In her first year of the position, managing director Kerty Levy got to attend three in-person recruiting events for the newly established Techstars Iowa accelerator. After returning from the third event in San Francisco, Levy went into quarantine at her home for two weeks. Every recruitment event since for the inaugural class, which has not been finalized yet, has been online. 

“We’ve leveraged podcasts, we’ve leveraged [virtual] summits like the Techstars Summit. We have this thing called Ask Me Anything, where we invite people to come ask us anything about the program,” Levy said. “Other than those [initial] three events, my recruiting has been 100% virtual.” 

The change in environment has led Techstars Iowa to reconsider how the accelerator will host the class, which is scheduled to begin on Sept. 8. Techstars will be flexible to consider public health recommendations, state and local directives, and the ability of founders to travel to Des Moines. 

“If we can get people together even just for the very beginning in September so we can have some class bonding in person, I would love to do that,” Levy said. “There are other things that come into play -- people might have home situations in a different city that require them being local. … I need to be flexible on all fronts. First and foremost is safety.”