Rural Business Innovators

Rural Business Innovators is a customized start-up program that helps rural tech and innovation entrepreneurs develop their business ideas, while connecting them to resources, partners and mentors in the state-wide entrepreneurial ecosystem. The program offers online group training, one-on-one counseling (online or in-person), next-step guidance, and exposure to a network of mentors, state resources, & entrepreneurial peers.


  • Approximately 9-Weeks, Customized to Your Schedule: 3 Peer-Group Trainings, At Least 6 One-on-One Counseling Sessions, 18 to 20-Hour Time Commitment, Specifically for Rural* Tech/Innovation Entrepreneurs
  • 4 Available Tracks: Value Proposition Track, Customer Discovery and Marketing Track, Prototype/Product Development Track, Financial and Pitch Preparation Track
  • Deliverables: Completed Digital Innovator Profile, Business Model Canvas and Pitch Deck, Next-Step Guidance and Support for Business Development Purposes • Exposure to a Network of Mentors, Potential Partners, State Resources, & Entrepreneurial Peers
  • Exposure to a Network of Mentors, Potential Investors, State Resources, & Entrepreneurial Peers

*The U.S. Census Bureau defines "rural" as any population, housing, or territory that exists outside of an urban area

**Customer Discovery is the process of getting to know potential customers, their pain points, and how a proposed solution can help solve these problems

Your Online Profile

Participants receive their own individualized online profile that guides them through the program and serves as a place to display their content. 

What's on Your Profile? 

  • Your Company Dashboard and Program Modules
  • Online Pitch Deck, Value Proposition Deck, and Business Model Canvas
  • Innovator Peer Group Resources

Your Innovator Network

Connecting individuals to resources in the much larger, Iowa entrepreneurial ecosystem is important. Rural Business Innovators makes this a priority. 

Your Network

  • Interact with Other Peers participating in Rural Business Innovators
  • Present Your Innovation and Receive valuable Feedback
  • Connect with Mentors, Potential Partners, State Resources, & Other Entrepreneurial Programs

Next-Step Support

Innovators who complete the program are given additional support to help execute next steps in their start-up process. 

Examples of Next-Step Support

  • Assistance with Prototype or Software Development
  • Start-up Planning or Feasibility Analysis
  • Help with Marketing Material or Pitch Development

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