Launch Week 2022: Encouraging Innovation & Entrepreneurship

A week of events relating to innovation and entrepreneurship will take place in Sioux City as part Iowa’s West Coast Initiative Annual Launch Week, November 15th - 18th. Launch Week aims to inspire and promote collaboration among students, business owners and professionals throughout northwest Iowa by providing workshops, startup presentations and networking opportunities.

The events kick off with Inclusion as a Growth Strategy on Tuesday, November 14th at 12:00 p.m. at Design West (1014 Design Pl, Sioux City, Iowa 51101). Special guest Semehar Ghebrekidan the City of Sioux City’s Community Inclusion Liaison will present on how creating an inclusive brand will positively impact your business.

On Wednesday, November 15th local entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals will gather for Biz Brew on Wednesday evening from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at Buffalo Alice. Biz Brew brings people together who are interested in fostering a startup community and creating a positive environment for businesses to grow. Everyone is welcome to stop by and enjoy beverage specials, pizza, and great conversations.

A Statewide Resource Retreat will take place over the lunch hour on Thursday November 14th, at Design West. Representatives from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and The University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center will share programs that are in place to assist current and aspiring business owners help run their businesses more successfully and efficiently. Robbie Carroll with CV Kreative will also provide tips to help optimize your company’s presence on Google search engines.

Later, Thursday, November 14th the economic development organizations in northwest Iowa will host The BIG Challenge pitch competition at Design West in Sioux City. 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 event for a chance to win thousands in cash prizes. The first-place winner will receive $5,000, second place will receive $3,000 and third place will receive $2,000. The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. for a social hour with light appetizers and beverages, with the pitch competition starting at 6:00 p.m.

The culmination of Launch Week happens when the City of Sioux City Economic Development Team and Iowa’s West Coast Initiative host Business for Breakfast with special guest Joe Robert Thornton current President of Scooter’s Coffee. The event is open to the public and will start at 8:00 a.m. at the Sioux City Convention Center, breakfast is provided and registration is required. Joe’s corporate experience portfolio ranges from Blockbuster to Jamba Juice, Starbucks, and his current position as Scooter’s President. Joe is the author of “The Power of Or: Choosing and Doing What Matters Most” and “The Hostility Of Change: Breaking Through Deep-Seated Barriers.” Joe will present on leadership and how to challenge your thinking.

A special thank you to the featured sponsor of Launch Week, Iowa’s West Coast Initiative, and co-sponsor Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses for underwriting the cost of many of these events. To view additional details for each event, visit