applications for the summer batch close on May 12, and the program will begin June 19. The program for the fall batch will start Sept. 4, and applications close July 10.
All teams will make their pitches at the accelerator's Launch Day on Dec. 7.
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