Entrepreneur and Innovation Support

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has several assistance programs for entrepreneurs.


Demonstration Fund


The Demonstration Fund is designed to provide assistance to companies with market-ready innovative technologies or products that have a clear potential for commercial viability.

  • Assists companies with marketing and business development activities
  • Helps businesses with high-growth potential reach a position to attract follow-on private sector funding
  • Awards up to $125,000
  • Funds are primarily in loans or royalty arrangements with a 1:2 (private:public) match
  • Funds can be used for:
    • Acquiring management/marketing personnel or expertise
    • Purchasing equipment
    • Developing and executing marketing and distribution strategy
    • Creating marketing materials
    • Developing/expanding lead compounds (bioscience - pharmacology)
    • Business model validation and refinement
    • Market feedback on technology and recommended enhancements

Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund


The Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund promotes formation and growth of businesses that engage in the transfer of technology to competitive, profitable companies that create high-paying jobs. Funds are designed to accelerate the pace of market development, leverage private investment and industrial expansion efforts that result in significant capital investment. The fund provides financing to eligible businesses through two program components that correspond to different stages of growth for investment-grade, high-growth enterprises.

  • Awards in the form of royalty arrangements or loans with a 1:1 (private:public) match
  • The fund is split into these programs:
    • PROPEL awards up to $300,000 to accelerate market development for companies that have critical management in place, have a validated business model and an established customer base that’s generating substantive revenue
    • INNOVATION EXPANSION awards up to $500,000 to encourage expansion of product lines in companies that have a complete management infrastructure, a demonstrated historical profitability and an established customer base; funding provides assistance for product refinement and market expansion activities for unique, innovative and competitive products.
  • Funds can be used for:
    • Advanced intellectual property development and evaluation, including in-depth analysis of market potential (bioscience)
    • Further competitive analysis, advanced development of a scientific discovery (bioscience)
    • Product focus group research (medical device)
    • Enhancement of existing product for additional platform applicability to extend addressable market (software)
    • Recruitment and hiring of key personnel and related activities
    • Achievement of product economies of scale
    • Expansion of marketing and sales-related activities
    • Equipment purchase
    • Construction costs

Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR)


The Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) program is designed to define and articulate the opportunity for businesses that demonstrate a proof-of-concept for innovative technology.

  • Awards up to $25,000 in low interest loans with a 1:2 (private:public) match
  • Recommend the applicant has completed initial inquiry as to value proposition, target market and business model
  • Funds can be used for validation of market potential:
    • Beta testing activities that focus on validation of the technology/product, business model and marketing/distribution strategy/tactics (non-biomedical companies where regulatory approval is required)
    • Intellectual property development and evaluation, including in-depth analysis of market potential
    • Extended competitive analysis
    • Furthering translational development of a scientific discovery

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Outreach Program


The Iowa Economic Development Authority has delegated the delivery of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Outreach Program to the Iowa Innovation Corporation to help companies apply for federal small business funding. This program reviews ideas, offers professional proposal assistance and matching funds for awarded companies. This program assists Iowa companies by reviewing SBIR/STTR grant proposal applications and providing commitments to matching grant funds for Phase I SBIR/STTR awards.



To learn more about these programs including eligibility and application requirements, visit the Iowa Economic Development Authority website