Search Icon

Startups – let’s get to the bottom line

February 26, 2016

SXSW Interactive is over – time to punch in the expense reports from all the beer and BBQ. It’s back to reality for startups and no place is more real than the bottom line, so let’s get to it: It makes fiscal sense to locate a startup in Iowa. Forbes named three Iowa metro areas as best places for business and careers for a reason. Iowa has one of the lowest costs of doing business in the country.

Here’s why:

  • Construction costs are 18% below national average
  • Payroll costs are 14.1% below national average
  • Industrial lease rates are 15% below national average
  • Commercial electricity rates are 15% below national average
  • No personal property tax on corporate inventories
  • Iowa is a right to work state

Lower overhead translates to less red and more black for startups. Here’s what Sherri Hotzler, CEO of advanced manufacturer Vantec, had to say about running a business in Iowa:

“Iowa is also a much more affordable place to run a business…our electrical rates, housing, home, food, everything is more reasonable here.”

As any startup founder knows, lower overheads are just part of the equation. Innovation requires talent, and that’s readily available in Iowa. The state’s three major research universities produce nearly 2,000 engineering graduates per year and nearly a third of individuals ages 24-32 have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Iowa is committed to continuously replenishing this pipeline with new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) professionals.

In fact, STEM programs in public grade school programs have already reached more than 100,000 students. To further spur innovation, Iowa offers a 6.5 percent R&D refundable tax credit and Iowa’s public universities leverage more than $600 million in R&D funding annually.

Institutions like the Iowa State and University of Iowa Research Parks and the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa provide startups collaboration opportunities, interns, mentorship and facilities to grow their businesses.

If a lower cost of business and access to a talented workforce could benefit your startup (and let’s be real, they would) then it’s time to think about Iowa. Check out our programs that help innovators move to Iowa: Innovation Support Programs.



See how we stack up

The 50-State Comparison Tool

Stay Informed.
Sign Up to Receive Updates.
Emails highlighting economic development news, program updates and upcoming events.