Four walls, some desks, free coffee and community

Four walls, some desks, free coffee and community

With a new location and new legal structure, Vault Coworking is home for Cedar Rapids’ entrepreneurial community In startup speak, MVP stands for minimum viable product, or the version of a fledgling idea that can launch, publicly, with the least amount of work. Time- and cash-strapped entrepreneurs treat their assumptions as just that – educated guesses at best – and work quickly to bring their MVP to market and see what happens. For three years, the Cedar Rapids startup community itself has been living with an MVP – a physical space tucked away in a corner of the Guaranty Bank Building, with offices retrofitted into every nook and cranny, donated furniture and intermittent climate control. Now, with a new physical home in New Bohemia and new legal structure, Vault Coworking and Collaboration Space is ready to become what it was always meant to be. “Moving Vault here, starting the Accelerator, being in New Bohemia – now we’re going to see everything go to, not just a new level, but 10 to 20 new levels,” said Amanda Styron-West, co-founder and CEO of Seed Here Studio. Vault officially merged with the nonprofit that manages the Iowa Startup Accelerator’s programming on August 1. “It always felt really weird to me to say that I owned Vault, because Vault is a community of people… For that to be under a legal entity that was an LLC, was a very awkward thing,” Styron-West said. “I feel like now the entrepreneurial community has a fitting home for the importance it’s going to play in the next generation of Cedar Rapids, and in Iowa, and in the…
Seed Here Studio teams up with Steve Case for ‘Rise of the Rest’ road trip

Seed Here Studio teams up with Steve Case for ‘Rise of the Rest’ road trip

Seed Here Studio, headed by Amanda Styron-West and Andy Stoll, announced this morning that it is teaming up with Revolution and UP Global for a summer road trip - startup style. Seed Here is a co-producer of the ‘Rise of the Rest’ bus trip. (Find the full announcement after the jump.) The tour is being led by Steve Case, the iconic entrepreneur who founded AOL and served as chairman of the Startup America Partnership before it merged with Startup Weekend to form UP Global. Seed Here Studio previously produced the first ever UP Global summit, in Iowa City last fall. “What we’ve found is that the stories of Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City, and Iowa, are inspirational to other cities,” Stoll said. “To continue to build those relationships across the midwest is exciting.” Each stop will include pitch competitions, a local investment by Case, meetups, happy hours and speeches. In essence, Stoll said, each is a mini-EntreFEST - another event produced by Seed Here. Stops in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Nashville have been announced for the week of June 23, and Stoll said more stops are possible. “It’s a truth that startup communities are blossoming everywhere,” he said. Follow along at riseoftherest.com and #RiseoftheRest. Media release: Washington, D.C. – May 22, 2014 – Revolution and UP Global today announced that they will embark on a four city, four-day bus tour through the heart of America. Spearheaded by Steve Case, the tour will highlight emerging startup communities and bring attention to a rise of the entrepreneurial rest that is taking place throughout the United States. “It’s important to remember that America itself was once a startup, and...