Next Level Ventures offers 1MC peek behind the deal-making door

How do startups navigate the world of venture capital? Next Level Ventures principal partner Scott Hoekman broke it down for the audience at Wednesday’s 1 Million Cups presentation. The whole presentation is available on Facebook @1MillionCupsDSM, but here’s a few takeaways to note if you’re unfamiliar.

Next Level Ventures is seeking its next eight to 10 Iowa companies to invest in, Hoekman said. The firm focuses on companies in advanced manufacturing, bioscience and information technology services, typically investing $1 million to $4 million for a minority ownership stake in up to four companies a year – out of nearly 100 Iowa-based startups seeking their investment.

Yet, there’s space for other venture capital firms to support Iowa businesses, Hoekman told the audience.  

The Iowa City area is lacking in a seed fund or angel group to help multiple local biomedical companies get off the ground, and Des Moines does not have a fund that follows startups out of the Global Insurance Accelerator to help those companies grow.

Next Level Ventures is raising capital for its second fund, and has tracked employment figures for portfolio companies since its founding in 2014: companies have created 100 net new jobs in Iowa, and pay an average wage of $82,000.

“We think that’s a pretty good benefit for the new types of jobs that are created here in Iowa,” Hoekman said.