College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

It’s a CYstarters summer

Nine Cyclone Engineers are involved in the Iowa State Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship CYstarters program this summer, pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams.  

The engineering innovators, including undergraduates, grad students and recent graduates, will be completing an 11-week program consisting of skill development, mentorship, and funding, to build their innovative businesses. This is the sixth cohort of start-ups to experience CYstarters. 

Cole Schumacher, recent graduate in electrical engineering, teamed up with Isaac Meyerholz to co-found Renew Bamboo. Renew Bamboo helps promote a more sustainable lifestyle by providing handcrafted bamboo products to an international market. Women in India make their products, and Renew Bamboo works to empower these fellow entrepreneurs. 

Gabe Huinker, recent graduate in software engineering, founded RecHelper; RecHelper manages gear and creates programs to fill in the gaps that university rec programs have. There are options to reserve equipment, customize modules, and create a better rec experience. 

Jacob Schmieder, currently pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, founded Instrument Lights. It is precisely as it sounds, adding a new dimension to music performance and production, attaching lighting controls to instruments. 

Logan Blom, a current mechanical engineering student, co-founded MasterGrass. MasterGrass is a lawn care business, providing quality fertilization, mowing, landscaping and more to Ames and Ankeny. He has goals to complete a fully autonomous lawnmower and growing MasterGrass to be the preferred lawn care company.

Abraham Polonia-Suarez and Eric Diaz are recent master’s graduates in industrial design, with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. They teamed up to co-found City City Bang Bang; their mobile program allows residents to participate in making changes to their cities. City City Bang Bang shifts city planning to focus on bringing the city to the residents, not how it has been in the past.  

Issac Bradford, a current agricultural engineering student, founded Filtraponics. Filtraponics teaches sustainability by using fish and plants to demonstrate the nitrogen cycle, food webs, and other hands-on educational aquaponics. 

Carissa Moyna, a recent graduate in civil engineering, and Andrew Frank, a current computer engineering student, co-founded Core Compost Living. Their business encourages apartment dwellers to reduce their carbon footprint through indoor composting and food waste pickup.