A few months ago I received an email that Matthew Makai would be stopping in Des Moines for a few days this summer as part of his Coding Across America project. Matthew had limited time but wanted to know the best ways to plug into our tech community. We exchanged a few emails in regards to local companies and events and agreed to meet when he made it to town.
When he arrived, we grabbed coffee at Amici downtown and talked through my take on the Des Moines tech community. Afterwards, I gave him a tour of the startups along Sixth Avenue and did my best to connect him with the community that he was looking to meet.
Fast forward a few weeks and I was on a call with Andy Keil, a producer for the ATX Web Show in Austin. We were talking about his podcast and the Welch Avenue Show that I was just starting to put together (now live at welchavenue.com/show) and he pointed me to the “Welcome to Austin” page that they had built specifically to provide new or visiting people in Austin a launch pad for their web community. It features industry-specific things like user groups and software meetups but also the best places to grab coffee and drinks and general “must-do’s” for those new to Austin.
It hit me immediately that this is what I should have had handy for Matthew and people like him who want to know more about the Des Moines tech and startup community.
So, I built it: welchavenue.com/welcome
It’s modeled after the ATX Web Show’s page and heavily leans towards the things that I enjoy about Des Moines. I’d love feedback and suggestions so feel free to let me know what’s right, what’s wrong and what’s missing. Also, I’d love to see pages like this for other locations around the state (like this one put together by our friends in Ames). And if you have a visitor in town, please pass along the page. Their feedback is welcome anytime.
Speaking of the ATX Web Show, thanks to them for talking about the page on their podcast. Give it a listen and then weigh in on whether you think Des Moines is the Austin of Iowa (or is it the Dallas of Iowa?).