Ames EDC


Ames is a proud startup community that is continuously working to foster the entrepreneurial spirit within the area through numerous resources and opportunities. Below are just a small number of the opportunities we support to those looking to start a new business venture.


Ames Seed Capital Fund, LLC

The Ames Seed Capital Fund was originally incorporated in 1987 as Ames Seed Capital Fund, Inc. and then became Ames Seed Capital, LLC in 1999 ("ASCF" or "Fund"). ASCF is a pool of investment funds contributed by private sources (entities and individuals) for the purpose of providing equity financing for business start-ups and/or expansions in Ames, Story City, Nevada, Huxley and related Story County areas. The Fund is an Iowa company created to implement a program of the Ames Economic Development Commission ("AEDC") and initially established by the AEDC to fund start-up companies that were locating in the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park. ASCF is managed by an elected volunteer Board of Managers.

The Fund's goals are the following:

  • Proved a profit return to the investor on invested capital. 
  • Assist start-up and early stage companies with another financing or investment source.
  • Create and retain jobs in the central Iowa region.
  • Create a positive economic impact to the Ames and central Iowa area.

Become an Angel Investor today


Startup Ames

Startup Ames is an initiative led by local entrepreneurs that brings together local entrepreneurs to foster a robust community––creating fertile ground to launch new businesses in Ames. We value a vision for world changing innovation, high quality community life, individuals who possess an irresistible entrepreneurial spirit, and a thriving culture in our city – Ames.



ISU Startup Factory

Iowa State University Economic Development and Industry Relations provides an avenue for students, faculty and staff to create businesses. We call it the StartUp Factory: a 52-week intensive program housed at the Iowa State University Research Park (ISURP) The StartUp Factory movement is led by serial entrepreneur and Iowa native-turned-Silicon-Valley-success-story Bill Adamowski. Adamowski joined the EDIR team to focus on growing the network of innovation throughout campus. He crafted the framework for the StartUp Factory using best practices from the likes of MIT, Stanford and other successful accelerators. Entrepreneurs in the StartUp Factory will receive formal training, resources, and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors and investors in two 26-week blocks: the first a formal curriculum centered on business validation, and the second, customized to their individual business needs. The goal is to position Iowa State among the top five universities nationally in startups within five years.



ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship

Located in Iowa State University’s Research Park, the Pappajohn Center is the catalyst that brings together the people and ideas necessary for launching and growing successful enterprises. Whether the undertaking is a student initiated enterprise, a new small business, a high technology start-up, or a corporate spin-off, the Pappajohn Center provides assistance and resources to aid the development process and support the entire launch of a new venture.

The Center has two primary objectives:

  • to create a culture that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation
  • to provide the tools necessary for building and improving Iowa’s businesses



Iowa Small Business Development Center

The Iowa State University (ISU) center located in Ames currently serves four counties – Boone, Hardin, Marshall, and Story – and was one of the first four centers established when the SBDC expanded its service statewide in 1982. Since then, the center has provided several thousand Iowa business owners or prospective owners with business assistance in areas such as business and strategic planning, general management, sources of capital, cost control, financial analysis, international trade, accounting, marketing, and much more.




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