Entrepreneur Track

So, you’re an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs have an idea and build a business, from Main Street to Wall Street. Whether you’re a business staple in your community or running a side hustle in the evenings or working on a startup, you’re an entrepreneur.

Why You Should Attend: The Entrepreneur Track will focus on the most critical needs for business development including growth, scaling, leadership, marketing, and sales. Ready to attend? Click here. Want to learn more about the Entrepreneur Track? Scroll down to see the sessions.

In Iowa, about 20 percent of businesses are family-owned. In less than a decade, family-owned and closely held companies worth $10 trillion will pass to the next generation of owners in the U.S. It’s estimated that only about 10 percent of private companies have a clear succession plan in the U.S. This Legacy Panel will include multiple generations from companies representing Iowa’s key industries to discuss what they’re doing to keep these thriving business here for years to come.
During EntreSEC, you’ll pick up some security tips for your business and learn about the free resources that are available for basic security controls. For most entrepreneurs, the security of your company is heavily reliant on how good your personal security is. We’ll talk about some basics things you may or may not do and talk about how the decisions you make in your personal life can have negative affects on your company. We’ll also talk about freely available resources to jump start your company’s security program, such as free videos and training to learn how to spot phishing.
Join us for an Intro to the Iowa Startup Scene with Geoff Wood, a local community builder that has been helping to grow our local entrepreneurial ecosystem for the last decade.

Are you new to the Iowa Startup Community? Thinking about moving here? Trying to figure out how to plug in? Come hear a comprehensive overview from a local community leader and get a chance to introduce yourself and ask questions.

This is a great chance to hear about the resources available for aspiring entrepreneurs at any stage or sector.

Do you think of your customers as readers? Consumers want more engagement from a business than advertising – they want storytelling. Content marketing is a strategy that positions your brand as a thought leader. Learn about tactics that will highlight your business as a trusted authority.
Freelancing is growing rapidly. According to Forbes, the majority of US workers will be freelance workers. In this session, we’ll answer the following questions:
– Why hire a freelancer?
– Where can you find freelancers
– How do you hire and work with freelancers?
In this talk, Mike will present tips and techniques that he has learned over several years working remotely. We’ll cover what you can do when you have issues staying motivated because you are isolated physically from the rest of your team. We’ll review a few different kind of communication breakdowns and what you can do if you feel like a second rate employee of the company. We’ll also look at ways to foster a good remote relationship with your manager and co-workers.

Working remotely is culturally becoming a viable option more and more as time passes, increasing by 140% since 2005. There are great opportunities available to people that may feel stuck or restricted geographically. This presentation is aimed at giving you a headstart or boost in your remote life.

Startup founders and developers often speak two different languages—and have different strengths and points of view. But when they work together well, and understand what the other needs and wants to be successful, the results speak for themselves.
“Start your own business,” they say. “It’ll be fun,” they say. What no one says, (but most definitely should,) is “just kidding!”

Ask any entrepreneur how they really-truly-honestly feel about owning their own business, & they’ll probably say something along the lines of, “its both the best decision I ever made… & the worst.” But, only if they’re honest.

So, #realtalk. Straight from the serial entrepreneur’s mouth: all the things no one ever tells you about owning your own business.

There are possibly 20 technologies that have the potential to disrupt as much as the internet and mobile did over the next 20 years. The future is up to us to define but these are a few bold predictions being made by futurists/innovators:
a. a colony on the moon
b. 80%+ of world energy consumed using clean energy
c. 95%+ autonomous, electric vehicles
d. the majority of the known 30,000 diseases will be cured

Humans evolved based on a linear way of thinking and so it’s difficult for most to imagine the impact that will come along with each of these technologies. Key takeaways from this session include:
1. Intro To Exponentials
2. Intro to Exponential Technologies
3. Tools For Being An Exponential Leader

Both technology and business people are excited about the new marketing & sales technology opportunities that lie ahead – and can’t wait to see what companies, both large and small, do with them. The question is, how can you be one of the first to take advantage of them?

Is it time for you to gear your content and SEO toward voice search (i.e. Alexa, Siri, Google)? How can blockchain be applied to marketing & sales? Can you integrate artificial intelligence to solve the problem of big data and enhance user engagement? Or what about using augmented reality to allow customers to “see” product in the real world around them?

Join us for this forward looking presentation as we look into our crystal ball by considering where marketing & sales tech have been, where marketing and technology are going, and how you can be ready to take advantage of this evolving space.

This session will cover updates to the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Innovative funding programs and how to apply.
This interactive session will focus on de-risking some aspects of the start-up process by looking at a few myths, facts, and best practices for determining if an idea is an opportunity. This fast-paced session will include a short innovation exercise, and have time for some questions.
The path of least resistance is part of human nature. In this session you will learn how to leverage convenience to disrupt your industry to grow your customer base and maximize profits.
This session would include Michael telling the story of how he managed to work for a hedge fund right out of chemistry grad school and survive while the managing partner embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars. Through this experience he learned the importance of trust in team members. Beyond this experience, Michael has also created 6 different companies: some successful, some not, but each served as learning lessons to fuel the next great idea. Michael has raised over $150 million in capital throughout his career, as well and can speak to the world of VC funding and the value of networking within.
As a millennial raised in a world full of the constant ‘noise’ of social media, email, on-demand content, etc… Jacob learned how to build a brand and cut through the noise, creating true fans for his brand. In this talk you will learn how creating a strategic brand message formulated around your ‘why’ combined with the use of technology will help you connect with your audience on a meaningful level – creating true brand advocates for you and your brand.
Many times startups, small business, and nonprofits may have limited capital resource but unlimited ideas. Even when you may only need the partnership to get started or it is solving a temporary need, identifying like-minded companies who can complement one another is a skill on its own. This session will focus on how to identify potential ways you can leverage partnerships, how to determine the right partners, and how to set up partnership agreements. In addition, success stories related to strategic partnerships will be shared, with potential for partnership matchmaking within the session itself.

*Sessions and times are subject to change.