Getting Started in Des Moines

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Des Moines has long been known as an international hub for insurance and agriculture.  Over the past few years we have seen many local tech startup resources align within those industries. The Global Insurance Accelerator has graduated several classes and is now also the model for a new ag-tech program called the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator (The Accelerator) slated to launch later this year. Prairie Crest Capital and ManchesterStory are two industry-specific sources of venture capital that have recently emerged, each targeting funds north of $100M.  There is also a broad base of industry veterans who are willing to serve as mentors, senior hires and early funders of local startups. A third local startup industry, FinTech, is also making headlines; FinTech companies Dwolla have been the source of the largest recent local investment raises.  There have also been multiple recent acquisitions such as Banno and Social Money and the recent IPO of Workiva.
If you want to break into our vibrant community, here are five tips for building your startup in Des Moines:

Check out Community Resources.

Check out all of the community resources indexed at This information was assembled by a team of community leaders to give you the best chance at being successful in starting a new company in the area.

Subscribe to The Pull

This is a weekly newsletter that highlights the top stories for the startup community in Iowa. For more than three years the Gravitate team has curated the “3 Things to Know” this week and shared it with current Iowans, Iowa expats and the Iowa-curious.

Stop by 1 Million Cups.

These weekly events happen on Wednesday mornings.   Come to meet others who are interested in getting started locally. The best thing about 1 Million Cups is that it happens every week, so if you can’t make it this Wednesday, it will be there for you next time.

Look into the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The organization has an array of startup funding programs. They have funding options to assist local small businesses from $25,000 to $500,000 with low interest loans or royalty agreements repayment options.

Join the Startup Iowa community online.

Whether you are in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City or working from a small community somewhere in between, you can always ask questions, share experiences or discuss relevant issues in the Facebook group or on Slack.


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