BioConnect Iowa and InnoVenture Iowa Fund announce $100K challenge

Innoventure iowa

In partnership with BioConnect Iowa, the InnoVenture Iowa Fund, the state’s newest venture capital fund, announced the “InnoVenture Iowa Challenge”, a pitch competition that will bring together three startup companies to compete for a $100,000 cash prize.

Any early-stage bioscience, advanced manufacturing or information technology startup based in Iowa or with a connection or significant operations in Iowa, are invited to apply.

“We are calling on Iowa’s innovators to participate in the first annual InnoVenture Challenge,” Kaylee Williams, Investment Director for the InnoVenture Iowa Fund, stated in a press release. “Our outstanding organizing team is ready to shine a light on promising technology startups all across the state.”

More information on the InnoVenture Iowa Challenge, including how to submit an application, can be found here.

Iowa’s newest venture capital fund, InnoVenture Iowa, is one part of $96 million in federal funding to Iowa from the Treasury State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The SSBCI investment for Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs was announced last week by Governor Kim Reynolds.

“InnoVenture Iowa’s co-investment model ensures our public investments are matched by private equity,” said Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Finance Authority. “This fund will focus on early-stage investments in Iowa-based innovations, and elevating them to the attention of outside investors who can take them to the next level.”

“By leveraging Iowa SSBCI funds with private sector funds, we have the potential to spur innovation in promising technologies developed at our public universities, as well as investing in and supporting entrepreneurial activity throughout the state,” added Steve Brody, president and CEO of BioConnect Iowa.