AMES, Iowa (December 2, 2020) – The Iowa State University Startup Factory today announced the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board has approved innovation funding for two companies from its program. Two cohorts within the Startup Factory program were represented in this round of IEDA awards.

Awardee from cohort three:
Tractor Zoom received a $250,000 Innovation Acceleration Propel fund for product refinement, market planning/entry activities and key personnel. Tractor Zoom has developed a mobile app and web-based platform which allows customers to quickly search and value heavy equipment using big data and technology.  Tractor Zoom is headquartered in Urbandale.

Awardee from cohort five:
Qi Learning received a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for product refinement, market planning/entry activities, key personnel and equipment. The startup promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through trainings, products and workshops for instructors. Designed with a skills-based approach, Qi provides teachers with the tools to teach and actively engage students in standards-aligned instruction with the resources they already have. The company focuses on effective teaching methodologies with an emphasis in STEM, although the programs can be applied to all subjects. With distance learning during the pandemic, Qi has been able to provide programs to help with the transition. The company is located in Ames.

In total, the IEDA announced over $112 million in new capital investment in Iowa for projects located in Cedar Rapids, Clinton and Manchester. The board also approved innovation funding in support of five startups located in Ames, Davenport, Iowa City and Urbandale.

The Startup Factory is currently accepting applications for its tenth cohort. The tenth cohort will start on January 19, 2021.