Guest Post

The APEC "Women and the Economy" forum in Peru

In March UpCraft Club was part of the Small Business Administration's InnovateHER competition...and we WON! Since that competition, the SBA has been incredibly helpful in connecting us with opportunities to continue moving UpCraft Club forward and a month ago they asked if I'd like to travel to the APEC 'Women and the Economy' forum in Lima, Peru as part of the US State Department delegation. During the forum, Russia held a pitch competition, co-sponsored by the US and Chinese Taipei and UpCraft Club was asked to represent the United States!

Raising Capital—Private Offerings, Reg D Exemptions, and Use of a “Form D”

Raising capital for a new or growing company can be a challenging process, not only because it involves convincing people and investors that the company is worth investing money  into and its growth potential, but also because it can involve a myriad of complicated legal issues. Most capital raises involve the use of an attorney, ideally one that is knowledgeable in the area of the private offering of securities and understands the complexities of private offerings at the federal and state levels. This blog post will spend a few paragraphs setting the background for private offerings and the “exemptions” used and then go to describing the Form D that is filed with the Regulation D exemptions and what info, if any, parties interested in obtaining information on “deals” in Iowa can take from those Form Ds that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

Escaping the gravity

As with all good things, this chapter spent at Gravitate has come to an end for Bunchball. Despite the awesome amenities, people, and space at Gravitate, our future plans here in Des Moines require us to find a new, larger space. We’ve moved to the East Village, and we now call Market One home, just south of the Iowa Tap Room. We really trust that moving this close to 140+ tap handles of beer will be judged by history as a “good move.”

Gravitate to host U.Lab hub to transform business, society, and self

Geoff's note: The post below is from Lucas Freed, a local UX and creative professional who had the idea to bring the U.Lab Hub to Gravitate and will be facilitating locally.

If you’re interested in transforming your business, your society, or yourself—read on. There is a six week #MOOC (massive online open course) that begins on September 10th called U.Lab. It is called ‘massive’ because already there are over 10,000 people enrolled across the world! U.Lab is offered via the edX platform and is offered by MIT in partnership with the Presencing Institute. Oh yeah, and the best part is there is NO COST

Is this Silicon Valley? No, it's Iowa

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a year and a half since I had my first brush with the startup community in Des Moines. I was a journalism student in my last year of undergrad who was wholly unsure of what I wanted to do when I graduated.

I had just started freelancing for this startup-y tech blog—Silicon Prairie News—and found myself covering the final pitches of Startup Weekend Des Moines. I had no idea how to spell “start-up” (sorry, Geoff) much less what a Startup Weekend was. But looking back to those first few events (Dwolla’s Old MacDonald Hackathon being another), I can say with a fair amount of certainty they’re what sold me on this community of ours.  

Engaging your Startup Network

In 2012 Becker Underwood was sold to BASF, the chemical company out of Germany, for $1.02 Billion (yes, an Iowa ag company sold for over a billion dollars with little public fanfare.) I knew that a 110,000 employee behemoth like BASF was not going to be the right fit for someone like me, so after a little over a year of helping them through the transition I set off to find a new endeavor using my “Startup Network”.

A guest post by Aaron Horn

Help needed: a genealogy project of Iowa commerce

Last week, I suggested leveraging a StickShift-enabled kiosk to Amanda Styron West for EntreFEST in May. We discussed the idea a bit and settled on a timeline of "Entrepreneurship in Iowa". Something that would be able to catalog not just what is going on today but what went on before us. Think of it as a genealogy project for commerce.

A guest post by Jon Thompson