Meet the 2018 CYstarters Cohort

By Diana Wright, ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship

Today we grow.

CYstarters has become the cornerstone program for Iowa State student entrepreneurs willing to actively pursue their own business idea and take a risk. Through the 10-week summer accelerator, we provide accountability, funding, collaborative workspace, mentorship, and bring in industry experts & serial entrepreneurs to teach educational workshops.

Today we grow the CYstarters family to 35 startups.

The biggest cohort yet…we are excited to announce the 15 startups who will be participating in CYstarters this summer, starting in May!

CYstarters 2016 and 2017 cohorts included a combined 20 startups ranging from freshmen undergraduates to Ph.D students. Since the launch of CYstarters in 2016, each cohort is interdisciplinary and brings together student entrepreneurs across Iowa State’s campus and colleges.

Meet the 15 startups for this year’s program:

Ash Avenue Prints — Joe Stanton

Ash Avenue Prints offers custom designed posters and prints for Greek organizations, including sororities and fraternities at Iowa State University. Joe is a sophomore studying marketing and entrepreneurship.

CNB Games — Cody Alexander, Nick Hyla, Ben Schwarz

CNB Games creates the ultimate experience for table-top games (Dungeon & Dragons) through a monthly-subscription service offering single-story boxes and a campaign box for the game aficionado. Cody, Nick, and Ben are all seniors studying industrial design.

Deadeye BBQ — Michael Hanstad & Tyler Devos

Deadeye BBQ Products sells high-quality barbecue sauce and gluten-free seasonings without MSG, and with a focus on millennial buyers. Deadeye BBQ products can currently be purchased at Hy-Vee, Fareway, Amazon, and their online store. Michael is a recent graduate, studying marketing. Tyler is former ISU student who studied management information systems.

Eden — Steven Abramsky

Eden works to advance shaving technology for women using a 360-degree architecture composed of circular blades to mirror the contour of the one-of-a-kind female body. Steven is a senior studying industrial design.

FitSuite — Dawit Tilahun

FitSuite connects the gym goer to their fitness community by use of swipe technology to offer classes, personalized routines, and provides added value to fitness memberships specific to their local gym or fitness center. Dawit is a junior studying finance.

Full Circle Alternative Wellness — Ryan True

Full Circle Alternative Wellness (FCAW) helps the geriatric population by providing wellness services to break the notion that a doctor is the only person who can provide wellbeing. FCAW will focus on the 7 dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, intellectual, and environmental. Ryan is a junior studying kinesiology.

GWT Micronutrients to Algae — Max Gangestad

GWT Micronutrients to Algae uses algae-based technology (patented from Gross-Wen Technologies) to enhance micronutrient effectiveness to be absorbed into the body. GWT Micronutrients aims to work within the multivitamin and supplement industry by partnering with homeopathic nutraceutical companies. Max recently graduated in agricultural engineering.

Home Painter — Anthony House & Jacob McClarnon

Home Painter plays matchmaker to home owners looking to receive an accurate estimate and connects qualified painters to receive additional bids, while increasing their market reach. Jacob is a junior studying marketing. Anthony is a senior studying software engineering.

Lunchsox — Rebecca Lyons

Lunchsox sells fun, festive and comfortable socks, while 100% of the profits are donated to nonprofits that provide meals for kids in need. Currently, Lunchsox sells though an online store, with plans to expand in retail channels. Rebbeca is a senior studying agricultural studies and elementary education.

Plantation Ballroom — Morgan Muller

Plantation Ballroom caters to weddings and special events, with a proposed venue located in Algona, Iowa. The original & historic Plantation Ballroom in Whittemore burned down in 1961, and is the inspiration to bring back a vibrant and entertainment and event center for memories to come. Morgan is a senior studying event management.

Spotlight — Jack Nichols

Spotlight helps small retail businesses by connecting customers using location-based advertising for daily deals and special events. Jack is a freshmen studying political science and pre-business.

Swoon Event Studio — Ashley Jones

Swoon Event Studio helps event planners and newly engaged couples with creating unique tablescapes by providing a do-it-yourself online design studio with drag and drop software. Swoon aims to be the ONE shop to rent all design elements by partnering with affiliate decor companies and wedding vendors. Ashley is a senior studying event management and marketing.

Up the Ante Productions — Anthony Swindell & Ethan Walsweer

Up the Ante Productions helps event professionals, small businesses, organizations, and real estate companies market by using aerial videography for promotion and brand awareness. Anthony and Ethan are both juniors studying mechanical engineering.

Waves 21st Century Boomboxes — Srdjan Pavelic

Waves 21st Century Boomboxes shifts the paradigm by creating a new listening experience without creating another attachment for smartphones. By creating a boombox device using the Internet of Things (IoT), Waves focuses on harmonious sound quality using a hollow acoustic center. Srdjan is a senior studying industrial design and graphic design.

Woof Rider — Mikaela Stanley

Woof Rider is a business built for dog people by dog people. Woof Rider helps dog owners who travel with their dogs by providing a safe and reliable restraint system for personal vehicles. Mikaela is a senior studying industrial design and marketing.


It’s all about community as we kick-off the third summer for CYstarters!

Entrepreneurs thrive best where they have communities to draw upon–that’s why we know how special the Iowa State and Ames entrepreneurial community (and beyond Ames) is to programs like CYstarters. We invite you to meet the student startups that will be part of this summer’s CYstarters cohort– we hope to build the community by connecting our friends & biggest supporters, business leaders, mentors, presenters, participants, and entrepreneurs.

Join us at the CYstarters’ Community 2018 Kick-Off! RSVP HERE: http://www.isupjcenter.org/event/cystarters-community-2018-kick-off/

When: May 23 from 4:30–6:00PM

Where: ISU Research Park, Economic Development Core Facility

Interested in the CYstarters’ Mentor Network?

Find out how you can get involved at: http://www.isupjcenter.org/cystarters-mentor-network/