CYstarters is an 11-week summer accelerator for Iowa State students or recent graduates to focus on their startup or business idea. Students will receive $6,500 for individual or up to $13,000 per student team for the opportunity to spend their summer dedicated to achieving their startup goals and pursuing entrepreneurial aspirations. The selection process is competitive, with only a limited number of spots for the summer accelerator.
Applications for the summer 2024 cohort will open winter 2023/spring 2024.
CYstarters is an 11-week program that normally runs from mid-May to the end of July. In 2023, the program will run from Wednesday, May 17 through Wednesday, August 2.
CYstarters is the ultimate experience. If you have an idea that you want to pursue as a business, definitely take on this program. The connections and resources that you are exposed to are amazing, and you won’t regret taking on the venture. This program does not require you to have previous experience in business. Just come with passion and determination, and you’ll leave the program with great results!
— D’essence Morris, founder of HUSTLR.ESSENCE
Apparel, Merchandising, and Design ’22
CYstarters was amazing! I loved the community and the help that I got during this program. I learned so many valuable topics and lessons. I felt so supported throughout the whole process and really appreciate this program!
— Miranda Ekern, co-founder of Ekern Designs
The CYstarters Alumni Network starts right when the summer cohort experience ends for CYstarters entrepreneurs. Once a CYstarter, always a CYstarter.
What does that mean? There is a rich community that has been built for CYstarters over the last eight years. The CYstarters experience has helped over 120 ISU students and graduates start 92 businesses since the program began. Over 70% of the CYstarters are actively working on their business today, in another startup, or have started a different business.
What can you expect? Following the formal summer program, tap the circle of support and continue to access mentors, training, funding, and networking.
When does it end? Here’s the best part – it doesn’t! Whether you are two years down the road or ten, the Pappajohn Center team is always available as a resource as you grow personally and professionally.
Looking to contribute? CYstarters are encouraged to give back by being a mentor to future CYstarter cohorts. The best learning comes from people who have been in similar shoes. We rely on CYstarters to share advice with each other as well as newcomers.
At the heart of the CYstarters program is connection. The program helps to connect people bottom-up, top-down, outside in. We help to bridge connections to where people will find value and can make meaningful contributions. The mentorship program is team-based. Mentor matching is based on rapport, background, and mentor preferences.
To learn more about the program, join the CYstarters Mentor Network below.Join the CYstarters Mentor Network!
For questions about the program or how you can get involved, reach out to Megan Graettinger at email@example.com.