Iowa State University economic development programs focus on enhancing the state's ability to form new businesses, grow existing industry, grow communities, and recruit companies to Iowa. Coinciding with our land-grant mission, the ISU Small Business Development Center and the ISU Research Park demonstrate how the university is helping to create new jobs, businesses, and opportunities for Iowans.
The SBDC is the only nationally-accredited entrepreneurial development program in Iowa and provides services in all 99 counties to businesses with 500 employees or less. Providing service through 16 regional centers, the SBDC provides consultative services through workshops and one-on-one counselling. The ISU SBDC focuses its efforts on assisting existing businesses and developing entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and improve internal operations to ensure continued success. Within the past seven years, the ISU SBDC has been responsible for:
- Counseling 17,724 clients in nearly 90,000 hours
- Creating or saving 10,919 jobs
- Starting 1,117 new businesses
- Assisted companies in attracting nearly $380 million in new capital
- Growing sales among clients by $334 million
The ISU Research Park is where science and technology-based entities build new opportunities out of ideas. It connects businesses, organizations and researchers with critical resources - physical space, specialized equipment, financing, recruiting, business leadership, human ingenuity and more. The Park leverages the talents of Iowa State University, one of the world's leading research institutions.
- Currently employs 1,200 people through 60 tenants, generating $70 million annually in salaries
- Projected growth consists of 3,000 employees generating over $170 million in salaries
- 40 companies across Iowa employing more than 2,500 people started at the ISU Research Park
As Iowa emerges from the Great Recession, investment in economic development programs that serve Iowa's entrepreneurs are critical tools that lead to positive and sustained economic growth. The ISU SBDC and the ISU Research Park have been important in helping the University to fulfill its land-grant mission by providing outreach services to Iowa's business community.
Did you know? Reorganization of the university's economic development and company assistance programs has resulted in a new and more user friendly unit -- the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations (EDIR).