About EDC

EDC was formed in 2003 with the mission to stimulate Iowa’s economic growth through the creation and expansion of high-impact businesses. More than 18 years later, EDC remains focused on this mission, having now supported more than 1,200 Iowa businesses who in turn have generated over $4 billion in positive economic impact.

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Who We Help

EDC is focused on growing high-impact, Iowa-based inter-state commerce businesses; ones that drive strong economic impact and fuel vital and sustainable communities. From medical and Ag products to SaaS businesses, EDC offers a full-range of support services designed to maximize your business’ potential.

How We Help

Each bringing over 20 years of private industry experience to the team, the staff at EDC have the needed experience and proven track record necessary to provide hands on, done it before support in a manner not available from any other resource.

Services We Provide: In addition to one-time advice and longer-term mentoring, when needed, EDC can become an extension of your team providing hands-on, “helping you do it” assistance in the following areas:

  • Customer Discovery / Market Research
  • Business Planning / Execution
  • Strategic Planning / Execution
  • IP Strategy
  • Financials Modeling and General Accounting
  • Capital Raising
  • Team building, Hiring / On Boarding / Training
  • Marketing Planning / Execution
  • Sales Planning / Execution
  • Development Planning / Execution
  • Finance Planning / Execution
  • Manufacturing / Production Planning / Execution
  • ERP System Selection and Management
  • Exit Strategy / Planning

Our Process: EDC uses a proven methodology for identifying the strengths and opportunities of a business, its team and its leadership.

Using CEO Curt Nelson’s book, The Recipe for Business Success as curriculum, the EDC team takes business owners through a rubric to score their current business situation and identify an action plan for growth. To start working with EDC, fill out our brief application.

EDC uses the Caliper® profile to identify a leader’s natural strengths as well as areas where improvement may be needed. This tool is also used to help leaders assemble highly effective and balanced work teams.


Who We Are

EDC’s team consists of seasoned business experts with a combined 100+ years of experience in a variety of industries. In addition, EDC has curated a network of trusted subject matter experts and assembled an esteemed Board of Directors to lend insights when applicable to the specific business situation.

Head Shot Curt Nelson

Curt Nelson

Position: President & CEO
Email: cnelson@edcinc.org

With over thirty-five years of successful national and international business creation and leadership experience, Curtis Nelson has directed the development and successful launch of over 100 new businesses and more than 500 new products for the communications, IT, military, transportation, medical, health, food, and gardening industries worldwide. Nelson is a seasoned public speaker, entrepreneur, investor, consultant, and three-time veteran of Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies® list (#48, #67, #225).

A 1974 graduate from the University of Iowa, Nelson holds a BBA in Marketing. He has been an active U of I alumnus, served seven years on the U of I Research Foundation BOD, is a director and officer on multiple private and public boards, and is also the author of The Recipe for Business Success®.

Nelson currently serves as President & CEO of EDC, Inc., a nationally recognized business accelerator which he founded in 2003. He is the President & CEO of CRN LLC, a business consulting organization, and AccelerateIT, LLC; manager of Iowa Seed Fund, LLC and Iowa Seed Fund II, LLC both seed-stage investment funds. Nelson is also co-founder and current President of the Iowa Venture Capital Association.

Curt Nelson

President & CEO

With over thirty-five years of successful national and international business...

Jane Burroughs

Position: VP of Operations and Program Funding
Email: jburroughs@edcinc.org

With over 25 years of operations experience, Jane Burroughs currently serves as VP of Operations and Program Funding for the Entrepreneurial Development Center. Jane provides EDC clients with operations mentoring and guidance from contracts and sourcing to materials management and procurement. Most recently, Jane was Director of Operations for RepelIT LLC, a start-up manufacturer of retail deer repellent distributed nationally. At RepelIT, she was responsible for setting up and managing the entire procurement, manufacturing and materials management process.

Prior to RepelIT, Jane was the Director of Materials for Crystal Group Inc., a designer/manufacturer for PC based server architecture specifically tailored for mission critical telecommunications, military and industrial deployment on a worldwide basis. At Crystal Group, Jane was responsible for purchasing, MRP, supplier identification and relationship management, production staging, and shipping and receiving. She tracked and reported on material COGS, inventory turns, obsolete inventory, and on-time delivery metrics on an annual basis.

Jane also previously worked at Rockwell as a Net Requirement Analyst and focused on inventory control and planning functions in the Materials/Purchasing Department.

Jane Burroughs

VP of Operations and Program Funding

With over 25 years of operations experience, Jane Burroughs currently...

Head Shot

Stacey Paoli

Position: Office Manager
Email: spaoli@edcinc.org

With over 28 years of experience in Finance and Administration, Stacey Paoli currently serves as the Office Manager for EDC. Her focus is to manage office operations, human resources, internal bookkeeping and accounting and vendor relationships for EDC. Additionally, she assists EDC entrepreneur clients with their bookkeeping and accounting needs. Stacey has been with EDC for more than 11 years.

Stacey’s past experience includes serving as the Administrative Supervisor in the Marion, Iowa, customer care center for US Cellular. During her tenure, she worked with executive management, developed training plans for the administrative staff, and created new database programs to track care center and industry trends. Prior to her employment with US Cellular, Stacey worked at Heartland Investments in the Operations department assisting brokers with trading and other financial operations.

In addition, she also served as the treasurer of the Arthur Elementary Parent Teacher Association for eight terms, served as the team treasurer for the Cedar Rapids Youth Hockey Association for five years and served on the Board of Directors of the Cedar Rapids High School Hockey Association in the capacity of Treasurer for three terms.

Stacey has attended courses at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and Western Wisconsin Technical College both located in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In addition, Stacey is a QuickBooks™ certified user and a Notary Public.

Stacey Paoli

Office Manager

With over 28 years of experience in Finance and Administration,...

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Meet Our Board of Directors

EDC Impact

For more than 18 years, the Entrepreneurial Development Center (EDC) has helped accelerate the growth of high impact Iowa companies. Since its establishment in 2003, EDC clients have in turn generated over $4 billion dollars of related economic impact.

As a not-for-profit business accelerator, EDC’s mission is to stimulate economic growth by assisting with the creation and expansion of high-impact Iowa businesses. EDC works with businesses of all types and sizes – from start-ups to well-established, multi-million-dollar entities – connecting needs with qualified community and state resources and providing hands-on professional business direction. Actively working with approximately 30 clients at any time, EDC also meets with more than 60 prospective clients each year.


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