2014 in startups: A year of progress for Corridor entrepreneurs

2014 in startups: A year of progress for Corridor entrepreneurs

Admittedly, I’m an advocate – some even call me a cheerleader – for startups and entrepreneurs in the great state of Iowa. But in many conversations over the past several weeks, it feels clear that 2014 was a transformative year for this community. Reflecting on the year (tis the season – find year end recaps on diversity and new urbanism, too), it seems like there has been a lot of forward motion in resources available to entrepreneurs, funding for new ideas and overall awareness of Iowa’s innovators in the Corridor and beyond. Of course, there’s also plenty left to do. While we saw some advances in diversity in the entrepreneurial community, more could be done to welcome women, people of color and different age groups into the innovation community. The maker movement seemed full of potential at the beginning of the year, but as 2014 comes to a close there have been some stumbles, including the Cedar Rapids Science Center moving (again). A recent statewide report suggests Iowa could do much more to keep up with peer states, looking at numbers like total entrepreneurial activity and jobs created by new businesses. These are the trends that I saw in 2014 – what are yours? Comment below or come visit us at an upcoming event. Iowa is definitely on the map Not that we ever had any doubts, but Iowa got some major national attention in 2014, and not just because it was a crazy (expensive) political year. Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and former chairman of the Startup America Partnership, created a whole bus tour to highlight startups in great Midwestern cities, and Rise of the Rest visited…