Business

NewBoCo unveils fall 2019 start-up accelerator members, adds not-for-profits

Eric Engelmann speaks during NewBoCo’s Iowa Startup Accelerator Launch Day at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids this past December. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Eric Engelmann speaks during NewBoCo’s Iowa Startup Accelerator Launch Day at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids this past December. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Business accelerator New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative has brought in four start-ups and two not-for-profits into its latest group.

NewBoCo announced Monday the addition of:

• 6C Solutions, a Chicago-based analytics company that builds applications for chemical plants

• Class Composer of Boulder, Colo., helps elementary schools place students in class more effectively

• Rantizo, based in Iowa City, makes drones armed with agricultural sprayers

• Project BBQ is a Cedar Rapids start-up developing a project-management system for high school and college students.

NewBoCo’s Iowa Startup Accelerator provides $20,000 in cash up front and mentoring, discounted business services and space in its co-working office to the start-ups in exchange for six percent of the company’s equity.

Also this fall is the addition of the Social Good Accelerator, which adds local not-for-profits into the accelerator’s mix.

The first pair of Social Good Accelerator not-for-profits is Aging Services’ Linn County Senior Center and the Youth Peace Project’s Kids First Law Center, both based in Cedar Rapids.

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Each will receive a $16,000 grant and access to the same mentoring and service discounts as the for-profit start-ups.

Eric Engelmann, NewBoCo’s executive director, returned in August after an eight-month sabbatical studying accelerator programs in 17 countries.

On his travels, Engelmann said, he saw start-ups that often are more connected with established companies and they have “founder meetups” to connect hopeful startup founders with one another.

He also said other start-up accelerators generally are better at teaching their founders soft skills and business strategies — something often cited as a weakness among the start-up crowd.

“A lot of them are engineers or software developers or experts in their field, but they never had to lead across marketing and sales and operations and finance,” he said. “You have to wear all the hats, and to get entrepreneurs ready for that is a huge job.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; dan.mika@thegazette.com

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