Meet the first cohort for CYstarters

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Start something.

We have always believed this simplistic approach when it comes to taking risks and entrepreneurship. Recently, we launched our first-ever summer accelerator (CYstarters) for Iowa State students and recent graduates to strictly focus on their startup or business idea.

Rather than go down the typical internship path or trying to find a job during a student’s summer (which are still great experiences) — we wanted to give students and recent graduates the opportunity to dedicate a summer to working or interning for themselves to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations.

Today, we are excited to announce the 8 teams who will be participating in our first cohort for CYstarters…

Matt Gustin — founder of GigRoot

GigRoot is an online marketplace for college student services. Its mission is to provide students with a platform to grow their skills, get exposure to employers, and deliver needed services around campus. Matt Gustin is a senior studying computer engineering and entrepreneurial studies at Iowa State.

Megan Sweere — founder of Home Sweet College Home

Home Sweet College Home is a subscription college care package program created to help students feel at home in their college communities and to foster growth of local business. Megan Sweere is a senior studying supply chain management and entrepreneurial studies.

Mikayla Sullivan, Clayton Mooney, Elise Kendall — cofounders of KinoSol

KinoSol creates small scale, solar powered food dehydrators for families in developing countries. KinoSol units use a natural convection system and are capable of dehydrating fruit, vegetables, insects, and grains. Mikayla is a junior and Clayton and Elise are both seniors, all studying global resource systems at Iowa State.

Nick Herrig — cofounder of Midwest Beer Club

Midwest Beer Club is a subscription-based, craft beer delivery system. Craft beer packages are selected for each customer based on their individual preferences and delivered to their doorstep each month. Nick is a senior studying industrial engineering at Iowa State.

Mahmoud Parto — founder of Parto Tech

Parto Tech is a startup focused on development of smart devices that either communicate with smartphones or with Internet. Smart Parking is one of the products which helps guide car owners back to their car easily through the car’s battery power supply and use of their technology. Mahmoud is a senior studying mechanical engineering at Iowa State.

Kenyon Brown, Neil Saigal — cofounders of Pollup

Pollup is closing the gap of communications companies have with their employees for a faster, more intimate way using the Pollup polling tool. Kenyon is a sophomore studying management information systems and Neil is a senior studying computer engineering at Iowa State.

Steven Brockhus — founder of Tillage

Tillage is a web-based application that decreases the amount of time spent researching the farmland real estate market, decreases the cost it takes to acquire, sell and rent farmland, and ensures that brokers, investors, and growers never again miss a farmland investment opportunity because a lack of timely information. Steven is a junior studying ag business and entrepreneurial studies.

Joshua Wolters — founder of Wolters Custom Yardens

Wolters Custom Yardens is the first backyard vegetable garden business in Iowa to provide a ‘done for you’ service for growing and maintaining plants throughout the growing season. Joshua is a recent graduate who studied horticulture at Iowa State.

For any questions or opportunities about CYstarters, please reach out to Diana Wright at

Interested in mentoring?  Let us know how you can help, join our CYstarters’ Mentor Network here: