First-Round Judge: Mike Upah

About Mike Upah

Mike Upah is the Director of the Ames Seed Capital Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund which makes equity investments in business growing in Central Iowa. In his role he has responsibilities for evaluating investment opportunities, communicating with portfolio companies, and managing the operations of the Fund.

Concurrently, Upah serves as the Chief Financial Officer of iSEEK Corporation which provides engineering-related software to companies such as John Deere, Embraer, Kohler and Peterbilt. Prior to those positions Upah directed business development operations for the Iowa State University Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. In that role, Upah worked with dozens of startup technologies companies ranging from information technology to human drug development, and provided guidance to companies in the areas of market assessment, intellectual property, technology licensing, business plan development, private equity fundraising, and business operations.

Upah has spent the majority of his career working in the startup phase of business, including as a founder of RCI Environmental Consulting Services in Dallas, Texas, and thereafter at Kreg Tool Company of Huxley, Iowa. Mike is an alum of Iowa State University and currently serves on the boards of iSEEK Corporation, Innovative Energy Solutions, Parametric Studios, the Huxley Development Corporation and also for both Harrisvaccines and FloMetrix prior to their acquisitions.

Mike Upah - First Round Judge for the 2023 InnoVenture Challenge