As promised, it's early, well, mid-September and the Iowa Startup Power Rankings are back for their fifth iteration, this time covering the good works of the people, institutions and companies that make up the Iowa startup community throughout all of August.
September Power Rankings
1. TelePharm (Iowa City)
This is TelePharm's third appearance in the power rankings.
Power Rankings stalwart TelePharm checks in this month for the third and final time—because they were acquired! As you'll all remember, getting acquired is a definitive mark that your company is no longer a startup and therefore no longer eligible for these rankings.
TelePharm, a software platform that allows pharmacists to consult with their patients remotely, is now part of the $121.5B Ohio-based Cardinal Health. Terms of the deal were not announced but Columbus Business First wrote that it was "north of $10MM".
Matt Patane of the Des Moines Register broke this news in August, hence its inclusion here, but it the deal actually closed in July. No word on whether or not the information was delayed to assure prime placement in the Power Rankings.
2. NewBoCo (Cedar Rapids)
This is NewBoCo's second appearance in the power rankings.
The New Bohemian Innovation Collaboration, known more simply as "NewBoCo", made several moves last month to "vault" (get it?) them to the second position in these rankings. First and foremost was debuting the third annual cohort in their Iowa Startup Accelerator program, which kicked off August 1. The six teams in the cohort all hail from Iowa—a first for this accelerator program (and most likely any accelerator program).
3. BeraTek Industries (Cedar Rapids)
This is BeraTek Industries' first appearance in the power rankings.
Manufacturing startup BeraTek Industries joins the Power Rankings for the first time by virtue of being named a semifinalist in a Home Shopping Network/Good Housekeeping magazine product search. Founder Gerald Beranek traveled to Florida to pitch his invention, the "Hold and Go Slow Cooker" in front of contest executives on August 31. We have to wait until December to see if BeraTek moves on to the finals.
4. Inland Sea (Ames/Harlan)
This is Inland Sea's first appearance in the power rankings.
Inland Sea, an Ames-based aquaculture startup, is looking to build the largest salmon production facility in the United States near Harlan. I don't know a lot about their business but I can't go anywhere right now without seeing their name and their drive for investors. If anything their PR push/marketing spend alone nets them the fourth spot this month. I look forward to seeing if this aggressive push is successful and if its something that will be repeated by other startups in our community. And, salmon. I'm looking forward to a whole bunch of Iowa-grown salmon.
5. Iowa Microloan (Boone)
This is Iowa Microloan's first appearance in the power rankings.
The ag-tech accelerator industry is quickly heating up in Central Iowa. Iowa State was first to market when they launched the Ag Startup Engine in Ames earlier this year. The Greater Des Moines Partnership is planning a similar ag-tech program, patterned after the Global Insurance Accelerator, with a target of launching sometime in 2017.
Both of those programs have been on our radar for awhile but out of nowhere comes the Rural Ventures Accelerator from Iowa Microloan, a group known for small business lending in rural areas. This program isn't at the scale of the other accelerators around the state—it's been seeded by a $99,000 federal grant—but its a good start and earns them the final spot in the Power Rankings this month.