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Iowa's Startup Scene Breaks Into Top 10

March 8, 2014

Recent studies by both Engine and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation take note of Iowa's increased momentum in "start-up density." The term "startup density" measured both high-tech and information-tech entrepreneurial activity and found major cities across the state making significant jumps over the last 10 years. In fact, Des Moines metro cracked the top 10 - which is extremely tough to do as the usual suspects tend to show-up on the list from year to year. The Des Moines Business Record published a great write-up on the state's start-up success this week.

  • Des Moines ranked 4th in "high-tech startup density" in the mid-to-large metros (500,000 - 1 million pop.)
  • Cedar Rapids ranked 10th in "information-tech startup density" in small-to-mid metros (250,000 - 500,000 pop.)
  • Ames ranked 8th in "high-tech startup density" in small metros (pop. under 250,000)

This increase in entrepreneurial activity and national attention is by no means simply luck - it takes decades to create a startup hub. Through collaboration among business leaders and local governments and results-oriented financial support like the Demonstration Fund - Iowa has become a hotbed of startup activity.

The nation is taking notice and will continue to do so, as the Iowa Economic Development Authority + several of the state's hottest startups are at SXSW this weekend hosting the #IowaHour.

This event presents an opportunity to demonstrate the cutting-edge innovation and entrepreneurial activity that is spurring economic growth across Iowa to a massive audience. And who knows? Maybe we'll make the right connections and see an influx of venture capital - or, we'll inspire a young person to bring their next idea to Iowa. Let's keep the momentum going! -Kathy A., IEDA Marketing Team      



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Iowa Economic Development Authority
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: 1.515.348.6200
email: Email Us

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