BOULDER, Colo. – October 22, 2019 – Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and private liberal arts college Grinnell College, today announced the launch of Techstars Iowa, a new accelerator program in Des Moines, Iowa.

The mentorship-driven accelerator will be Techstars’ first program in the state of Iowa. Open to startups addressing innovations across a broad technology landscape, and to those who will benefit particularly from the Iowa ecosystem, the program will welcome 10 startups in its inaugural year.

The program will be led by Techstars Managing Director Kerty Levy. Levy, a long-time Des Moines resident and community leader, brings decades of tech and leadership experience to her role as Manager Director. Serving as a business advisor and coach for the past 4 years, EIR (entrepreneur in residence) at the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator since its inception, and most recently holding the title of Interim Director at the local Des Moines accelerator, she is a trusted member of Iowa’s startup community and expert on the Des Moines entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Helping companies think through strategies, business value, execution – it’s what I love,” said Levy. “I’m thrilled to lead the Techstars Iowa Accelerator and continue coaching entrepreneurs and serving the startup community in Iowa. Techstars coming to Des Moines is a great thing for Iowa – it’s putting a brighter spotlight on our startup ecosystem and will further community collaboration and entrepreneurship opportunities across the state. Partnering with Grinnell College is a phenomenal opportunity for Techstars’ first accelerator in Iowa.”

Levy will be supported by Grinnell College leaders and mentors, and various Iowa community members. Techstars and Grinnell College are exploring additional partners to participate in the Techstars Iowa Accelerator program, as well.

“This partnership gets at the heart of what it means to be Grinnellian,” said Raynard S. Kington, President of Grinnell College. “We promise our students a diverse educational experience rooted in creative and critical thinking. This is another excellent way for our students to gain meaningful, real-world experience and to put ideas into action.”  

“The state of Iowa and our communities are increasingly named among the best places to start or own a business, so it makes perfect sense Techstars would locate here,” said Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority. “We have worked across business, academia and government to make critical resources more accessible to startups and I think we’re beginning to see the results in a thriving, growing entrepreneurial environment.”

Techstars Iowa will run for 13 weeks from September 2020 – December 2020. Applications will open on February 17, 2020 and accept submissions through May 10, 2020. Startups interested in participating in Techstars Iowa are encouraged to learn more by visiting the Techstars Iowa program page or expressing interest here. Corporations interested in learning more about Techstars Accelerators and Techstars’ dedication to corporate innovation can learn more at

About Techstars

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,900 companies with a market cap of $23 Billion. 

About Grinnell College

Grinnell College, a private liberal arts college in Iowa founded in 1846, provides individually advised learning for intellectually engaged students to produce graduates who are prepared to navigate the world’s complexities and responsibly contribute to the common good. Grinnell enrolls 1,700 students from around the world, who earn B.A. degrees in a range of disciplines across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell’s rigorous academic program and campus life emphasize excellence in education through free inquiry and the open exchange of ideas, a diverse community and social responsibility and action. More information about Grinnell College is available at 

Iowa, Techstars Iowa

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Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders make connections and gain access to resources to grow their companies.