I don’t make time to do it nearly often enough but one of my favorite things to do is visit other communities and dig in on the local startups. A few weeks ago I decided to make the effort and dedicated a day to Iowa City.
Visits like this are a great way to get to know a startup community better. I enjoy making connections with founders, learning about their startups and the particular issues they face, as well as sharing stories with them about the startups in my community.
I know from experience that the best way to make the most of a short trip is to find a connector in the local community that can help route you to the entrepreneurs in the community. My first thought for an Iowa City was connector was Josh Krakauer, CEO of social media agency Sculpt. Josh seems wired into pretty much every startup in town and, lucky for me, he didn’t disappoint.
Through Josh’s help, I had the chance to meetup with Roby Miller (founder of TelePharm), Michal Eynon-Lynch, Riley Eynon-Lynch & Dan Sweeney (co-founders of Pear Deck), Sarah Binder (community manager of We Create Here), AJ Nelson (co-founder of ClusterFlunk) and Josh Cramer (founder of FullStack née Cramer Dev) as well as tour the IC CoLab for the first time and grab coffee at May’s Cafe on the Ped Mall.
I’ve been visiting Iowa City for one reason or another since I was in middle school but this was the first time that I was exclusively there to meet with the startup community. I quite enjoyed the trip and the city (though I’ll never be a fan of the sports teams). It was a fairly warm day which brought a lot of students outside and with them a feeling of density that you don’t get everywhere in Iowa - now if we could just get more of them founding startups.
Of course, I didn’t get the chance to see everyone I had hoped to but I’ll be back Wednesday for our third on-location Welch Avenue Show. Please join us at 9 a.m at 316 E. Court Street for 1 Million Cups - Iowa City with the show to follow.
- Straight outta Fayetteville: Thoughts from a startup tour through “NWA”
- Wish List for 2014: Iowa Startups
Photo Credit: Alan Light via Flickr.