As we get ready to close the book on the year that was 2013 and look forward to the year will be in 2014, I’d like to take the opportunity to present a few things that I’d like to see come together for the Iowa startup community. This is the first of three posts aimed at different segments of our community: startups, investors, and media.
Startups - we need more of you.
While I don’t subscribe to the “Des Moines startup scene is over” school of thought for an instant (Kyle Oppenhuizen takes a good look at this in a recent piece*) that doesn’t mean that I believe we’re at critical mass, yet. We need more people to take the risk and start companies - not just in Des Moines but all over the state - if the Iowa startup community is ever going realize the potential that we all see in it.
Speaking of all over the state, it seems like the bulk of startup activity to this point has been in Des Moines and Iowa City. I’d like to see other cities join their ranks in 2014 and I’m specifically thinking of those with relatively significant population like Cedar Rapids and Sioux City and those with all the benefits of a big state university like Ames and Cedar Falls. While startups do exist in those cities right now, there doesn't seem to be enough of them, yet, to reach the level of energy and momentum I’ve observed in the other two.
I love meeting with entrepreneurs who are taking the risk to make their startup work (especially in Iowa) and I wanted to end with just a quick shout out to some of those that I've gotten to know this past year: BlendCard, ClusterFlunk, Men’s Style Lab, LendTrade, Offspring, and Rocket Referrals.
Look for the next post in this series (Investors) on Friday.
Photo Credit: Lewicki on Flickr
*Edit: 12/30/13. Text originally said "as explained here" but it was confusing so I changed the text that to more clearly indicate why I linked to Kyle's piece.