Solid research and the right connections can change the trajectory of a new business venture. But how do you hook eager investors, flesh out your business plan, and flag potential problems without spending months searching on Google and attending meet-ups?
Enter Delaware IQ, a web-based platform that is streamlining research and networking efforts for entrepreneurs by offering key data points, connections and resources to grow their business in Delaware.
The Delaware IQ website is an aggregator of entrepreneurial resources throughout Delaware, according to Dan Murphy, who launched the platform in March 2019 with HeliumIQ CEO and founder Steve Boerner and co-founder David Gritz, in conjunction with the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.
The platform features a slew of other categories, including events, support organizations (such as Delaware Small Business Center and First Fund Program), jobs, and individual investors and mentors who are given full profiles with listed skill sets and experience.
Users can zero in on a specific entrepreneurial group, like youth entrepreneurs, and learn about related competitions, professional services, or advice.
“We saw a bridge that needed to be gapped for the entrepreneurship community and we wanted to bring it all together so that anybody at any time could access and connect with other individuals, investors and mentors,” says Murphy, vice president of regional ecosystems for HeliumIQ, the parent company of Delaware IQ.
Let’s say a high school student who’s heard about entrepreneurship and innovation has an interest in learning more. Delaware IQ invites them on an “entrepreneurship journey” where they can find accelerators, incubators, opportunities to test out ideas they have for business, even find lab space and investors.
“Things really start to move when they see there’s opportunity there,” says Murphy.
Murphy says the team loaded a variety of resources to the site, and hopes the buzz will propel Delaware businesses, universities, investors and others to share their listings and events to create a network of people communicating with each other — a hyper-focused “LinkedIn” for the entrepreneurial community.
“We’re so passionate about Delaware, and we want to shape it to become an entrepreneurial hub; we want to have people, innovation and support get on Delaware IQ so they can intermingle and connect in the most efficient and effective way possible,” says Murphy. “We want to see Delaware grow to its full potential.”