Top Angel Investors in Iowa

Last updated: January 29, 2024

In the past 5 years, Iowa has emerged as a great startup hub, especially for those businesses that can provide solutions to the market. From entrepreneurs to angel investors, a lot of businessmen have set their eyes on the startup market and are willing to boost the startup landscape.

Do you have such an idea that can turn the tables when properly funded?

Well, no need to worry. The following list highlights the top 5 angel investors in Iowa, along with their investment interests. 

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    Top 5 Angel Investors in Iowa

    Before we jump onto the list, it is important to understand their portfolio companies, investment range, and interests.

    Let’s move onto the list.

    Eric Engelmann

    LinkedIn: Eric Engelmann | LinkedIn

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: Fintech, Saas, Digital Business, Consumer Products, Biotech.

    Investment Stage: Early and Seed

    Eric Engelmann is the most experienced and active investor in Iowa. He has invested in more than 40 companies through many accelerator funds and on an individual basis. Prior to his experience, he acted as the General Partner at ISA Ventures. 

    When investing, Eric Engelmann invests in early-stage startups that are quickly growing and have a strong market plan. Similarly, Engelmann also looks for startups that are expanding and are in the seed stage.

    Aside from his funding activities, he has launched the Corridor Angels program to guide his portfolio companies. Engelmann also conducts many networking events and startup workshops to guide individuals about startups and their growth.

    The investment range of Eric Engelmann ranges from $25,000 to $1M. Some of his famous investments include:

    Payrailz: Payrailz is a digital payments company offering advanced bill payment and money transfer solutions to banks and credit unions. The company has raised a total of $20K.

    HowFactory: HowFactory developed a SaaS platform for small to medium-sized industrial companies to easily create, track, update, and manage processes. The company has raised a total of $555K.

    Gross-Wen Technologies: Gross-Wen Technologies is a biotechnology company that specializes in the fields of water quality, wastewater, and water nitrogen. The company has raised $7M in a Series A funding round.

    Next Level Ventures


    Website: Next Level Ventures - World's Leading Institute For Entrepreneurs and Investors

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Fintech, AGtech, Digital Businesses, Communications, and Software.

    Investment Stage: Early and Seed

    Next Level Ventures is a prominent, Des Moines-based venture capital firm that invests in tech-related businesses. The network was founded by Scott Hoekman in 2013 and has provided funding to more than 50 startups.

    Similarly, during the investment stage, the VC firm evaluates the strength of the management team, market size, uniqueness of the idea, and the company’s growth potential. Once the startup has been funded, the network provides expert mentorship through their portfolio companies and backs them through different startup stages.

    Next Level Ventures is currently managing over $300 Million in assets with a 30-company portfolio. The investment range of Next Level Ventures ranges from $500,000 to $10M. Some of their notable portfolio companies include:

    Payrailz: Payrailz is a digital payments company that offers advanced bill payment and money transfer solutions to banks. The company’s platform utilizes AI technology, security, cloud-based software, and a chatbot to expand the range of payment types. Payrailz has raised a total of $24.3M in funding.

    Workgroups DaVinci: Workgroups DaVinci, also known as MetaCommunications, is a provider of productivity and workflow management solutions. It offers project management, digital asset cataloging, and content review. The company has raised a total of $18M in funding.

    FarmlandFinder: FarmlandFinder is a provider of an online marketplace intended to make the world’s farmland information accessible. The company’s marketplace connects farmers with the right farmland and offers information on upcoming land sales. FarmlandFinder has raised a total of $3M in funding.

    Prairie Crest Capital


    Website: Prairie Crest Capital - Midwest Early Stage Venture Capital FirmPrairie Crest Capital

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: AGtech, Consumer Products, and Software.

    Investment Stage: Seed and Early

    Founded in 2016, Prairie Crest Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in tech-related startups. With founders like Mark White and Barry Adams they have invested in more than 6 ventures and continue to expand their portfolio.

    Even when the VC firm isn't active with its investment activities, it carefully invests in startups and only funds ventures that have significant growth potential. Similarly, Prairie Crest Capital focuses on early to mid-stage investments in technology companies located primarily in the Midwest, with a principal focus on the burgeoning AgTech sector.

    Aside from their investment activities, they assist remarkable entrepreneurs in achieving success by participating in sales calls, providing introductions to strategic partners, and actively recruiting new management team members and independent board members as needed.

    The investment range of Prairie Crest Capital ranges from $1M-$5M, depending on the startup. Notable portfolio companies are:

    Tradelanes: Tradelanes is a global trade market network platform that connects trade participants into a single document chain over the lifecycle of an international trade shipment. The platform digitizes the global supply chain and has raised a total of $11M in funding.

    Certintell: Certintell is a care management company that enables safety-net providers to make a lasting impact on the health of underserved patients through telehealth. Certintell has raised a total of $800K in funding.

    Hi Fidelity Genetics (HFG): HFG is a computational breeding company that uses novel sensors, data science, and statistical genetics to create the best crop plants in the world. Their technology platform helps farmers manage yield risks and has raised a total of $11.5M in funding.

    ManchesterStory Group


    Website: ManchesterStory - Investing in Game Changers

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Healthtech and Insure Tech.

    Investment Stage: Seed

    Founded in 2017, ManchesterStory Group is a venture capital firm that has funded more than 37 startups. With experienced founders like Dave Miles and Matt Kinley, ManchesterStory Group only funds companies that are bound to succeed with their exceptional market plans.

    Aside from their investment activities, ManchesterStory Group organizes a lot of networking events and mentorship programs to guide inexperienced businessmen about different aspects of a startup. They also host numerous workshops, thanks to their extensive network of mentors and teachers.

    As of 2024, ManchesterStory Group is backed by 24 Insurance Carriers, Brokers, and Wholesalers. They can fund startups upto $4M. Some of their previously funded companies are:

    OpenLoop: OpenLoop is a health tech platform. It aims to deliver full-stack, white-labeled clinical support to companies scaling virtual care services. OpenLoop had raised a total of $26.6M in funding.

    Goose Insurance Services: Goose Insurance Services is a consumer-focused insure-tech company. It offers several products and operates as a direct-to-consumer managing general agency & underwriter. Goose Insurance Services had raised a total of $8M in funding.

    Joyn Insurance: Joyn Insurance is an insurance technology company. It provides a faster, more accurate, and more transparent experience that saves time, costs, and frustration. Joyn Insurance had raised a total of $17.7M in funding.

    XP Health: XP Health is a health tech startup. It has developed an AI-powered vision benefits platform for employees. XP Health had raised a total of $22.1M in funding.

    Norman Sorenson

    LinkedIn: Norman Sorensen | LinkedIn

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: Crypto Market, Sciences, and Healthtech.

    Investment Stage: Early and Seed

    Norman Sorenson is also an angel investor who started funding startups some years back. Prior to his investment activities, Norman Sorenson had served as Executive Vice President of both Principal Financial Group, and Principal Life Insurance Company since 2007.

    Even when Norman Sorenson doesn't fund startups, he is still known to be one of the most successful angels in Iowa, as many of his portfolio companies have exited successfully. Thanks to his diverse experience in the investment community, Norman conducts some of the best mentorship programs and guides his portfolio companies.

    Similarly, he often shows interest in startups that present digital and tech-related solutions in the market. The investment range of Norman Sorenson can range upto several million dollars, depending on the startup sector and its growth potential. Notable portfolio companies are: 

    Solidus Labs: Solidus Labs is a crypto market integrity platform that safeguards crypto exchanges, financial institutions, and regulators globally against crypto market manipulation. Solidus Labs had raised a total of $45M in a Series B funding round.

    Chromatan: Chromatan is a biotechnology company that develops a biologics purification technology designed for single-use and continuous bio-manufacturing. The company offers continuous countercurrent tangential chromatography that enables continuous, single-use, and column-free purification. Chromatan had raised a total of $3.84M in funding.

    Thrive Bioscience: Thrive Bioscience is a science-based analytical and automation technology company that offers data, imaging, analytics, and automation for live cell biology. Thrive Bioscience had raised a total of $12.5M in funding.


    In a nutshell, angel investors are always looking out for startups that have a growth potential and can display profitability. It’s the businesses that need to work hard, present a great pitch deck, and secure funding from the investors.

    Good Luck!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: How to get a warm introduction to angel investors?

    A: To get a warm introduction to angel investors, make relationships within your professional network.

    Search for mutual connections or mentors who can vouch for your credibility and introduce you. Attend industry events, workshops, or startup networking gatherings to expand your network.

    Q: How do angel investors differ from venture capitalists?

    A: Angel investors and venture capitalists invest in startups but differ in their funding sources and investment stages. Angel investors use their funds, while venture capitalists manage pooled funds from institutional investors. Angel investors are more likely to invest in the early stages of a startup when it is still developing its concept and product, while venture capitalists typically invest in later stages when the startup has already demonstrated market traction and growth potential.

    Q: Do most angel investors fund late-stage startups?

    A: No!

    Most angel investors usually direct their investments towards early-stage startups rather than late-stage ones. Their focus lies in identifying promising ventures at their outset and contributing to their growth and success.

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