A- A+

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. The first cohort ran from June through December 2022. Applications for the 2023 cohort are now closed.

Wells Fargo Logo

Program Details

The second-annual Scale DSM cohort will take part in the accelerator from Tuesday, June 13 until Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. The program is tuition free and dedicated to assisting minority-owned small businesses to help continue to sustain growth across Greater Des Moines (DSM).  Applications for the 2023 cohort are now closed. 

Applicants must meet the following 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 

Participants will complete Interise’s award-winning and internationally recognized StreetWise ‘MBA,’ (minority business accelerator) curriculum, which is centered around practical, case-based peer learning for minority-led businesses.  

The application asks for business information including a description of the business, founding date, number of employees, annual revenue and plans for the future.  Applications for the 2023 cohort are now closed. 

Sponsored by Wells Fargo, the program helps minority-led businesses gain access to knowledge, management know-how and networks needed to increase revenue, create jobs and positively impact the community.

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.

About the 2022 Cohort

Nine small business owners graduated from 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.

  • Jasmine Brooks, Brooks Homes 
  • Shelana Laing, Smile Labs VIP LLC 
  • Lily Okech, Cleaning for Hope 
  • Monica Reyes, Inmobiliaria Inc.  
  • Isabel Contreras, La Michoacana
  • Latha Kumar, Zamoris Solutions Inc. 
  • Andres Rodriguez, Cotofos Auto Services 
  • Stephen Stegall, Golden Heart Senior Care 
  • Vince Collis, Title Fight 

Download Program Guide

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


It gave me a lot of time to develop and grow as a CEO. It showed me things that I didn't necessarily know that I was going to need for my business in order to grow it. It’s developed me a ton. I'm really happy to go through the process. – Vince Collis, Title Fight


I learned how to track financials well. I have a big vision now and the company is going to take off much faster from what I learned from Scale DSM, and I'm going to revisit the templates and the growth plan from time to time to make sure I'm achieving those goals. – Latha Kumar, Zamoris Solutions, Inc.


Going forward, I have this amazing growth plan for the next three to five years that had been in my head and is now on paper. I have numbers to it and I have percentages of where I want to grow my business. I have this nice little blueprint that is a living, working document that I will continue to keep up with and scale my business up to the next level. – Shalana Laing, Smile Labs VIP

Contact Scale DSM

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