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Iowa startup leaders launch state’s first venture studio


The studio, Novy, will focus on health care software companies


November 30, 2023


 


Novy, Iowa’s first venture studio, was officially launched this week by its three founding partners, David Tominsky, Krista Martin and Eric Engelmann. Novy will co-found, fund and grow software companies starting in the health care industry, according to a news release.


Each company will receive up to $1 million in direct capital investment, two full-time executive leaders, in-house product development support and a full suite of back-office services, including finance and human resources, for a total investment of over $2 million.


“There’s nothing like this in Iowa. The venture studio model surrounds founders with all of the resources they need to build rapidly with the appropriate funding, talent and network. I have seen firsthand how venture studios can strengthen the startup ecosystem and create successful businesses,” Martin said in a prepared statement.


Together, the three partners have gained experience starting, leading, advising and investing in startups and tech companies over the last decade.


Tominsky founded an IT recruiting company, then led Iowa Startup Accelerator. Most recently, he was the chief relationship officer at Cedar Rapids-based nonprofit NewBoCo, where he led their technical and creative services teams building products and prototypes for startups.


Martin has operated and advised many startups as a product management and growth executive. Before starting her own consulting business, she was the second employee at Boardable and helped grow the business from launch to $5 million in revenue as the vice president of product and growth.


Engelmann founded health care software company Geonetric in Cedar Rapids as well as NewBoCo and its Iowa Startup Accelerator program and venture capital fund ISA Ventures.

The team has identified a six-stage process designed to build scalable companies: Ideation and validation led by Tominsky, creation and growth led by Martin, and spinout and exit led by Engelmann.


Novy is now accepting applications and plans to build a team of 15 by the end of 2024 to focus on creating and growing highly scalable technology companies in the Midwest. The venture studio will be extraordinarily selective in the companies it chooses to co-found, expecting only one or two per year, the release said.


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