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Funding Sources for Technology and High-Growth Firms

financingFunding a high-tech or fast-growth company often takes a different path than financing a conventional company.  Funding opportunities may take the form of several sources such as state or federal programs which encourage innovation, traditional or debt financing, equity financing, or venture capital investing.

Find financial resources that are right for you by accessing The Resource Navigator online 24/7.  Additionally, you can always give us a call at 866-537-6052, or submit a request on the Iowa Business Concierge page.

Federal Innovation Funding

The Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) provides early-stage R&D funding directly to small technology companies or individual entrepreneurs who form a company.  SBIR funds the critical startup and development stages for technology and its commercialization.

The Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) provides early-stage R&D funding directly to small companies working cooperatively with researchers at universities and other research institutions.  For information, contact Kris Johansen, Ph.D,  at Iowa State University, Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer.  Email kajohans@iastate.ecu or 515-294-4740.

State of Iowa Funding

The State of Iowa can support business growth through direct financial assistance. Assistance is provided in the form of loans and/or forgivable loans, based in part on job creation, capital investment, the ability to meet certain wage standards, quality of employment, and economic benefits for the state and local community. Applications are filed by cities, counties or community colleges on behalf of eligible businesses. Access the 2-Step Application Form online.

The Demonstration Fund provides financial awards to encourage commercialization activities by small and medium-sized Iowa companies in the advanced manufacturing, bio sciences, and information technology industries.  View more information here.

State Small Business Credit Initiative Program (SBCCI):  The U.S. Department of the Treasury has approved $13.2 million in funding to Iowa to help create new private sector jobs and spur more than $132 million in additional small-business lending in the state.  This is available through three funding mechanisms:

Investor Tax Credits

Community-Based Seed Capital Funds encourage groups of local investors to engage in venture capital investment to help attract and retain fast growing companies in their communities.

Endow Iowa supports development of community foundations and related organizations in the state, by encouraging donations to non-profit organizations.

Qualifying Business Tax Credit is designed to encourage venture capital investment at the seed capital stage.

Revolving Loan Funds encourage economic development in Iowa.

Venture Funds

A venture capital fund manages money from investors seeking private equity stakes in start-up and small and medium sized ventures with strong growth potential.  These investments are typically characterized as high-risk/high-return opportunities.  Venture Funds serving Iowa include:

Angel/Seed Fund Serving Iowa

Angel investors or “angel funds” provide capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.  An increasing number of angel investors organize themselves in networks to share research and to pool their investment capital.  Angel/Seed Funds in Iowa include: