Help curate the “welcome guide” to the Corridor startup community

After our community mapping lunch and learn a few weeks ago, one of the biggest things that struck me was that there might not be one “map” for everyone, but rather different guides, for different points in the entrepreneurial journey. In that spirit (and heavily inspired by similar guides for Boulder, Kansas City, Austin and Des Moines), I drafted my initial thoughts on what a beginner’s guide to the Creative Corridor startup community might look like. I want this to truly be a community project, and I know I’ve probably omitted something – please view and comment here. I’ll publish a semi-final version early next week (though it will probably always be a work in progress). To be a true “beginner’s guide,” it can’t include everything, but remember you can always add to our bigger map here. Welcome to the Corridor startup community >…
Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news, June 27

Innovation Index: This week in Creative Corridor startup news, June 27

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: “Policymakers shouldn’t be trying to copy Silicon Valley. Instead, they should be figuring out what domain is (or could be) specific to their region — and then removing the regulatory hurdles for that particular domain. Because we don’t want 50 Silicon Valleys; we want 50 different variations of Silicon Valley, all unique from each other and all focusing on different domains.” — Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen in “What it will take to create the next great Silicon Valleys, plural.“ News & notes: Geonetric is bringing back their agile coach, Richard Lawrence, for another round of intensive agile and scrum training. For a cool $1,500, participants in the three-day workshop can be certified as scrum masters. Register today for the early bird rate at agilecorridor.com. The program will also be one of the first to be hosted in Geonetric’s new building. Andy Stoll, Amanda Styron-West and the Seed Here crew spent this week on a road trip to celebrate entrepreneurship in the heartland. The Rise of the Rest tour, featuring AOL founder Steve Case, visited Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Nashville this week. Catch up at riseoftherest.tumblr.com. Des Moines entrepreneur James Eliason, CEO of Goodsmiths, blogged “You have to get lucky.” He gives a shoutout to JPEC at the University of Iowa for kickstarting his entrepreneurial journey. Iowa Workforce Development received a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to place Iowans in “apprenticeship based occupations...
Eight visions of the Creative Corridor startup community

Eight visions of the Creative Corridor startup community

Thanks to everyone who came to our Vault lunch and learn on visualizing the startup community! We asked attendees to diagram, doodle or describe the community on one sheet of paper. Why? As we’ve said before, we believe the world is changing. We are moving from an industrial, top-down model of control to a networked, abundant community model. This is true in all of our We Create Here topic areas, but especially evident in the entrepreneur community, where traditional titles and stores of power don’t have a strong influence on the ability to get stuff done. This transition is fun (I think, anyway) but also messy. And sometimes members of the entrepreneur crowd make it more confusing with the lingo we use (during EntreFEST, we were halfway through a conversation on the startup ecosystem before one brave soul raised her hand and asked, ‘what’s an ecosystem?’). So when we say ‘map,’ we don’t mean a physical map, but a representation of this networked community. I have some more reflections at the end - but first, let’s see the maps: Most people did not choose a geographic representation. One exception was our own Ben Kaplan, who focuses on neighborhoods. True to his nature, he zoomed in, focusing just on 3rd St. SE in Cedar Rapids. In his map titled “Shared spaces lead to serendipity and collaboration,” he noted there are many of these spaces in just a few short blocks - Vault Coworking for the entrepreneur community, the Cherry Building for artisans and small businesses, CSPS for the arts community. By being so close to each other (as well as to established companies and...

Join us for a conversation on visualizing the entrepreneurial community

Join me next Wednesday at Vault for a lunch and learn conversation on visualizing the entrepreneurial community. I’ve written a lot about my desire to create a “map” (though it probably won’t be geographic) to show the energy and connections springing up in the local startup ecosystem. I’ ve also gotten lost in the details several times in this project, trying to track down discrete bits of information on hundreds of people, companies and organizations, or trying to find a technology solution to show the “map.” This lunch is to have a community conversation about the project - whether it’s worth doing at all, and if it is, what would make it the most helpful to the community. For some background, here’s why I think a map is important: Simply put, the world is changing. We are moving from an industrial, top-down model of control to a networked, abundant community model. (This idea is at the core of all of our topics for We Create Here.) The graphic to the right, via the Kauffman Foundation, illustrates this idea in terms of how governments relate to startups, but apply the idea to any type of relationship. Active members of the startup community will attest to the good things that happen in this networked world - the new opportunities that are exposed, new ideas that are nurtured, and community members who are empowered to try new things. But at the same time, this transition is messy. It’s difficult to understand, after a lifetime of being taught to live in an industrial model. And for people who are new to the community, it’s hard...
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: Are you just trying to make me feel better because I’m crazy? Zach Sanderson of Turnstile Cards, on the decision to quit his day job, while pitching at 1 Million Cups Iowa City/Cedar Rapids Wednesday. What the audience didn’t know was that the company had been accepted into a sports-centric startup accelerator.  News and notes: Legendary Iowa entrepreneur and investor John Pappajohn, who has donated more than $25 million to entrepreneurship education in the state, participated in a pretty wonderful “selfie” (right). Mediacom is beta testing a new tier of high-speed Internet service in Cedar Rapids metro communities. For $199.99, the service offers 305 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload and a 4 terabyte usage allowance. (Via Multichannel News, Mediacom forums) David Tominksy is at it again: he announced via Twitter that the next Startup Weekend in the Corridor will be Oct. 3-5 at the BioVentures Center in Coralville. Mark your calendars. Tim McDougall, VP of strategic innovation at The Gazette Company (that’s us), reflected on FusionFarm’s Ecommerce Camp. For those interested in corporate innovation and intrapreneurship, McDougall is working with EntreFest! to create a slate of programming. Kinze Farmer, an Iowa BIG student who is producing a women’s conference called Success^SHE, wrote about her motivations: “what we are missing right now, which is attributing to the ‘gender gap’ is raising our children to be confident, not just smart.” Reminder: student teams can...