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Take the Iowa Founder Survey + Help Map the Needs of Our State's Startup Community

Iowa Founder Survey

February 24, 2022

It’s more important than ever to know where Iowa’s startup ecosystem stands. And without representative data, it’s hard to measure the current state of the startup community. For that reason, we are currently conducting the Iowa Founder Survey. The survey dives into questions on the fundraising climate, working environment, the challenges of operating a startup and future outlooks of Iowa founders. Our hope is that data from this survey data will be key in pushing conversations about Iowa’s startups forward.

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Below is an overview of what we are asking in the survey and why we think it’s important.

Density + Ecosystem Value

A first step to mapping Iowa’s startup community is to look at its actual size, growth and value. Using this survey, we will track the number of new startups founded in the state during a specific period and the total combined value of all these companies over time — jobs created, job growth, total revenue generated, etc.


Diversity can play a major role in the performance and success of startups. By collecting data on gender, ethnicity and other demographics, we hope to provide metrics that will help Iowa startups be more diverse and inclusive. It will also show us where we see gaps in business ownership and shine more light on which underrepresented groups need more support.

Venture Capital

An important part of assessing the health of the state’s startup ecosystem is measuring and tracking investment rounds and ease of access to funding. Measuring the amount of investment activity in the state will help identify which industries and areas of the state have seen the highest value of venture capital investment and which areas are lacking. For entrepreneurs, we want to start tracking the “shots on goal” or number of deals happening in Iowa to measure the long-term impact that startups contribute to the entire business community based on exits, mergers and job growth.

Perceptions + Outcomes

The survey will also analyze founders' views and current perceptions regarding Iowa’s startup ecosystem. What do founders believe are the top-selling points of founding a startup in Iowa? How optimistic are founders about their company's growth plans? Where do founders’ perspectives diverge and align? Our hope is that these questions and added perspectives will present an even sharper understanding of what company founders think, feel, fear and value.

By taking the Iowa Founder Survey, you are helping us better understand the companies being founded in our state. The information will remain strictly confidential, and all data will only be reported in aggregate. All founders who take the survey will be emailed a full report of aggregate findings and insights.

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Looking for tools to help grow your startup or small business? Visit the Small Business Resources Hub to find the information you need or sign up for Mentor Connection to build relationships with a trusted group of mentors.

Jake Slobe

Jake Slobe is the managing editor of Clay & Milk, Iowa's only newsroom dedicated to daily coverage of the state's entrepreneurial and startup communities.