rural business innovators SBDC-IowaAMES, Iowa – America’s SBDC Iowa (SBDC) is pleased to announce Rural Business Innovators™, a new initiative for technology and innovation entrepreneurs that live in rural Iowa. This is a start-up accelerator that helps individuals develop their innovative business ideas and connects them to resources, partners and mentors in the state-wide entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Rural Business Innovators™ offers group training (online), one-on-one counseling (online or in-person), next-step guidance and support, and exposure to a network of mentors, state resources, and entrepreneurial peers. The program consists of 11 weeks of instruction focused on Customer Discovery, Pitch Development and Feedback, and Developing a Next-Step Strategy.

“We are excited to launch a program that improves access to resources for rural entrepreneurs, to help commercialize innovative ideas, and to create wealth in rural Iowa,” says State Director, Lisa Shimkat.

Each business or business idea will receive an online Innovator Profile and may qualify for business development expenses to help execute next steps in their start-up process. If selected for the program, there is no cost to participate.

Technology and innovation entrepreneurs living in rural areas who are wishing to apply for Rural Business Innovators™ are encouraged to apply here, or contact program manager Ethan Pitt at [email protected]. The number of participants will be limited. Potential applicants who are unsure whether they qualify for the program are encouraged to apply anyway. Those who are not selected will be redirected to other resources, programs or partner entrepreneurial organizations.

America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations. Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. Veteran. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, Ames, Iowa 50011, Tel. 515-294-7612, Hotline 515-294-1222, email [email protected].

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, America’s SBDC Iowa has 15 regional assistance centers located strategically across the state. Since program inception in 1981, the SBDC has helped Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs through no fee, confidential, customized, professional business counseling and practical, affordable training workshops.

For more information on America’s SBDC Iowa programs or services, call (515) 294-2030 or visit or

Print Friendly, PDF & Email