StartUpCity Spencer Receives Ripple Effect Grant

Iowa Network Services (INS), located in West Des Moines, Iowa, announced the award of a Ripple Effect community planning grant to StartUpCity Spencer, a technology startup incubator and collaborative workspace located in Spencer, Iowa. A $5,000.00 grant was made to StartUpCity Spencer to support the incubator’s technical assistance to entrepreneurs in Northwest Iowa. INS supports Spencer’s efforts to prepare the community for the newest and most innovative technology jobs and startup businesses. The INS grant was applied for by Spencer Municipal Utilities (SMU), the city’s full-service utility provider. In addition to the INS commitment, prior financial contributions to the incubator have been made by the city of Spencer, SMU, Clay County, local banks, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and other private donors. “INS supports the emergence of early-stage, technology-based businesses and is pleased that we can assist Spencer’s efforts with support of these companies through their start-up incubator,” states Ron Keller, INS President/CEO. “Spencer is a direct enterprise customer of INS that receives end-to-end communication service. Our grant will enable StartUpCity Spencer to provide significant technical assistance to entrepreneurs in the area.”

The Ripple Effect partnership alliance between INS and Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) is designed to advance the business and community development vitality of rural Iowa by partnering with the Independent Telecommunications Companies and partnering municipalities in their economic development initiatives. The program provides financial and technical assistance to business and industry and communities, through local telecommunication providers, to stimulate growth and development in rural Iowa. The program makes available low-interest loans to business applicants and planning grants to communities and their economic development partners for various types of community development projects. INS has committed $1 million dollars to this rural Iowa initiative. Independent Telecommunications Companies are required to match the financial assistance provided by Ripple Effect.



Other Ripple Effect services include financial packaging for development projects; research and education; awareness and training; business marketing and outreach; and development project facilitation including direct financial assistance through loans and grants from INS. For decades INS, through Iowa’s Independent Telecommunications Companies and IADG, on behalf of the Rural Electric Cooperatives, have provided leadership, vision and commitment to rural communities.

For more information about this grant or the Ripple Effect program, contact Susan Cosner, Vice President, Community Initiatives, IADG;, 515.223.4817; and on Twitter@insrippleeffect.

About Iowa Network Services and the INS Family of Companies (

Iowa Network Services (INS) was founded as a “centralized equal access” company in the United States. Privately held by 122 Iowa Independent Telecommunications Companies, INS has had middle mile fiber optics in place since 1989. The INS Network delivers the latest in telecommunications services and continues to expand. Telephony, core network transport, Internet, dedicated fiber, Internet Protocol video, data center facilities, network management, technical support and contact center services, information technology, and HR outsourcing are among the many products and services offered to communications companies and enterprise businesses. The INS Family of Companies includes Alliance Technologies, Inc., an information technology company; Alliance Connect, a statewide competitive local exchange carrier; Merit Resources, a Professional Employer Organization; and Caleris, an Iowa-based company offering outsourced contact center services primarily to telecommunication and technology businesses. INS also is affiliated with iWireless, a statewide cellular partner with T-Mobile. For more information, visit

About Iowa Area Development Group (

Iowa Area Development Group is the marketing and economic development office for Iowa’s member-owned rural electric cooperatives and select municipal electric utilities. IADG has assisted with over 1,400 successful business expansions and start-up projects. This growth represents capital investment of more than $5.5 billion and 37,000 jobs for Iowa. The Iowa Area Development Group was established in 1985 to promote and strengthen rural Iowa development opportunities with no-cost services that include building and site selection, financial packaging, research and education, marketing, and other technical assistance.