The ISU Startup Factory selects local entrepreneur Andrew Kirpalani as the new Entrepreneur-in-Residence
AMES, Iowa (September 12, 2023) –ISU Startup Factory named ISU alum Andrew Kirpalani as the newest Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Ames-based incubator program. Kirpalani will serve as a member of the teaching team to facilitate industry connections and provide mentorship for cohort members.
Kirpalani comes to the program with an extensive 15+ year entrepreneurial background. After graduating in 2005, he immediately entered the world of tech startups. Kirpalani has worked at several business ventures across the U.S. in varying roles, from software engineer to product manager. He has organized and facilitated Techstars Startup Weekends throughout the Midwest for aspiring entrepreneurs and continues to provide mentorship through the Techstars Iowa program as well as independent mentorship for startups and entrepreneurs.
In 2015, Kirpalani co-founded WorkHound, an employee engagement software company that provides the frontline workforce with a platform for anonymous engagement and feedback. As founder of WorkHound, Kirpalani has personally participated in two accelerators, raised $2 million in seed rounds, and in the early months of 2022, closed a private equity growth round for the company. In 2023, Kirpalani stepped away from day-to-day operations but continues to sit on the WorkHound board of directors.
Kirpalani’s firsthand founder experience, from raising venture capital to scaling a SaaS (software as a service) business, has prepared him for his next chapter of supporting entrepreneurs and founders in a mentorship role. As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the ISU Startup Factory, he hopes to demonstrate alternative solutions and paths to success for entrepreneurs. “In all of the Midwest, I think there is a lot of opportunity that is unrealized in early-stage businesses,” said Kirpalani. “I’m really looking forward to being exposed to multiple ideas all at once within this accelerator and lending a hand to founders as they grow.”
The ISU Startup Factory is a startup incubator open to technology-based, scalable ventures led by ISU scientific faculty and community members across Iowa. Over an 18-week period, cohort members participate in workshops focused on enhancing their communication skills, developing business acumen, and understanding their customers. They will leave prepared to pursue non-dilutive funding for their technology and commercialization plan.
“The SUF teaching team welcomes Andrew Kirpalani! He adds to the breadth and strength of the team to help advise the diverse co-founders of each SUF cohort with his successful SaaS software startup business that he took from ideation to exit,” said Peter Hong, ISU Startup Factory Director.
By: Lindsey Murray