Meet the Eight Innovation Teams of Cohort X!
Building a World Class Innovation Machine
One Startup at a Time
ISU Startup Factory
The Startup Factory is a startup incubator helping researchers and inventors develop a roadmap to realize the societal and economic impact of their high-tech innovations. Our goal is to help innovators and founders move from “tech speak” to “business speak”.
About the Factory
Who is the ISU Startup Factory recruiting?
Primary Criteria: Technology or innovation with commercial potential and a founder(s) willing to see it through.
Ideal participants have:
- Already been awarded funding for their research
- Completed a local ISU I-Corps program, or National NSF I-Corps program
- A baseline understanding of customer discovery, and have completed 20+ customer conversations.
- A willingness to put in the effort to work outside of your comfort zone
- A strong desire to be a part of an entrepreneurial community that seeks to change the world.
- *Special consideration offered to ISU faculty members, graduate students, or staff
“With a renewed emphasis on bringing more of ISU’s research out of the labs and to the world, the Startup Factory’s focus is to move our cohort members from Tech Speak to Business Speak”
The ISU Startup Factory is a true startup incubator where business ideas are developed, examined, and validated; and where entrepreneurs learn, pivot if necessary, and grow.
Entrepreneurs receive training, resources, guidance and access to our network of mentors, alumni and advisors. During the 16-week program, innovators will develop their business acumen, enhance their communication skills, and learn deeply about their customers. This curriculum will prepare them to pursue non-dilutive funding as they continue to develop both their technology and commercialization plans. Options to graduate on to one of Iowa’s accelerators or other startup programs are available, along with programming to sustain regular mentorship, supported through the ISU Startup Factory.
The curriculum includes workshops and group discussions on:
- The importance of self-awareness and strong communication skills as an innovator in team member selection and interaction
- How to protect intellectual property
- Talking to, and learning from, potential customers
- Appropriate business models to commercialize the technology
- The importance of a clear Vision, Mission, and Values
- How to create credible financial reports
- How to present your business for maximum impact
- How to identify critical elements of your business and create a commercialization plan
Founders commit to attending:
- Two formal sessions each week (3.5 hours total), for 16 weeks
- 2-hour session on Tuesdays
- 1-hour workshop session on Thursdays
- A weekly 1:1 meeting with an assigned Teaching Team member
- Plus additional ad-hoc mentoring with external mentors
Founders are expected to complete the program by pitching on Demo Day, and developing a commercialization plan that includes:
- Executive summary
- Competitive matrix
- Market summary
- Plans for addressing barriers to entry
- Simplified pro forma financials
- and an 18-month roadmap plan.
The Startup Factory accepts applications twice per year for a program cycle each academic semester. Candidates with I-Corps graduations planned before program start will be given additional consideration. See I-Corps program schedule here.
Program Start: January 17, 2022
Applications Open: October 25, 2021
Applications Close: December 10, 2021
Decisions Announced on a rolling basis.
Details about Fall Cohort coming soon.