States – Iowa

Iowa Resources

Iowa Innovation Corporation – SBIR/STTR Outreach Program

Jordan Hobfoll
Statewide SBIR/STTR Coordinator
Iowa Innovation Corporation
(515) 421-4038
Jordan.hobfoll@iicorp.com

Purpose of Initiative

The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Outreach Program is designed to increase the rate of successful grant applications for Iowa’s innovative businesses seeking federal grants through the SBIR and STTR programs. The Iowa Innovation Corporation is administering this Outreach Program. The program has three core components: proposal idea review; third-party proposal assistance; and a commitment to match.

Award Details

The commitment to match component offers financial assistance of up to $50,000 as a match for Phase I awards. Phase I awards will be matched at 50% up to $50,000. Total financial assistance is limited to $50,000 per applicant across all components of the SBIR/STTR Outreach Program.

Eligibility

Applicants must be an innovative business with 500 or fewer employees; have a reasonable likelihood of receiving SBIR/STTR grant funds; be likely to stimulate subsequent investment by industry, venture capital, and/or other sources; and be likely to commercialize a promising technology.

Application Process

An eligible business must submit an SBIR/STTR Outreach Program application to the Iowa Innovation Corporation. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis and a funding decision will be made within two weeks of receipt of a complete application.

Research Activities Credit

Alaina Santizo
(515) 348-6162 

Maicie Pohlman
(515) 348-6161
businessfinance@iowaeda.com

Purpose of Initiative

Iowa offers a refundable research activities tax credit. Companies in Iowa earn refundable tax credits for research and development investments that may be paid directly in cash to the company once its tax liabilities have been met.

Eligibility

Qualified research expenditures include: wages paid to an employee for performing or supporting a research activity conducted at an Iowa facility or for an employee in Iowa who directly supervises or directly supports research activities; supplies including tangible property other than land, improvement to land, and depreciable property; and 6.5% of expenses related to contract research.

Amount

The amount of the tax credit is based on total research expenses, the company’s gross receipts and a fixed percentage—which changes based on the number of years the company has been incurring qualified research expenditures in Iowa.

Next Level Ventures

Next Level Ventures
(515) 369-2600
info@nextlevelvc.com

Purpose of Initiative

Next Level Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in growing companies based in Iowa. They typically invest between $1 million to $4 million for a minority ownership position in later-stage venture situations. Next Level Ventures is a certified Iowa Innovation Fund, contributing to the development of Iowa’s business community.

Eligibility

Next Level Ventures focuses on Iowa-based businesses with the potential to scale rapidly and operate in the advanced manufacturing, bioscience, or information technology sectors. Funded companies generally have at least $1 million in annual sales and a clear path for substantial revenue growth.

Amount

Next Level Ventures usually invests between $1 million and $4 million for a minority ownership in the company. With the help of their investment partners, they can do transactions over $4 million. The firm typically invests for two to five years.

Application Process

Contact Next Level Ventures for more information about investment.

Iowa Seed Fund II (ISF II)

Curt Nelson
Managing Principal
Iowa Seed Fund II
(319) 369-4955
cnelson@edcinc.org

Purpose of Initiative

Iowa Seed Fund II is a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in high-impact, Iowa-based companies.

Eligibility

ISF II focuses on Iowa-founded businesses with the potential to grow rapidly. The technology focus is mainly in the advanced manufacturing, bioscience, and information technology sectors. ISF II invests in pre-revenue, early revenue, and growth-stage opportunities.

Amount

ISF II invests approximately $100,000-$250,000 for a minority position in each company.

Application Process

Contact Curt Nelson, Managing Principal for Iowa Seed Fund II, for more information about the firm’s investment process.

Iowa Science Foundation

Any questions should be directed to the Executive Director of the Iowa Academy of Science—(319) 273-2581.

Purpose of Initiative

The Iowa Science Foundation is a state-supported grant program administered by the Iowa Academy of Science. The Iowa Academy of Science accepts Iowa Science Foundation grant proposals for projects that further science in Iowa. ISF proposals are accepted in three categories: 1) Improving public understanding of science; 2) Improving science teaching; and 3) Direct support for scientific research. Many awards are given to those engaged in university-based research. As a result, this program may be of interest to researchers and professionals involved with university spinoff companies, those engaging in higher education research, or those looking into STTR funding (companies with a university-based affiliate or partner).

Eligibility

ISF focuses on improving science in Iowa. Any scientist or science teacher is eligible to submit a proposal. Individuals employed by universities, colleges, school districts, independent museums, research laboratories (academic, as well as nonprofit/nonacademic), and nonprofit professional societies are welcome to submit a proposal.

Amount

The Iowa Science Foundation currently distributes $40,000 per year with up to $5,000 allowed, per grant. Approximately 12 grants are awarded annually. The submission deadline for awards is January 31st. Grants are awarded for the period of July 1st through June 30th, annually. Grantees are expected to prepare a mid-term report and a final report. Funds are awarded as a reimbursement. Successful proposals must be submitted to the Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science or presented at the Iowa Academy of Science Annual Meeting.

Application Process
https://www.scienceiniowa.org/iowa-science-foundation/

John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition

Tim Putnam
641.422.4192
putnatim@niacc.edu

Deb Bishop
515.271.2011
deb.bishop@drake.edu

Purpose of Initiative

Co-hosted by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers and the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition contest aims to promote entrepreneurial activity and generate awareness of the resources available to entrepreneurs in Iowa. Innovative, new ventures are encouraged to participate.

Eligibility

The John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition is open to participants with an original idea for a business that has been in operation for four years or less, or a business that is not yet cash flow positive. The principal business operations of the business must be based in Iowa. The company officers and/or members must be legal residents of the US and 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Businesses can include—but are not limited to—those that focus on technology development, biotechnology, green technologies, medical technologies and innovations, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and agri-products, engineering, or education.

Amount

The first place winner will receive $40,000; the second place winner will receive $25,000; and the third place winner will receive $15,000. There are also additional prizes totaling $20,000.

Application Process
https://pappajohnentrepreneurialventurecompetition.com/apply

Updated March 2018 by Kristen Johnson

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