April 2017
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EntreFEST - Where Iowa's Visionary Founders and Community Builders Meet
By Cally Reed, UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation

EntreFEST, the two-day business networking event taking place downtown Iowa City on May 4-5th, is fast approaching. It is one of Iowa’s best places for entrepreneurs, startup founders, innovators, educators, and artists to experience a real sense of belonging in a talented community of business professionals. 

Learn about things to see and do at EntreFEST 2017.


Resource Provider Highlight
Center for Business Growth and Innovation
By Lea Hensel, UNI Business and Community Services

In keeping with the EntreFEST theme for this month, the Resource Partner Spotlight is centered on the Center for Business Growth and Innovation (CBGI) at the University of Northern Iowa, an organization that has two presentations taking place at the entrepreneurial conference taking place next month.

CBGI has a network of resources and services that provide business assistance and development throughout a wide variety of industries. Staff work with businesses of all sizes and all complexities, from start-up assistance to succession planning. I talked with staff about their upcoming presentations to provide a brief overview of what you can expect.

Entrepreneur Spotlight
Pitch Competitions at EntreFEST 2017
By Lea Hensel, UNI Business and Community Services

This month’s entrepreneur spotlight is a little bit different than what you’re used to in previous issues. Instead of focusing on one Iowa entrepreneur and their journey, I’m going to talk about some opportunities entrepreneurs are able to take advantage of at the upcoming EntreFEST. 

Entrepreneurs are no stranger to pitch contests and this year’s event is coming fully charged with these opportunities.

Two competitions are taking place simultaneously on Thursday, May 4, Iowa’s Great Idea Challenge, hosted by the Center for Business Growth and Innovation (CBGI) at the University of Northern Iowa, as well as the EntreFEST Pitch Competition, sponsored by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers.
Small Business Week: April 30 - May 6, 2017
Be a Part of Small Business Week 
By Cally Reed, UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation
National Small Business Week takes place each year to recognize and celebrate the many economic contributions of small businesses, and the outstanding work of small business owners at the local, state, and national level. This practice of recognizing and awarding the critical work of small businesses has taken place over the past five decades in the Unites States.

This year the legacy of this celebration will continue during the week April 30th-May 6th, 2017.
Find these and other events at

April 5
Boots to Business: Reboot
Ames, IA

April 7
First Friday: Fred Scott of Locally Grown
Clive, IA

April 11
Social Media Breakfast Club
Hampton, IA

April 18
TechBrew Mason City - April 
Mason City, IA

April 19
Lunch & Learn: There's an App for That
Burlington, IA

April 20
Prometheus Awards
Des Moines, IA

Outclass Your Competition: Business Etiquette and Dining Skills
Des Moines, IA

April 25
Capability Statements Workshop
Coralville, IA

April 28
25th Annual Voorhees Supply Chain Conference
Ames, IA
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