About Next Level Ventures

Next Level Ventures is a venture capital firm which invests in growing companies that are based only in Iowa. We typically invest $0.5 million to $4 million for a minority ownership position. Our team is looking for Iowa companies that have the potential to become big opportunities.

We provide capital and strong management expertise to help your company to grow quickly. Next Level Ventures is proud and excited to contribute to Iowa’s economic development and startup ecosystem.

Iowa Sign

Watch to learn how we invest in Iowa.

Ped Mall in Iowa City. Image by Alan Light

Our Portfolio

We have backed several exciting Iowa-based businesses (see below), and we are seeking new Iowa companies for our second fund.

Capital: We typically invest $0.5 to $4 million for a minority ownership position in each company. Through our investment partners, we can do even larger transactions. We generally invest for three to seven years.

Areas of Focus:  We focus on Iowa businesses that can scale rapidly and operate in the advanced manufacturing, bioscience, and information technology sectors. These companies generally have a clear path to $1 million in annual sales and a promising future with strong revenue growth.

Approach:  We are proactive with our portfolio companies by serving on boards, providing oversight, generating strategic opportunities, and expanding globally. Plus we drive our portfolio companies to profitable outcomes for the entrepreneurs, employees, managers, and investors.

Private systematic program to fund AgTech entrepreneurs and help them towards success through mentorship and financial support

Website: www.agstartupengine.com

Directors: Kevin Kimle and Joel Harris
Location: Ames, IA

Private investment funds to support high-growth start-ups in Ames, IA and other Story County areas

Website: www.amesedc.com

CEO: Dan Culhane
Location: Ames, IA

Integrated HCM software; merger of BirdDogHR, ExakTime, and InfinityHR

Website: www.arcoro.com

CEO: John O'Hara

Locations: AZ / CA / IA

Telehealth software and virtual care solutions

Website: Certintell.com
CEO: Ben Lefever
Location: Des Moines, IA

Enterprise-level video conference and language translation solutions

Website: www.getconnectivity.com
CEO: Tom Kielty
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

Remote management for livestock facilities

Website: gosentinel.co/
CEO: BJ Brugman
Location: Ames, IA

Software for online payments and money transfers

Website: www.dwolla.com

CEO: Brady Harris
Location: Des Moines, IA

Digital tool set for farmland professionals

Website: www.farmlandfinder.com
CEO: Steven Brockshus
Location: Des Moines, IA

Software to create interactive educational applications

Website: www.builtbyhlt.com
CEO: Alec Whitters
Location: Coralville, IA

Software and hardware for power over ethernet smart building systems

Website: www.igor-tech.com

CEO: Steven L’Heureux

Location: West Des Moines, IA

Software and data for loan originators

Website: www.lenderclose.com
CEO: Omar Jordan
Location: West Des Moines, IA

IoT platform designed to improve workplace safety and reduce workers’ comp claims

Website: www.makusafe.com

CEO: Gabriel Glynn
Location: West Des Moines, IA

Software to manage all HVAC-related design, production, and installation

Website: msuite.tech
CEO: Britton Langdon
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

B2B software to create dynamic documents from data automatically

Website: www.pitchly.com

CEO: Ryan Gerhardy
Location: Des Moines, IA

Long term care prescription management

Website: www.smartscripts.com
CEO: Todd Thompson
Location: Washington, IA

Mobile advertising software solution for companies

Website: taponitdeals.com
CEO: Katie Castillo-Wilson
Location: Davenport, IA

Software that enables 3D design collaboration across the extended enterprise

Website: www.vertexvis.com

CEO: Dan Murray
Location: Ames, IA

Software for quantitative pulmonary analysis

Website: www.vidalung.ai

CEO: Susan Wood

Location: Coralville, IA

Software for clinicians to remotely monitor their patients at home

Website: www.webcarehealth.com
President: Teresa Sieck

Location: Ankeny, IA

Software for project management & workflow automation for marketing and creative teams

Website: www.workgroups.com
CEO: Todd Skokan
Location: Des Moines, IA

Software for talent management and compliance

Website: www.birddoghr.com

CEO: Todd Skokan

Location: Urbandale, IA

Iowa is the number one state in the US -- US News & World Report

Iowa Windmill. Image by Chanzi

Our Team

Managed by experienced investors (collectively we have invested over $100 million of equity) and operators (CEO, CFO, and other executive positions).

The Principals are originally from Iowa, and we are dedicated to providing strong investment returns to our investors, advice and support to our portfolio, and economic growth to communities in Iowa.

Craig Ibsen

Managing Principal

Duane Harris


Scott Hoekman


Dave Tucker


Michael Perrin

Senior Associate

Korbin Sesker


Barbara Gooch

Director of Administration

Tej Dhawan

Senior Advisor

Todd Skokan

Senior Advisor

Ryan Gerhardy

Senior Advisor

Iowa ranks 7th in “cost of doing business” and 10th in “business friendliness” -- CNBC

Great River Bridge in Burlington. Image by Jake Boyd

In the News



Next Level Ventures Announces Investment in Distynct's $500,000 Seed Round





Next Level Ventures Announces Investment in FarmlandFinder’s $3 Million Round

MakuSafe Secures Nearly $3 Million in Additional Capital



CB Insights honors Next Level Ventures

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