Funding will launch the Iowa Go-To-Market (G2M) program to build upon and support Iowa’s growing startup ecosystem

AMES, Iowa (Sept. 23, 2020) — The Iowa State University Startup Factory and partners have received a $525,472 grant from the US Economic Development Administration’s (EDA’s) 2020 Venture Challenge program to launch the Iowa Go-To-Market (G2M) program. The EDA funding will support the G2M project team, comprised of the Iowa Innovation Corporation (IICorp), ISU Startup Factory and VentureNet Iowa, to capitalize on the success of Iowa’s existing accelerator programs and growing innovation ecosystem.

“This project addresses the need for continuity of programming and access to resources for selected companies who have completed an accelerator program in the state or a successful SBIR/STTR project, or have reached an equivalent stage of development,” said David Spalding, interim vice president of economic development and industry relations. “The project aims to build upon and connect existing assets in Iowa’s startup ecosystem by filling in the “next wave of gaps” startups may experience at this stage. Providing additional follow-on support and connecting these entrepreneurs to the right support services and providers across Iowa — two key components of this project – will increase their likelihood of commercial success.”

The EDA announced $35 million in federal funding for 52 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations — from 36 states to support entrepreneurship, acceleration of company growth, and increased access to risk capital across regional economies. The projects are part of their 2020 Build to Scale (B2S) program (formerly known as the Regional Innovation Strategies program). The 2020 awardees will leverage an additional $44 million in matching funds from a variety of private and public sector sources.

The Iowa G2M Program components include:

  • An Iowa G2M Accelerator program will be established to provide support for commercial product development and fund-raising needs through advanced training in sales, marketing, corporate development, and finance. This program will provide access to a variety of business support services.
  • An online resource guide focusing on the needs of high-tech startups will be developed and deployed as a means through which entrepreneurs can connect with providers across Iowa.

Initial roll-out of the online resource guide is targeted for late 2020. Project partners intend to launch the new accelerator program in early 2021 with an application process to be announced soon.

For more information on the G2M Program rollout, contact IICorp at



About ISU Startup Factory
The Iowa State University (ISU) Startup Factory is a 52-week intensive program housed at the ISU Research Park. Entrepreneurs in the Startup Factory receive formal training, resources, and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors, and investors in two 26-week blocks: the first a formal curriculum centered on business validation, and the second, customized to their individual business needs. For more information on the ISU Startup Factory program, visit

Julie Lelonek, Iowa State University Startup Factory Communications

Iowa State University
Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations
1805 Collaboration Place
Ames, IA  50010