Hundreds of entrepreneurs and members of Iowa’s business community attended 4th annual event to network and celebrate entrepreneurialism.October 24, 2014 | Cedar Rapids, Iowa – Innovation EXPO 2014 drew a crowd of nearly 600 entrepreneurs, inventors, investors, business and community leaders from across the state (and beyond) throughout the day-long event held Tuesday, October 21 at the new DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex. The fourth annual EXPO was comprised of multiple events that provided educational and networking opportunities for Iowa-based, high-growth-potential businesses at all stages. Innovation EXPO was co-hosted by EDC, Inc., Technology Association of Iowa (TAI), University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC), and Iowa Fund of Funds.
EDC, Inc. President & CEO, Curt Nelson, acknowledged the implications that the event has for the area’s business community. “Innovation EXPO is a unique opportunity for Iowa’s fast-growing and innovative businesses to network with each other and develop partnerships that could help them scale at a faster rate. It is also a chance for established business leaders to meet these entrepreneurs and learn more about new products and technologies being developed right here in Iowa. Most importantly, the EXPO is an opportunity to celebrate these innovators and risk takers who are responsible for building the businesses that make up a healthy economic ecosystem.”
The Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) hosted Pitch & Grow XIX where 16 Iowa entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to panels of business experts for feedback. At the end of the morning, a “pitch off” was held with early-stage company Fanstreamm, winning first place and then presenting to the panel in the Seed and Venture Forum.
Seven Iowa entrepreneurs presented their businesses to a panel of eight seed and venture capital experts from across the state and Midwest at Iowa Fund of Funds’ Seed and Venture Forum.
A total of 79 Iowa-based entrepreneurs and inventors exhibited at the EDC Entrepreneur Showcase. The Showcase included: Inventor’s Garage, Ventures@UI and Startup Fair sections that featured entrepreneurs at various stages of the business cycle. Attendees walked through the Showcase and met with these innovators to see first-hand some of the exciting products, technologies and services being developed in Iowa.
Viewpoint Molecular, was presented with the People’s Choice Award at the end of the Showcase— Viewpoint develops pharmaceutical drugs for diagnostic imaging and therapy for cancer, with a focus on metastatic melanoma. Attendees selected their choice for the exhibitor with the best business opportunity and the best presentation/communication at their booth. This year’s People’s Choice Award was sponsored by Tallgrass Business Resources.
Innovation EXPO 2014 was sponsored by the following:
Principal Sponsor: Iowa Economic Development Authority
Major Sponsors: Bankers Trust, Iowa City Area Development Group, Kirkwood Training & Outreach Services,
Supporting Sponsors: Bradley & Riley PC, City of Cedar Rapids, Corridor Business Journal, CMA Ventures, FedEX and UIRF
Friends of the EXPO: Acumen, Management Recruiters of Cedar Rapids, Next Level Partners and Renew Rural Iowa
EDC ENTREPRENEUR SHOWCASE EXHIBITORS:
Breads from Anna
Grad Test Prep
Riders Club of America
Voweletics…the New Phonetics
Higher Learning Technologies
World Class Displays
Generation Y WorX
Sweet Raw Joy
Catholic Curriculum Online
Iowa Startup Accelerator
Iowa Inventor’s Group
Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle
Get Her Covered
Ventures @ UI
UI Economic Development
Iowa Adaptive Technologies
Pure Oleo Chemicals
Virtual Systems Engineering
Needle Eye Medical
About the Entrepreneurial Development Center, Inc. (EDC) www.edcinc.org
EDC was incorporated in 2003 as a community-sponsored, non- profit business accelerator. The company provides economic growth through the development and expansion of entrepreneurial enterprises and has successfully assisted more than 600 Iowa-headquartered businesses. Its focus is on creating local wealth for area re-investment by growing and cultivating regional, national, and international businesses.