In a partnership between Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD), Heartland Forward, and Builders and Backers, the Idea Accelerator will launch its inaugural program in January 2022. The new 90-day virtual accelerator is focused on finding creative solutions to community problems in Iowa City. Every applicant that is accepted will receive $5,000 to test out their business idea. Heartland Forward piloted the program in Oklahoma and Mississippi cities this summer before bringing it to Iowa City as part of its goal to fund and support 1,000 builders in the heartland by 2023. “We’re excited to work with Heartland Forward and Builders and Backers to provide a low-risk, experimental environment for people in our community to test their ideas and bring new businesses to life. We’re certain that this program will serve as a powerful conduit for our community’s existing entrepreneurial programming,” Liz Hubing, director of marketing, community development and entrepreneurship at ICAD, said in a statement. A virtual information session is scheduled for today from 3 to 4 p.m., and the application deadline is Dec. 19. Learn more and submit an application