Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor Startup News, May 23

Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor Startup News, May 23

Welcome to the Innovation Index! Each week, I’ll round up links and stories from around the web relating to startups, innovation and entrepreneurship in Iowa’s Creative Corridor and around the state. You can help! Email me news and notes.  News and notes: The Iowa Tech Chicks have been accepted as a new endeavor of the James Gang – an umbrella organization designed to help grow ideas through community building and non-profit status. The June meetup will focus on big ideas of what the group can do next. Andrea Flemming, one of the organizers of the Tech Chicks meetup, writes:  “As well as strengthening relationships with other community organizations, this partnership will open doors for the Iowa Tech Chicks when seeking sponsorship or grants for community education events such as Girls Tech Career Day and WordPress workshops.” Coralville-based Higher Learning Technologies, makers of test-preparation software, released a new app on the Apple Store – MCAT Mastery. As of a few weeks ago, two of HLT’s apps were among the top-10 highest grossing apps in the education category. Congrats! (via HLT on Facebook). The Iowa BIG School hosted a launch event at NewBo City Market, bringing together the Cedar Rapids Community School District and the College Community School District. Check out photos via Troy Miller on Twitter.  JPEC’s student-only summer session of Venture School – which it’s running more like an accelerator – kicks off Tuesday with 12 teams. Nice coverage of Ascent’s Startup Boot Camp for women business owners in Silicon Prairie News. Apply by June 3. Meet the press: If you want to know more about the journalists who regularly write about startups in Iowa,…
Innovation Index: this week in Creative Corridor startup news

Innovation Index: this week in Creative Corridor startup news

Welcome to the Innovation Index! Each week, I’ll round up links and stories from around the web relating to startups, innovation and entrepreneurship in Iowa’s Creative Corridor and around the state. You can help! Email me news and notes.   Quotable: “Girls are very very good at school; they are often good at following directions, at coloring in the lines, at completing work perfectly. But it turns out, these skills, that we reward so heavily for the first 13-20 years of schooling with gold stars, and “Good Jobs,” and 4.0s, are not the skills rewarded in the workforce.” Michal Eynon-Lynch, co-founder of Iowa City startup Pear Deck, reflects on a key message from the Iowa Women’s Leadership Conference - that the lack of women’s representation in leadership positions is not a pipeline issue.  A former teacher, Eynon-Lynch wonders if different classroom techniques could increase confidence and risk-taking in girls. Her post on Medium is well worth a read: Inquiry-Based Learning and Gender Equity Meanwhile, Pear Deck is preparing to compete in a national ed-tech competition in May.   News and notes: What’s your dream? The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at the University of Iowa is capturing dreams of UI students, faculty, staff and community members through the hashtag #idreamtobeme and the website idreamtobe.me. On Monday, JPEC will host an event on the UI Pentacrest celebrating dreams from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. The Iowa BIG School hosted a hackathon for area middle and high school students to work on tech projects. Check out photos via Troy Miller on Twitter. Radiology Protocols, a cloud-based medical imaging company, “graduated” from the IC CoLab by moving into...
Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news

Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news

Welcome to the Innovation Index! Each week, I’ll round up links and stories from around the web relating to startups, innovation and entrepreneurship in Iowa’s Creative Corridor and around the state. You can help! Email me news and notes.    Quotable: “Now, central Iowa may become the Silicon Valley of bioscience. Although I thought we were the Silicon Valley of wind, or was it renewable energy? We may be the Capital of Hopeful Branding.” Gazette columnist Todd Dorman on the announcement that the Des Moines-Ames region has been dubbed the “Cultivation Corridor” - making it the fourth “Corridor” in Iowa. Dorman questions how local governments can better participate in the regional movements happening across the state. -“Regional thinking is here to stay“ News and notes: Will Lenzen Jr. of Cycle Studios and Founder Health (right) launched a project to help 100 people with branding and storytelling - via willlenzenjr.com. John Schnipkoweit of Cedar Rapids-based NextStep.io weighed in on Nike’s decision to stop producing wearable technology. NextStep, which gives users and personal trainers a dashboard for their fitness data, evolved from the former RecBob at a Nike-sponsored accelerator - via Silicon Prairie News The USDA unveiled a new $150 million fund for rural small businesses. Although agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced the fund in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, it’s unclear how many, if any, of those dollars will find their way to Iowa - via KCRG Google for government? Iowa Workforce Development is partnering with Pondera Solutions, a Google Enterprise Partner, to detect and prevent unemployment insurance fraud - via IWD JPEC hosted its first Startup Job Crawl, with stops at CoLab, Vault Coworking, the BioVentures Center and other...

Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news

Welcome to the Innovation Index! Each week, I’ll round up links and stories from around the web relating to startups, innovation and entrepreneurship in Iowa’s Creative Corridor and around the state. You can help! Email me news and notes.  Quotable:  “Technology connects the entrepreneur without a dime in her pocket to the billion dollar idea in her dreams.” -Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, in his opening remarks for the Prometheus Awards. It’s always nice to hear praise for the entrepreneurial community coming from official places, right? Corridor companies fared well at the annual ceremony for Iowa’s tech community presented by the Technology Association of Iowa - find the full list here.   News and Notes: Before the Prometheus Awards Wednesday, a few Corridor tech startups had the opportunity to pitch in Des Moines as part of the i2iowa conference. (Relatively) fresh off of Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids were Major Trading Cards and Born Ready pitching in TAI’s Pitch & Grow, and several other local companies were able to participate in pitches to investors. Great representation of Eastern Iowa. More from Major Trading Cards: Zach Sanderson, who pitched the idea at Startup Weekend, is taking the leap to work on the company full-time! HUGE milestone today: This is my 1000th tweet! Oh and I handed in my resignation at my day job to work on @MajorCards full time. — Zach Sanderson (@zachsanderson) April 7, 2014 Also at i2iowa, a new early-stage fund, NestMint, was launched. Coverage via We Create Here, the Des Moines Register and the Greater Des Moines Partnership. This fund is open to all types of early-stage companies - it will be interesting to...
Innovation Index – this week in Creative Corridor startup news

Innovation Index - this week in Creative Corridor startup news

Welcome to the Innovation Index*! Each week, I’ll round up** links and stories from around the web relating to startups, innovation and entrepreneurship in Iowa’s Creative Corridor and around the state. This is a content experiment and I’d love to hear feedback on whether this is useful. -Sarah Quotable: “Guess what? The world doesn’t share our local boosterism if Kansas City merely outdoes St. Louis in prosperity.” — Kevin Collison of the Kansas City Star, opining on the chairman of Sprint establishing a shadow headquarters in Silicon Valley and the need to compete in a global economy. The article is full of insights that could apply here. (h/t to Eric Engelmann) Replay: We’re blogging along from the Hawkeye Innovation Summit, a showcase of all things entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Iowa. Check out our coverage here, and tweet along with #hawksummit.       News and notes: FullStack, formerly known as Cramer Dev, hosted its official Kansas City Launch Party. Congrats to Josh on the expansion! The perceived importance of the tech startup scene on the economy was down slightly in the Des Moines Business Record‘s annual reader survey. (h/t Tej Dhawan). Des Moines-based Offspring will pitch at our local 1 Million Cups on Wednesday. Read about the founder in his guest post on the Welch Avenue Blog. The BIG Ideas School was featured in a nice piece on KCRG. Lightbank, a Chicago-based venture capital firm, is taking an interest in Iowan tech startups, per the Des Moines Register. Iowa in the news: Ok, a few quirky things I can’t help sharing: An analysis of Wikipedia showed that Johnson County,...