I said last time that this week would be busy and that has certainly been the case.
We're excited to welcome Paul Singh and Dana Duncan back to Iowa for the second year as part of their 40+ city North American Tech Tour. Last year, we based the majority of the visit in downtown Des Moines with day trips to both Cedar Rapids and Ames. This year, we're changing things up. They'll start the trip with two days in Iowa City and before anchoring their Central Iowa visit at our our new Gravitate Valley Junction location in West Des Moines.
I'm excited to share that Iowa will once again be well represented on Paul Singh's North American Tech Tour. We had Paul and Dana in Des Moines for a few days last July—most likely the hottest days of the summer a/k/a the time I learned the term "heat dome"—filled with presentations, investor pitches, a slew of office hour meetings and day trips to both Cedar Rapids and Ames (here's the full recap).
The following is a look back at the things that really stood out in the Iowa innovation community in 2016. To create it, I combed through the past 51 issues of The Pull and grouped the highlights into three pretty handy categories: Acquisitions, Accelerators and Investment. Of course, there were several other items that I wanted to include that didn't fit as neatly into one of the categories so you'll find them at the end in the "The Year in Other Stuff" section.
Putting together a post like this really makes one appreciate how much ground we cover as a community in the course of a year. You're all pretty great.
Paul Singh shared something on his blog this week with regards to comparing many of the 38 startup communities (including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Ames) that he had visited throughout the last year: "In short, it’s pretty much the same everywhere."
Last week was busy.
From about 8 AM on Monday morning through 3 PM on Friday, we packed Paul Singh’s schedule full of presentations, meetups and office hours. When I first talked with Paul, just over a month ago, about potentially squeezing in an Iowa week on his North American Tech Tour he said that he wanted to come here to get to really know what it is like to be part of our startup community. He wanted to meet the people, see the companies and experience the life of an Iowa entrepreneur.
The Iowa Tech Tour starts on Monday! Tremendous thanks to everyone who has helped pull this together in a really short time frame: Deanna Bennett & John Jackovin in Des Moines, Jessalyn Holdcraft & Eric Engelmann in Cedar Rapids and Diana Wright & Sam Schill in Ames. It's going to be a great week!
The full tour schedule is available here but I want to highlight a few events where anyone and everyone can meet Paul Singh and join in the fun.
We've had the good fortune to be able to schedule events in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Ames that week so I hope that you'll be able to join us somewhere along the ride. If you're coming into Des Moines for the tour and need a place to land in between events or a spot to get work done for the day, come see us at Gravitate where we are hosting free/open coworking all week long. Our friends at Vault Coworking & Collaboration Space are making their space available on Thursday 7/21 for anyone needing a spot the day that the tour is visiting Cedar Rapids.
Matt Patane, technology and innovation reporter for the Des Moines Register and Geoff Wood, community builder at Gravitate, sit down for an in-depth discussion of the companies, events and ideas making news in the Iowa innovation community.
Topics discussed on this episode: Governor's STEM Council, Young African Leaders Initiative, Paul Singh's Iowa Tech Tour, NewBoCo & EntreFEST, Ag Startup Engine & Iowa State entrepreneurial programs, MERGE coworking space and prototype lab in Iowa City
Feedback, thoughts or suggestions? Hit us up on Twitter or email the show at email@example.com
Things have been coming together extremely fast in the last week for Paul Singh's Iowa Tech Tour (remember to click the Count Me In! button to get direct updates).
First of all, tremendous thanks to the folks who reached out to me after last week's announcement to help cover the final costs of bring Paul to Iowa for the week: Twilio and Square One DSM. With the support of these two organizations and the aforementioned Next Level Ventures, Iowa Venture Capital Association, Davis Brown Law Firm, NewBoCo and BrownWinick—Attorneys at Law we're in great shape for this series of events.
The online schedule will start to update very soon but for now I can let you in a few of the events that we have confirmed (events are in Des Moines unless otherwise noted).