Press Release

First-of-its-Kind, Iowa

Venture Studio Launches

Jess Greiner

VP of Marketing

November 27, 2023

Three Midwest innovators team up to found Novy,

a healthcare-focused studio

Cedar Rapids, IA | November 27, 2023 – Three experienced Iowa startup leaders announced today the launch of Novy, the first venture studio in the state of Iowa. Novy will co-found, fund, and grow software companies starting in the healthcare industry. 

Each company will receive up to $1 million in direct capital investment, two full-time executive leaders, in-house product development support, and a full suite of back office services including finance and human resources for a total investment of over $2 million.

“There’s nothing like this in Iowa. The venture studio model surrounds founders with all of the resources they need to build rapidly with the appropriate funding, talent, and network. I have seen firsthand how venture studios can strengthen the startup ecosystem, and create successful businesses,” said Krista Martin, one of the founding partners.

The three partners, David Tominsky, Krista Martin, and Eric Engelmann are well-known for starting, leading, advising, and investing in startups and tech companies. Combined, they’ve worked with hundreds of startups for over a decade. 

Tominsky founded an IT recruiting company, then led Iowa Startup Accelerator. Most recently, he was the Chief Relationship Officer at NewBoCo, where he led their technical and creative services teams building products and prototypes for startups. Martin has operated and advised many startups as a product management and growth executive. Before starting her own consulting business, Krista was the second employee at Boardable and helped grow the business from launch to $5M in revenue as the Vice President of Product and Growth. Engelmann founded healthcare software company Geonetric in Cedar Rapids, as well as non-profit NewBoCo and its Iowa Startup Accelerator program, and venture capital fund ISA Ventures.

“No one has built a venture studio in Iowa before, so we’re building it from our shared experiences and extensive research into the top venture studios from around the world. We'll run our ideation and validation phases first and expect to create our first company in 2024,” said Tominsky.

Novy plans to build a team of 15 by the end of 2024 to focus on creating and growing highly scalable technology companies in the Midwest. Novy will be extraordinarily selective in the companies it chooses to co-found, expecting only one or two per year. 

“This fills a major gap in the region,” said Engelmann. “We have venture capital, we have accelerators, we have fractional executives, but it’s piecemeal and fragmented. This brings everything together in one place.”

The team has defined a six stage process: Ideation and Validation led by Tominsky, Creation and Growth led by Martin, and Spinout and Exit led by Engelmann. The process is designed to repeatedly build scalable healthcare software companies. 

“Novy could be a game changer for some of the healthcare ideas being formulated at The University of Iowa,” said Jon Darsee, the University’s Chief Innovation Officer. “The combination of substantial capital with executive leadership is very hard to come by, and this can unlock a lot of the University’s research potential.”

If you are interested in co-founding a business with Novy, you are encouraged to submit an idea application.


About Novy

Founded in 2023 with the mission to turn good ideas into great companies, Novy is a Midwest venture studio that provides capital, guidance, and executive talent to innovative healthcare software startups across the country.

For more information, visit  

Media Contact

Jess Greiner

VP of Marketing

P: 319-316-3085