After 11 weeks of development, new and upcoming entrepreneurs will present their business plans to the Ames community.

The Iowa State Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship will host the fourth cohort for the CYstarters Student Accelerator program. The Demo Day is an event for business students to present their projects to the community and the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions or provide feedback to the students.

Demo Day is open to the public and will take place 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the Iowa State Economic Development Core Facility in the Iowa State Research Park.  

CYstarters is an 11-week summer accelerator geared towards students that are currently enrolled or will graduate within six months, and are focusing on a business idea or looking to start one. The program allows them to receive $6,500 individually or up to $13,000 per group to fund their ideas. Throughout the summer, the students worked with mentors at Iowa State to build and strengthen their entrepreneurial goals.

Diana Wright, program coordinator for the Department of Economic Development and Industry Relations, said she noticed there was a gap between the classroom and the working world. 

“This offers much more of the next level of support for students, where students pursuing a business or business idea can take a full summer program and spend time working within their business,” Wright said. 

The program is intended to speed up the process of creating a business and the event is an opportunity for students to work both together and with professionals to develop their ideas. 

“A lot of times students can be working on an idea—and all across campus students are doing it—a lot of times they’re on their own and alone,” Wright said. “[...] so it’s really to give them all the resources that they would need, and the people and the connections, that would get them up and running.”  

Demo Day will host 15 students that will pitch their business plans to the community and present their milestones. Wright said the event will also include awards to the alumni of the program and students will have the opportunity to share the impact CYstarters had on their business experience. 

More information about CYstarters can be found here and those who are interested in the event are encouraged to RSVP to the website. 

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