Trailblazing from Fellowship Program to Investment Analyst

We recently caught up with Micah Walker, InnoVenture Iowa’s first Fellow, to talk about his experience with the InnoVenture Iowa Fellowship Program and what’s next for his career.

Micah, what attracted you initially to the program?

I wanted the opportunity to explore every career field surrounding entrepreneurship. Getting the chance to work in venture capital is not an opportunity that presents itself very often.

What was your overall experience like?

InnoVenture Iowa helped me grow as a professional by putting all the experience I’ve learned from other internships, into real situations. I felt like I was completely part of the team and my actions throughout the Fellowship Program directly impacted some of our team’s shared goals.

What were some of the more valuable aspects of your Fellowship?

Learning more about venture capital as a whole, understanding the different language and terms, learning how to conduct meetings with founders.

You recently pitched a startup to the InnoVenture Iowa Investment Committee, tell us about that experience…

Pitching a startup to the investment committee was a daunting task at first but I enjoyed how light-hearted and open the committee was to help me learn. Since my first pitch, to the last few that I did towards the end of my fellowship, I felt like I grew a lot within the Fellowship role. Consequently, my ability to confidently pitch a company to the committee grew as well.

And the Investment Committee ultimately voted yes to invest in your recommended company, didn’t they? Can you walk us through that process?

Yes! Working with Salin247 was an easier process than I initially thought it would be. I worked directly with Dave (the founder) to help gather all the information needed as we proceeded. Being a part of the Iowa entrepreneurial ecosystem and working with CyBIZ Lab before joining the InnoVenture team helped me understand how to conduct research on agricultural technology which is beneficial in helping me research Salin 247’s market and competition. Ultimately the committee did vote yes to invest in the company.

You also have your own startup. Tell us a bit about what you’ve been working on as a founder.

I’m the founder of Stratus IAC, an innovative apparel company specializes in designing ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) shoes. While working with InnoVenture Iowa, I was also working on my own shoes and made strides within the design process and development of our prototype. I’m currently still looking for manufacturers around Iowa to help prototype our initial shoe.

The Stratus IAC Shoe – Designed by Micah Walker

Did the InnoVenture Iowa Fellowship Program influence your career goals?

I really enjoy venture capital and I can see myself working in venture cap long-term and making a career out of this field. I’ve been entrepreneurial my entire life. It started with a dream of designing my own shoe and competing in my first collegiate pitch competition after my sophomore year of high school. As I grew into my Fellowship role at InnoVenture Iowa, it felt like second nature to me.

What advice would you give to future Fellows looking to join our program?

Be willing to learn and don’t be afraid to meet with founders. At the end of the day, they’re asking for your aid, so be confident in yourself and your abilities.



InnoVenture Iowa is pleased to announce that Micah has joined the team permanently, as the new Investment Analyst. For more information on the InnoVenture Iowa program, email