This spring, the Iowa EdTech Accelerator welcomed its first cohort of educational technology companies. The Accelerator, a collaborative project led by NewBoCo, is an intensive, highly-focused 14-week program aimed at early stage (pre- or early-revenue) companies that are located in Iowa. The Accelerator program is one of the key pillars of the newly-formed Iowa EdTech Collaborative initiative, which is working to grow K-12 and lifelong learning in the state of Iowa. The first Accelerator program took place on the ACT campus in Iowa City, until going virtual in response to COVID-19 safety concerns.
“The Iowa EdTech Accelerator really reinforces Iowa’s status as an EdTech oasis and we’re honored to host the first accelerator cohort on the ACT campus and provide mentorship.” - Ada Woo, Sr. Director of Strategy Implementation and Operations, ACTNext.
Four companies were selected to participate in the first cohort:
With the help of fellow Iowa EdTech Accelerators participants, education professionals, and experienced EdTech mentors, companies are able to receive direct feedback from customers and develop a deeper understanding of their product in order to build solutions that students and educators actually want. The Accelerator is modeled after NewBoCo’s successful Iowa Startup Accelerator framework and will provide companies with benefits such as $25,000 in initial seed capital; coaching with experienced entrepreneurial leaders; education workshops around topics like funding, marketing, and more; access to an extensive mentor pool; software perks; and technical services.
“In the Accelerator, we’ve learned principles around business modeling, marketing, and clearly defining what problem we want to solve for our customers and how our services and products will do it. This new knowledge helps us build a valuable and sustainable business that delivers life-changing impacts for the students, families, and schools we serve,” said Beth Connell, Education Specialist at IEP Equity and Iowa EdTech Accelerator participant.