Photo by Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune

By Dan Mika, Ames Tribune

The 13 companies in the accelerator have already raised $1.7 million in outside funding.

The Iowa State University Research Park’s Startup Factory has been awarded $200,000 from Iowa Economic Development Authority to accelerate technology commercialization last month.

The grant was from the Entrepreneurial Investment Awards, which was created last year by the Iowa Legislature to support groups that help small businesses and startups grow in the state. According to a release from the IEDA, the Research Park was selected because it coordinates other resources provided by ISU in one place. The grant was the maximum the IEDA could provide to a group.

Michael Crum, ISU vice president for economic development, said the grant will be used to pay for the Startup Factory’s facilities, coaching and research and development costs. None of the grant will go directly to the companies themselves.

However, the 13 companies within the Startup Factory are doing fine on their own. Crum said the startups have raised about $1.7 million in outside capital and government funding since the program began in June. According to the Research Park’s website, the total investments to all companies residing in the park are about $20 million.

“[The IEDA grant] is to support our support system for them,” he said.

While he appreciates the grant’s benefits from a practical standpoint, Crum said the investment from the state is “validation” for the Startup Factory’s model of bringing technology from ISU’s laboratories to the market.

The IEDA granted a total of $800,000 in other Entrepreneurial Investment Awards to the North Iowa Area Community College’s Pappajohn Center, Iowa City Area Development Group, startup accelerators Square One DSM and New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative and the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce in other grants.

In total, the IEDA announced $244 million in other capital investments across the state to entrepreneurial assistance groups and manufacturers along with the Entrepreneurial Investment Awards.

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