Geoff's Blog: EntreFEST & Paul Singh's Tech Tour

Every Wednesday Geoff publishes "The Pull", a digest of the top news for the Iowa innovation community that week. The following is the introduction to Issue #199.

I said last time that this week would be busy and that has certainly been the case. Thursday and Friday were all about the return of EntreFEST and I'm happy to share that despite the one year break the event hasn't missed a beat.

I've read countless tweets and heard from a lot of people on the great sessions they attended during those two days in Iowa City but I must confess that I dedicated most of my time to my favorite EntreFEST tradition: hanging out in the Ped Mall and catching up with friends and colleague from all over the state who had gathered together in that one place. It doesn't happen often but I really appreciate opportunities—like EntreFEST—when it does.

I also participated in another EntreFEST tradition: staying out way too late on Thursday night. This year the venue of choice featured karaoke and while that made Friday morning start a bit slow I smile every time I think about how many folks from Iowa's entrepreneurial community I've seen try their hand at imitating the works of 90's boy bands.

Since EntreFEST wrapped, we've been hosting Paul Singh, Dana Duncan and their North America Tech Tour all over Greater Des Moines. This year they brought angel investor friends from Baltimore, Ann Arbor and Fort Wayne along for the visit, too, so its been fun to show off our community over the past few days. 

The Airstream is parked on the street in front of our new place in Valley Junction so West Des Moines has been home base for most of their 1-on-1 meetings, but we've also been up to Urbandale to meet with the Mayors and Economic Development officials from Urbandale, Clive and Ankeny and we've been downtown to tour Gravitate, Dwolla, the Global Insurance Accelerator and Square One DSM. Yesterday afternoon, the whole group spent a few hours in Ankeny meeting with folks from Ankeny Angels, FIN Capital, Ames Seed Capital and Plains Angels and talking about investment strategy.

The Tech Tour wraps up today so the last chance to meet the crew on this visit is to attend the Full Time Founders meetup tonight at our place in Valley Junction (318 5th St). If you're working full time on your company or have a side project startup that is to the point of earning revenue, come out and join us at 6 PM. This was my favorite part of the Tech Tour last year so I hope we'll see you there.