Now Accepting Applications for CYstarters Cohort 9

Now Accepting Applications for CYstarters Cohort 9 – A Summer Accelerator Program hosted by the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship 

CYstarters program director, Megan Graettinger with the 19 members of cohort 8 at CYstarters 2023 Demo Day.

[AMES, January 17, 2024] – The Iowa State University Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship is excited to announce that applications are now being accepted for the ninth cohort of CYstarters, an intensive 11-week summer accelerator program tailored for Iowa State students and recent graduates with entrepreneurial ambitions. 

CYstarters, which recently received the prestigious Model University Accelerator/Incubator Award at the 2024 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Awards hosted by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE), provides a unique opportunity for participants to focus on their startup or business idea over the summer. Individual students are eligible for $6,500 and student teams for up to $13,000 in funding as they work to get their business of the ground. This competitive program, which will operate from Wednesday, May 15, 2024 to Wednesday, July 31, 2024, offers a limited number of spots for dedicated individuals or teams. 

What to Expect: 

  • Educational sessions covering key topics such as customer discovery, marketing, and entrepreneurial finance. 
  • Opportunities to practice and refine your business pitch in front of the right audience to propel your startup’s momentum. 
  • Engagement with the Ames entrepreneurial ecosystem through specially-hosted networking events. 
  • Weekly accountability meetings with Pappajohn Center staff, advisors, and mentors. 

Who is Eligible: 

  • Currently-enrolled Iowa State University undergraduate and graduate students or recent graduates (within the last six months). 
  • Students of any major or classification. 
  • Part-time or full-time students. 
  • Individuals or student teams. 
  • All ventures are welcome, regardless of industry or stage. 

To learn more about CYstarters, attend one of the upcoming info sessions: 

APPLY NOW! The application deadline is 11:59 PM on March 10, 2024. Students selected for the next round will pitch their business idea on March 21, with final selections announced in mid-April. 

For more information and to apply, visit 

For inquiries, contact the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship team at or 515-296-6532. 

Don’t miss your chance to be part of CYstarters – apply now and turn your entrepreneurial vision into reality!