The following press release was distributed on October 4, 2016 by the ISU StartUp Factory
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ISU StartUp Factory cohort member Structurely receives $25,000 POCR award
AMES, Iowa (October 4, 2016) – The Iowa State University StartUp Factory today announced the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded Structurely a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) award last month for IP development and evaluation and proof of concept work. Structurely is a cohort member in the ISU StartUp Factory, housed in the Iowa State University Research Park.
According to a release from the IEDA, the POCR fund is designed to assist businesses with a demonstrated proof-of-concept for innovative technology who are ready for the rigors of the proof of commercial relevance stage. Use of the funds includes defining the market for the product and perfecting the product to meet market needs. The $25,000 award was the maximum provided for this program.
Structurely co-founders, Nathan Joens and Andrew Dickelman are building a suite of advanced, data-driven tools to revolutionize how real estate agents generate and cultivate leads. Their product is an artificial intelligence chatbot, named Holmes, that automatically cultivates leads for real estate agents and brokerages from any lead generation source through personalized conversations with clients.
According to Dickelman, the POCR award will give his startup the financial boost it needs to get to the next step of the business-building process: bringing the product to the market.
“The State of Iowa has been a huge help in getting our business off the ground,” Dickelman said. For instance, in August this year we received a $9,300 grant through the Iowa Student Internship Program, allowing us to hire up to three interns. And now, the $25,000 POCR award will allow us to submit a provisional patent and ultimately, launch our product to the market.”
Bill Adamowski, managing director of ISU StartUp Factory, said awards received at this stage of a business’ life cycle help the developers fine-tune their product before the product launches.
“With regard to Structurely, we think the concept has huge potential,” Adamowski said. “The POCR award will go a long way to help them take their business concept to the next level. Now, they have the opportunity to test the value proposition side of their business, including conducting additional market analysis and further developing their product.”
In total, the IEDA announced nearly $58 million in capital investments in Iowa for planned or proposed projects located in Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Storm Lake, Clive, Coralville, Des Moines and Johnston along with awards for five startups and one entrepreneurial assistance provider.
About ISU StartUp Factory:
The Iowa State University (ISU) StartUp Factory is a 52-week intensive program housed at the ISU Research Park (ISURP). Entrepreneurs in the StartUp Factory receive formal training, resources, and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors, and investors in two 26-week blocks: the first a formal curriculum centered on business validation, and the second, customized to their individual business needs. For more information on the ISU StartUp Factory program, call 515-294-7444 or visit www.isustartupfactory.org
Co-founders Nathan Joens and Andrew Dickelman developed Structurely in 2015 to help realtors, brokerages and associations craft more personalized home buying or selling experiences. To help decrease both the Realtor and their clients’ dissatisfaction with their technology, they are building a suite of advanced, data-driven tools to shape the next generation of real estate. For more information on Structurely, visit www.structurely.com
Contact: Julie Lelonek
Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations