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Hundreds of Innovators Gathered at Coralville Marriott for Innovation EXPO 2017

Innovation EXPO 2017 drew a crowd of more than 500 entrepreneurs, inventors, investors, students, business and community leaders from across the state and beyond to the Coralville Marriott on September 19th and was comprised of multiple events that provided educational and networking opportunities for Iowa-based, high-growth-potential businesses of all stages. Attendees traveled from more than 33 Iowa towns/cities and from as far as Missouri and Minnesota to participate.

Eight Iowa entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of area business experts for feedback in the PitchLab. At the end of PitchLab, the audience and panel selected a winner. The audience voted using the Iowa City-based Pear Deck platform. Startup company Optimum Fleet Health, won and received a cash prize sponsored by Iowa Innovation Corporation.

Seed & Venture Forum
Seven Iowa entrepreneurs presented their businesses to a panel of seed and venture capital experts from across the state and Midwest at the Seed & Venture Forum sponsored by the Iowa Venture Capital Association. It was a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to tap into the minds of investors and learn what is required for a successful pitch.

Entrepreneur Showcase
EDC’s Entrepreneur Showcase capped off the day with 88 Iowa-based exhibitors in the energy-filled ballroom. The Showcase included: Inventor’s Garage, Youth Innovators, Consumer Goods, Ventures@UI and Startup Fair sections that featured entrepreneurs at various stages of the business cycle.

At the end of the Showcase, startup company GOVRED was presented with the People’s Choice Award sponsored by World Class Graphics and Displays. GOVRED provides fully immersive, real world, virtual reality training simulations for law enforcement agencies and the military.

Hiawatha-based MobileDemand generously donated one of its Flex 10 tablets as a door prize. Jennifer Winegarden of ARC of East Central Iowa was the lucky winner of the MobileDemand tablet.

Thank You to Our Sponsors
Innovation EXPO thanks our generous sponsors listed below. Their support allows EDC to provide a venue for entrepreneurs to make valuable connections and scale their Iowa businesses at a faster rate.Without our sponsors, the EXPO would not be possible.

Major Sponsors: AlphaGraphics, Bankers Trust, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Kirkwood Community College and UI JPEC
Supporting Sponsors: Aureon, Bradley & Riley, City of Cedar Rapids, City of Coralville, City of North Liberty, Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Iowa Venture Capital Association and UI Ventures
Friends of the EXPO: CMA Ventures, NextLevel Ventures, Renew Rural Iowa, RSM US LLP and World Class Graphics & Displays