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Investing in Early-Stage Iowa Companies Through InnoVenture Iowa

InnoVenture Iowa

July 25, 2023

With an average check size of $250,000, InnoVenture Iowa anticipates investing in 15-20 startups each year, with the goal of investing approximately $4-5 million annually into early-stage Iowa startup companies. Since launching the fund in October 2022, InnoVenture Iowa has, with a portfolio that includes 10 Iowa companies, 50% women-led and 25% rural, invested around $1 million every quarter.

To do this, Investment Director Kaylee Williams puts in a lot of time meeting with founders and hearing new startup pitches, meeting with three to five startup owners each week. Having recently wrapped up the fund’s first statewide tour, SSBCI Roadshow, InnoVenture Iowa is creating high-paying jobs investing in technologies like Pyrone Systems, iotaMotion, Laminar Scientific, and Steel Therapeutics and helping to bring significant wealth to the state. And it’s not just in the agricultural industry. Iowa is seeing incredible investments in medical innovation, advanced manufacturing and edtech startups.

InnoVenture Iowa is just one piece of the pending $96 million in federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funding to help Iowa startups grow, and deals are coming from referrals from other venture capital (VC) funds in the state (most notably, ISAV, Next Level Ventures, Ag Startup Engine, UI Ventures, and Ag Startup Alliance) and through a statewide word-of-mouth network among entrepreneurs. Initiatives like the MIT REAP program, Maple Studios' new startup studio and the creation of new VC funds like BrokerTech Ventures and InnoVenture Iowa are all bellwethers for even better days to come.

Williams thinks it's important to note that we have several active community builders who work hard to create platforms for Iowa startups to tell their stories: people like Ben McDougal, author of YDNTB, Midwest Regional Rep for 1MC and organizer of the Web3 Meetup group, Justin Brady, host of the Iowa Podcast and Sarah Diehn, Digital News Editor for the Business Record.

About InnoVenture Iowa

InnoVenture Iowa Fund is the state’s first publicly funded venture capital fund.

Investment Director: Kaylee Williams

Kaylee Williams


hello@innoventureiowa.com | innoventureiowa.com | LinkedIn

The Greater Des Moines Partnership celebrates the Greater Des Moines (DSM) entrepreneur community and helps small businesses succeed with one-of-a-kind resources and opportunities for networking. Find out how other entrepreneurs have found success by reading their stories and attending local small business events in the region.

Diana Wright

Diana Wright is the Startup Community Builder at Greater Des Moines Partnership. She has a passion for helping others bridge their ideas and create results. In her role at The Partnership she connects and leads entrepreneurs helping them speed up their growth and success.