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Scale DSM Minority Business Accelerator

scale dsm

Accelerate Your Business to the Top

The Greater Des Moines Partnership's Scale DSM Minority Business Accelerator sponsored by Wells Fargo helps businesses gain access to knowledge, management know-how and networks needed to increase revenue, create jobs and positively impact the community. Participants will complete Interise’s award-winning and internationally recognized StreetWise ‘MBA,’ (minority business accelerator) which is centered around practical, case-based peer learning for minority-led businesses. The program is tuition free and the first cohort will run from June through December 2022.

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About the 2022 Cohort

Twelve small business owners are participating in the first Scale DSM cohort, coming from diverse backgrounds and representing a wide range of expertise including food service, logistics, media, commercial real estate, consulting, cosmetics, automotive service and more.

Program Details

  • Dates: Tuesday, Jun. 14 – Tuesday, Dec. 13*
  • Cost: Tuition-free
  • Instructor: Ryan Bhattacharyya, Professor of Practice in Management and Entrepreneurship at Iowa State University

About the Instructor


Ryan Bhattacharyya, Professor of Practice in Management and Entrepreneurship at Iowa State University, will be the instructor for the program. Bhattacharyya is an expert in investment management, financial planning, entrepreneurship, estate planning and risk management. He has worked at Des Moines Area Community College and William Penn University prior to his time at Iowa State and was an Espeland International Fellow for Iowa State's Ivy College of Business in 2019 and 2020.


Download Program Guide

Applications are now closed.


Curriculum Overview  |  Results & Testimonials  |  Requirements  |  Contact Scale DSM


*Graduation/program end dates could fluctuate based on participant and instructor availability.

Case-based Peer Learning for Minority-led Businesses

Scale DSM Minority Business Accelerator Powered by Interise is centered around practical, case-based peer learning for minority-led businesses. Programming is divided into five modules and participants will be required to attend one session every other week. Module topics include business strategy and leadership, financial management, sales and marketing, talent and capital resources and strategic-growth action plan. Course sessions will be delivered in person, during business hours and participants must commit to attending each session. Session locations will be announced at a later date.

Curriculum Overview

Module 1: Business & Strategic Assessment

Participants will identify and set strategic goals needed to grow their business over the next three years. They also asses their own leadership styles and form CEO Mentoring Groups with whom they will collaborate with throughout the program — and beyond.

Module 2: Finance — Balancing Cash Flow and Bottom Line

With the help of accountants and financial advisors, participants will learn about key financial statements and how financial statements relate to one another. Participants will create “financial dashboards” with key ratios that will allow for effective monitoring and comparison to other industry peers. This module will also prepare participants to communicate current and future financial aspirations both internally and externally and prepare participants to gauge the financial health of their businesses and make effective decisions.

Module 3: Marketing and Sales — Building Profitable Sales

Once participants have a clear understanding of their financials, they begin to identify which products and customers promise to be the most profitable and which markets have the greatest potential for growth.

Module three will help participants better understand their competition, the needs and desires of their customers, and how to effectively reach customers and improve sales.

Module 4: Getting What You Need to Grow

In this module, participants will identify the resources — human and financial — needed in order to achieve their growth plans. Participants will learn how to identify and secure key talent, as well as how to secure private and public capital.

Module 5: Putting It All Together

In this last session, participants deliver final presentations of their growth plans to a panel of business experts and their peers.

National Program Results

Based on 2021 Assessment Data, collected by Interise:

  • 55% of alumni businesses increased or maintained their annual revenues, with an average annual revenue growth of 13%.
  • 71% of alumni businesses reported being profitable.
  • $327 million in government contracting secured by alumni businesses.
  • 60% of alumni CEOs stay connected to fellow participants, with 29% doing business with each other.
  • 60% of alumni businesses added or retained jobs.

Alumni Testimonials

"Since the program, I have worked on two city contracts and two projects with one of the general contractors that supported the program. In a year's time of starting the program, I have doubled my revenue and number of employees." — Terry Sowells, SCMU, Inc.

"The program is great for small business owners who want to grow their business organically. During the program, I learned how to reduce my costs and what I was missing in my business. After this program, I corrected my methodology, procedures, and strategies; as a result, my business is achieving success. Recently, I've won some big contracts and as per the projections, I will be able to meet $2 million in revenues this year." — Charu Jain, Gasochem International

Eligibility Requirements

  • Minority-owned business
  • $150,000 – $4 million in annual revenues
  • One other full-time employee besides the owner(s)
  • Been in business for at least two years
  • Willingness and ability to attend class for seven months, complete mandatory assignments and complete program surveys, up to three years following the program

Contact Scale DSM

Have any questions? Contact Juan Pablo Sanchez, Director of Inclusive Business Strategies at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, for more information.