Regional entrepreneurs are bridge-builders. They want to get to know you and understand your ideas. They are known for openly sharing what has worked – and what hasn’t. These regional entrepreneurs can advise you on how to tap into coworking, seminars, events and free sessions with professionals. Where does the regional start-up community meet on a regular basis?
10 PEOPLE YOU SHOULD GRAB COFFEE WITH
IF YOU’RE NEW TO IOWA’S CREATIVE CORRIDOR
- Search the Corridor
Neighbors getting together to learn something, do something, or share something. Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups and makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities. Meetup's mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference.
- Developer Group
TechCorridor.io is a developer group in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. If you're interested in programming, the intertubes and whatnot, this is the group for you. Join us at one of our meetups!
- Search the Corridor
Eventbrite is the world's largest self-service ticketing platform, hosting a vibrant collection of live experiences to fuel people's passions and enrich their lives. Organizers use Eventbrite to plan, promote and sell tickets to events of all sizes, while event-goers can easily find and buy tickets to events that match their interests.
- Coworking Space
The Iowa City CoLab is a coworking space. Spaces for you and your laptop, your off-site development team, or maybe your start-up company. Events, people and ideas come together and further economic development. A program of the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD).
- Coworking and Collaboration Space
Vault is a community of founders, innovators, entrepreneurs, starters and creatives. In short, we're big idea people, and we're building the bright future of Iowa together. Join the community and get connected to inspiring people, new opportunities, resources for your projects, and if you're looking for a place to work too, we have an awesome brand new shared office.
- Coworking Space
The Coralville CoLab is a full-time coworking space at 2852 Coral Court in Coralville, next to Innovative Software Engineering and near the UI Research Park and the Grand Rail Development. It’s a space for you and your laptop, your start-up or early stage business, or for off-site team meetings. CV CoLab CA mix of private offices and dedicated co-working spaces are available.
- Coworking Space
The North Liberty CoLab is a full-time coworking space located at Liberty Plaza at 215 Highway 965 Suite 1, in North Liberty. The location is between West Cherry and Zeller street. It’s a space for you and your laptop. It’s a space for start-up or early stage businesses. It’s a space to collaborate and network with individuals and resources to assist with advancing your business.
CONFERENCES AND FESTIVALS
- Iowa City, Iowa
Mission Creek Fesival is dedicated to inspiring and building the arts and culture community in Eastern Iowa. Programming focuses on literary readings, music performances, comedic performances, film screenings, public lectures, local food culture, and educational outreach. Each year the festival utilizes the existing cultural geography of Iowa City – bookstores, clothing stores, performance venues, and movie theaters – turning the downtown into an easily-navigated nexus of music, art, and transformative experiences.
The Innovation EXPO is designed for entrepreneurs, creatives, financial resources and business leaders in Iowa to connect, help our region grow more new business, create jobs, keep our region vibrant and globally competitive - and to celebrate entrepreneurs. It's really all about the entrepreneurs. Budding or existing - they are our future. The innovators. The risk takers. The job creators. Meet dozens of entrepreneurs. See & touch their products. Connect with potential partners.
EntreFEST is designed for business owners, high-growth startup founders, innovators inside existing companies, and economic development professionals working to attract talent and foster entrepreneurial growth in their communities. This conference offers three days of game-changing connections, opportunities and inspiration. Supported by over 50 private and public organizations supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in the Midwest.
- Cedar Rapids
Trust your crazy ideas. Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event that brings together Cedar Rapids designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to do amazing things.
- Iowa City
Startup Weekend is a global, grassroots movement of creative and empowered people who are learning the basics of launching new ideas. Anyone is welcome to pitch their idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial and community leaders.
- Pitch Competitions
The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) sponsors several competitions throughout the year in which UI faculty, staff, students, UIRF, Founders Club, and the general public can compete to raise money to start or grow their startups.
- Accelerator Program | Pre/Post Accelerator Program
The Accelerator Program runs August - November, but has optional pre- and post-accelerator sessions. The Pre-Accelerator is made available to selected finalists and is a free, virtual program. It focuses heavily on customer discovery and validating your Business Model Canvas. Applicants who can demonstrate a validated BMC have a much, much higher chance of being admitted to the full program. Post-Accelerator, teams are welcome to remain in the facility and build their businesses. We’ll take the teams on investor roadshows to Midwestern angel groups, and provide ongoing support for software development and other needs as the business grows.
- Online Pitch Competition
Dream Big Grow Here runs from December through May. It starts with an online application and voting, followed by an in-person industry specific pitch-off for a chance to earn $5,000. Participating in Dream Big Grow Here will give your business wide-spread publicity and enhance valuable skills including social media, promotion, and business planning. Unlike business plan competitions which attract only small numbers of deeply committed entrepreneurs, Dream Big Grow Here attracts hundreds of entrepreneurs at different stages of business development and across many industries.
Upcoming events sponsored by John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, including pitch competitions.