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5th Annual Launch Week Supports Local Entrepreneurs

A week of events relating to innovation and entrepreneurship will take place in Sioux City as part of the 5th annual Launch Week, November 10th – 17th. With speakers, startup presentations and plenty of networking, Launch Week aims to inspire, motivate, and promote collaboration among professionals.

The week of creativity begins with Iowa Startup Games at ISU Design West on November 10th. This weekend long event brings college students together on Friday night to pitch their business idea and form teams around the top ideas. On Saturday, teams research and discover information that pertains to their business, conduct customer discovery, and refine their ideas to create a minimal viable product. On Sunday, teams tailor their final pitches, present to a panel of judges, and have a chance to win money. Local business owners and community members will act as mentors and coaches for the weekend. Students will learn problem solving skills, have an opportunity to network with community members, and will begin to think like an entrepreneur. The University of Iowa, Western Iowa Tech Community College and Iowa's West Coast Initiative are partnering to bring the event to Sioux City for the second year in a row. Students can sign up by visiting www.iowajpec.org/iowastartupgamessiouxcity/.

On Monday, November 13th the Small Business Development Center will host a Business Succession Planning workshop at 8:30am at ISU Design West in downtown Sioux City. This course will focus on the top five tips to successfully sell a business. The presentation “5 Commandments of Selling a Business” will guide you in a step by step process. The workshop is free and a light breakfast will be provided. Attendees may register by emailing Renae Billings at rbillings@sioux-city.org.

Later that day, representatives from the ISU Startup Factory will be at Western Iowa Tech Community College (Room B223) at 3pm to introduce new programming that will be offered to startups and existing businesses in the Sioux City area in 2018. The program is designed to help businesses bring new products to the market and work with companies to become “investor ready.”

On Tuesday, November 14th, a Google Workshop will be held in both English and Spanish at ISU Design West. The English session will start at 12pm (noon) and the Spanish session will start at 2pm. This workshop will help small businesses and startups improve their information where customers search for them the most: Google. The workshop will show businesses how to put more information about their business into Google; how to get their companies verified for Google searches; how to add information such as location and hours of operation; and how to add photos to enhance the listing. The Google Workshop is free and lunch/snacks will be provided. Attendees are asked to register by emailing Renae Billings at rbillings@sioux-city.org.

Startup Sioux City will celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week along with our local entrepreneurs and business owners with a Biz Brew on Wednesday, November 15th from 4:30-7:00pm at the Diving Elk, 1101 4th Street. Biz Brew brings people together who are interested in fostering a startup community and creating a positive environment for businesses to grow. Stop by after work and enjoy casual networking, beverages and appetizers.

On Thursday, November 16th, the economic development organizations in northwest Iowa will host the regional Dream Big Grow Here pitch competition in Orange City, Iowa. In September, entrepreneurs in northwest Iowa submitted their dreams to start or expand a business, and from the entries, five finalists have been selected to present their idea to an audience and judges in a pitch-off event for a chance to win thousands in cash prizes. The first-place winner will receive $4,000, second place will receive $2,000 and first place will receive $1,000.

To conclude the week, a Business for Breakfast event will be held on Friday, November 17th at the Orpheum Theatre. Join Srini Rao, author of the WSJ bestselling book The Art of Being Unmistakable as he shares the importance of creating work that’s so distinctive that it makes your competition irrelevant. Rao is also the founder of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast where he’s interviewed more than 600 creative professionals including entrepreneurs, best-selling authors, venture capitalists and artists. The free event begins at 7:30am and RSVP’s are requested by calling 224-5500 or online at www.locatesiouxcity.com/business-breakfast.

A special thank you to our featured sponsor, Iowa’s West Coast Initiative, for underwriting the cost of many of these events.

Find out more at www.iawestcoast.com.

 

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