Which banks in Iowa are startup-friendly?

Last week, Will Lenzen, Jr, asked this question in the Startup Iowa Facebook group:

Hey gang, I’m trying to decide on where to bank with for my new business Cycle Studios. What bank do you recommend and why?

The question prompted several responses that broke down in two ways:

  • Personal experience as customers (particularly as individuals)
  • Financial institutions that have done things publicly that support startups (Veridian CU investing in Dwolla, Guaranty Bank supporting Vault Coworking in Cedar Rapids)

Both elements are important. What was missing, however, is the idea of financial institutions that have technology and programs that are designed to specifically help startup-stage businesses.

In fact, I've heard several stories about local banks who don't understand startups and therefore put unrealistic expectations on them as account holders.

Law firms have been all over this for years. They understand that by catering to the needs of high growth companies as they're figuring out their business model they have the opportunity to earn their business over the long term.

This, of course, prompts the question:

What are the specific banking needs of a startup?

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