Welch Avenue turns 1 (Happy Birthday to us)

attachment-53bc3400e4b0819b357a823e

I’ve been watching the issue numbers grow each week as I put together the new Welch Avenue Weekly so I knew that I was getting close to the one year anniversary of this company. Last week I looked it up and it turns out that today is the official anniversary of Welch Avenue (yeah!).

A year ago, I wasn’t sure what I wanted this company to be. I was sure that I wanted to work on growing the Iowa startup and tech community, I wanted to promote what is being built here now and the legacy of those who have their roots here and I wanted to connect people in the state to each other and to others around the world. I knew that I wanted the company to be committed to Iowa because I’m committed to Iowa.

In other words, I knew what I wanted to do with the company but not quite sure how to get there or how to monetize it. A year later I don’t have it all figured out (especially the “monetize” part) but things are more certainly clear.

In the past year, through Welch Avenue I’ve had the chance to work on a lot of cool, enjoyable and meaningful projects with a lot great people who share my passion for the state. Here are a few:

  • A weekly news digest curating the top stories for this community. It's 50 consecutive weeks and in that time highlighted 153 stories from 35 publications.
  • A Kickstarter campaign for what became the Welch Avenue Show. We reached our goal in just a few hours and eventually raised 5 times that amount.
  • Recorded 41 episodes of said show
  • Helped work on two great events that brought together this community, the I/OWA Conference in October and #IowaHour at SXSW in March.
  • The Welcome to Des Moines landing page
  • Wish List for the Iowa Community series — startups, investors, media
  • Establishing Gravitate — an entrepreneurial center of gravity in the core of Des Moines

I’m pretty excited for what’s ahead. I’m currently spending most of my time on the startup phase of Gravitate. Once that launches September 1 (fingers crossed!) and my time opens up a bit, I have some grand ideas for the blog and for community events.

Thanks to all of you who have supported me and Welch Avenue though this year and going forward. I’m not shy about asking you all to watch/read/listen/donate/attend/sponsor/consume and a tremendous amount of you have done just that. That's awesome and appreciated. Good stuff ahead.


Geoff Wood has been helping tell the story of the Iowa startup community since 2009. In addition to writing here daily, he hosts a weekly podcast, speaks at conferences and organizes several events in the community.

Photo Credit: bestrated1 on Flickr.