The Iowa City Area Development Group, in partnership with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, the Entrepreneurial Development Center, and Iowa Centers for Enterprise are hosting an afternoon workshop on Iowa’s new funding initiatives for innovative technologies. The event is Tuesday, May 15, 2012, from 3:00 pm. to 5:00 pm. at the University of Iowa BioVentures Center, 2500 Crosspark Road in Coralville.
The emphasis of the technology funding workshop is to bring entrepreneurs and business leaders from throughout Iowa’s Creative Corridor together with area economic development staff and VentureNet Iowa. New state funding programs will be introduced which help emerging and young technology companies, as well as established businesses exploring growth in new technologies. Funding is available primarily for scalable, interstate commerce companies in bioscience, advanced manufacturing, value-added agriculture, and information technology.
Mark Nolte, Interim Director for ICAD Group, says this workshop is attracting large crowds throughout the state. “We’re looking forward to co-hosting this event for our region,” said Nolte. “Both new and established companies will receive actionable information and steps to help them grow here.”
Business owners, as well as consultants and advisors are encouraged to attend, according to John LaMarche, Director of VentureNet Iowa. “There is a lot to cover, including several new Iowa Economic Development Authority programs that support innovation and changes to the application process,” said LaMarche. “Even if your company isn’t ready to apply for funding right now, it is a good idea to attend.”
Dee Baird, president & CEO of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, says by emphasizing assistance for innovative technologies it helps Iowa – and the Creative Corridor – establish a reputation of being open to entrepreneurs. “We are very supportive of programs that assist those business owners who are willing to start a new enterprise,” Baird says. “It is important the spirit of innovation is met with encouragement, not obstacles.”
The agenda includes an overview of Demonstration Fund applications, information regarding the new Small Business Credit Initiative program, discussion of developing a mentorship program, and more. Nolte added that a highlight of the workshop is a pitch exercise for funding. “Members of ProofReadingPal, based in Iowa City, will give their pitch for Demonstration Fund money and hear feedback from our panel of Demonstration Fund experts,” said Nolte.