116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — From boosting start-up businesses to increasing tech education, NewBoCo is aiming to expand its programs across the state in 2022.
That message was stressed repeatedly throughout NewBoCo’s annual meeting, held Nov. 16 at the Olympic South Side Theatre. More than 140 people attended, with local entrepreneur and touring musician Alisabeth Von Presley hosting.
“We’re here because we care about creating impactful start-up businesses, and providing skills necessary for all individuals to thrive in an increasingly technical world,” NewBoCo Chief Operating Officer Jill Wilkins said. “Because change and disruption is coming for key industries, if not already here ….
“Our hope is that you’ll leave here tonight feeling inspired to join us to help Iowa not only survive these changes, but grow and thrive because of them.”
NewBoCo updated audience members on plans for its K-12 education, DeltaV Code School, Iowa Startup Accelerator, Kiva Iowa and NewBoCo Studios programs.
“Through these programs, through these partnerships, we hope that you see that we are impacting Iowans and that we are changing lives,” said Samantha Dahlby, director of K12 Education programs for NewBoCo.
“That’s really what drives us every day.”
Patrick Turu, a student from Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School, described his experience with NewBoCo’s DeltaV Computer Ops training program. Normally aimed at adults, the program was opened up to high school students as part of a pilot program in summer 2021.
Turu noted that after a guest speaker from Involta came to talk with the class, Turu wound up landing an internship with the company.
“I can’t help but feel that DeltaV was responsible for giving us that energy and passion to want to pursue our career choices,” Turu said.
NewBoCo Executive Director Aaron Horn noted that in 2022 DeltaV will launch a new cybersecurity curriculum, as well as working to make classes more accessible to students with disabilities.
“The average starting salary for a software developer is over $60,000 a year,” Horn. “So it not only benefits those career changers directly, it has a big impact on the huge tech talent crunch that we have in Iowa right now.”
Kaitlin Byers, capital access manager for Kiva Iowa, shared details about the microlending program and its aim to support more Iowa entrepreneurs throughout the state in 2022. She offered success stories such as “AMIDST Magazine” in Dubuque, which was the program’s first successfully funded program earlier this year.
“Our vision is to create a network of lender support that is unlike anything we have ever seen in Iowa before,” Byers said.
Horn said establishing more collaborations is a key goal for the next year.
“In 2022, we are looking to work with even more economic developers, nonprofits and corporate partners across Iowa to bring the programs and resources we have built here in Eastern Iowa to your region, to make an even bigger impact,” he said.
To read NewBoCo’s Annual Report, go to newbo.co.