Gross-Wen Technologies, Ames

How would you feel if you created a product that could change the reality of hundreds of thousands of individuals? Martin Gross and Zhiyou Wen did precisely that. As a graduate student at Iowa State University, Martin and his professor Dr. Wen invented a sustainable water treatment system that utilizes algae to remove pollutants in […]

Secured Shred Solutions, Carroll

Bev Anderson was working in Ames, Iowa when she heard about the industry of document shredding. She and her husband, Terri Richter, had been trying to come up with an idea for a small business and thought document shredding just may be the perfect niche for them. After two years of thoroughly researching the idea, […]

Shade Tree Auto, Grimes

Clint Dudley began his business repairing cars for his friends and family in his garage. At first it was a way to deduct some property expenses, but soon his friends and family realized it was a great way to save money on their car repairs. Shade Tree Auto began as a side business in 2001, […]

Girls With Ideas, Cedar Rapids

How different would this world be if girls, from a young age, channeled their energy, passion, and enthusiasm into creative projects that built up the community around them? What if these girls were encouraged to be individuals with valid ideas, rather than discouraged by peers and social norms? What if girls truly believed that they […]

Kids in Harmony, Des Moines

“I am passionate about improving peoples’ lives through music.” Shelly Peterson knew she wanted to be a music therapist after graduating University of Northern Iowa with a degree in music. To make her dreams a reality, Shelly obtained a master’s degree in music therapy, became board certified, and started her own business from the ground […]

Iowa Elite Nannies, Cedar Rapids

Allisyn Skiles’ goal was to create a spin-off of a nanny agency she had previously worked for in Des Moines, IA. When she moved to Cedar Rapids in February of 2014, she did just that. With safety of children and alleviating stress of parents at the forefront, Allisyn successfully opened Iowa Elite Nannies. Iowa Elite […]

Domicile, Cedar Rapids

Rina Jensen left her job as a New York Life Agent to pursue her true passion, photography. When a retail consignment shop named Domicile came up for sale in her community of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, she saw an opportunity. Rina had always intended to open a gallery, but this venue seemed like the perfect forum […]

Polar Xpress, LLC, Ottumwa

Nearly three years ago, Sandra Hendred visited a frozen yogurt shop in St. Louis, Missouri and became inspired by the idea of opening a frozen desserts shop in her community of Ottumwa, Iowa. After sharing the idea with her husband, Jeff, they began visiting yogurt shops in Iowa City and Des Moines, then decided to […]

Nebullam, LLC, Ames

About six years ago, Danen Pool started developing a high pressure aeroponics unit as a hobby. Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil; high pressure aeroponics delivers nutrients using a high pressure diaphragm pump. In early 2014, Danen realized he had the potential to […], Ames began very simply; just three guys that wanted to create a cool software application. Kenyon Brown, Dave Leo, and Neil Saigal decided to develop a business-to-business tool that would “make work more enjoyable.” They started working on the app in October of 2015 and began developing a company business plan the following March. […]