By Travis Charlson, Iowa State DailyISU_StartUp01 (3)

Iowa State’s Economic Development and Industry Relations (EDIR) looks to continue supporting Iowan entrepreneurs, announcing recently that it will accept applications for the next ISU StartUp Factory cohort.

The cohort, which will start on Jan. 3, 2017, is the second installment of the program and will run for 52 weeks.

The program will consist of two 26-week segments, where participants will be able to receive formal training, resources and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors and investors, according to a release from Iowa State’s Office of EDIR.

The main objective of the initiative is to build an “innovation ecosystem from within ISU by cultivating the latest technological advances and science, and bringing those projects to market,” according to the EDIR website.

Housed in the ISU Research Park (ISURP) and led by Silicon Valley entrepreneur and native Iowan Bill Adamowski, the program was pieced together using aspects of similar accelerator programs from places such as MIT and Stanford.

“The goal is that these companies will stay here and locate in the Research Park and choose to grow here,” said Alison Doyle, park marketing manager. “It’s the first concept like this in Iowa. There are lots of accelerators around but nothing that is this robust.”

The first cohort is entering the second 26-week phase of the program, and according to a release from EDIR, members have secured an estimated total of more than $1.7 million through Small Business Innovation Research grants and private equity.

The program recently received a $200,000 grant from the State of Iowa’s Entrepreneurial Investment Awards program, which aids startup companies and entrepreneurial accelerator programs such as the ISU StartUp Factory.

“With our march toward being the top entrepreneurial center in the Midwest, and among the top five universities nationally for startups, this award is validation of the vision we have for the program,” Adamowski said in a release. “With the ISU StartUp Factory being a new startup program itself, every dollar received matters. An enabling investment goes a long way to help our program get up and running.”

The deadline to apply to the second cohort is Oct. 21.

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