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We're headed to America's Heartland! While Iowa is a rural state, Des Moines is a thriving urban city with an incredible food and beverage scene. SCN Member Geoff Wood has been an integral part of the ecosystem development in Des Moines as a storyteller, community builder, and place maker. His coworking space, Gravitate, has grown exponentially with 4 locations across the Greater Des Moines region. Startups in Des Moines tend to gravitate toward the InsurTech, AgTech, and FinTech spaces - which is no surprise considering those are its main industries. The city is vibrant with activities; plenty of trails, public art, craft beer, sports, and eateries like "Zombie Burger" (yes, please!) and Fong's Pizza (a favorite Alton Brown eatery). Des Moines is also home to the world's largest skate park, which recently hosted the Dew Tour Olympic qualifier. Meet Geoff and get a peek at the ecosystem here.


About SCN Summits

SCN Summits take place twice annually and are essentially a live, in-person case study of a member's ecosystem. Over the course of 2.5 days, attendees will get an inside look at programs, initiatives, and best practices within the city while also getting an insider's view of the food, culture, and hot spots. While each summit is unique in terms of agenda, they all have three fundamental goals:


  • Help Ecosystem Builders connect with key peers and resources
  • Improve Ecosystem Builders' knowledge and best practices
  • Help Ecosystem Builders develop mission-critical skills


As a Covid safety precaution, Startup Champions Network requires attendees wear a mask during our indoor summit sessions.

Agenda

Tuesday, October 12, 2021


1

00PM

-

2

00PM

New Member Welcome / Orientation / Ecosystem Building 101

Tom ChapmanAnika Horn

If you are new to SCN (member of not) or new to ecosystem building, we invite you to join our membership team and special guest Anika Horn for a crash course in Ecosystem Building and all things SCN.

2

00PM

-

3

00PM

Official Summit Kickoff

Tom ChapmanTej DhawanGeoff Wood

Get to know your fellow champions and what this event is all about.

3

00PM

-

3

45PM

Cupcakes, Coffee & Create your own T-shirt

Presented by Make Startups. Enjoy Creme Cupcakes and Coffee, get your portrait taken by Jami Milne (you know, the famous ESHIP photographer!) and print your own Summit t-shirt with Sidegarage screen printing. It's a jam-packed hour of fun activities!

3

45PM

-

4

45PM

NewBoCo: One Approach to a Sustainable Ecosystem Development Organization

Eric Engelmann

Eric will talk about the formation and growth of NewBoCo, Iowa's largest startup ecosystem builder, and the strategy and paths that worked (and didn't!) that led to the organization's growth over the past 7 years.

5

30PM

-

7

30PM

Dinner with Locals

Thomas Swartwood

Dinner with Locals is an SCN Summit tradition where we split up to have dinner and conversation with a number of ecosystem builders in the community.

8

00PM

-

10

00PM

Drinks, Comedy Club & Improv at TeeHee's

Sid JuwarkerAntoinette Stevens

Want to keep the conversation going? Join us for drinks and improv at one of our favorite comedy clubs & bar: TeeHee's. You'll learn how the Comedy and Improv scene has grown into a flourishing ecosystem and you might just be invited to improv!

Teehees Comedy Club
1433 Walnut St

Wednesday, October 13, 2021


8

00AM

-

9

30AM

Breakfast + 1 Million Cups: Iowa's Startup Accelerator Scene (OFF SITE LOCATION)

Nicole GundersonAlex TaylorKerty LevyJohn JackovinNadilia Gomez

1 Million Cups Des Moines and the Startup Champions Network are hosting a special panel presentation with the leaders of many of Iowa's startup accelerator programs. 1MC regulars, first timers and others are invited to join in alongside startup communities leaders from across the nation who are in Des Moines for an ecosystem summit.

Our Panel:
Nicole Gunderson (Global Insurance Accelerator)
John Jackovin (BrokerTech Ventures)
Kerty Levy (Techstars Iowa)
Alex Taylor (Iowa Startup Accelerator)

Moderated by Nadilia Gomez, Iowa State University

The Cub Club at Principal Park Baseball Stadium
1 Line Dr, Des Moines, Iowa, USA, 50309

9

30AM

-

12

30PM

Check the Session Tracks in the tabs above!

Our Day 2 Agenda has 3 tracks to choose from with sessions starting at 9:45am - 12:15pm. They are located in the tabs above.

1

00PM

-

1

30PM

Lunch at Mainframe Studios

Mainframe Studios
900 Keosauqua Way

1

30PM

-

3

00PM

New Models Revealing the Future

Paulo GregorySteven A. RodriguezTracy Singleton

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." - Buckminster Fuller

In order to build new models, it is helpful to see examples that point the way forward. The SCN InterCultural Unity Team (ICU) will be highlighting individuals who are manifesting new models of collaborative, and equity focused work and support for entrepreneurs and small business owners to ignite a dialogue on how to bring the future now!

Mainframe Studios
900 Keosauqua Way

3

00PM

-

5

30PM

Afternoon Adventures

Explore Des Moines by choosing from three different tours/activities:

Option 1: Maker Tour (Mainframe Studios, Makusafe/Maple Ventures)

Option 2: Art Crawl (tour Mainframe Studios, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Krause Gateway Center)

Option 3: Tipsy Tour (Peace Tree Brewing, 1717 Brewing, Iowa Tap Room)

5

30PM

-

7

30PM

Dinner on your own

All attendees will be provided a gift card to go out and support a local restaurant.

8

00PM

-

9

30PM

Roses & Thorns (at Gravitate Coworking)

Everyone's favorite session is back! Grab a drink and share stories of both the successes and challenges of doing ecosystem work through facilitated small group discussions.

Thursday, October 14, 2021


9

00AM

-

9

30AM

Summit Reflections

What have you observed while here? What did we do well? Where should we put efforts to improve?

9

30AM

-

10

15AM

10

30AM

-

11

30AM

Speaking from the Middle

Erik Dominguez

Where do you go when you are stuck, caught between two conflicting priorities? This inspirational and practical storytelling experience unapologetically addresses the pain and joy of living between commitments, redefines our to-do list, and challenges division by bridging and translating what is not always said or understood.

Audiences Will Learn To:
Recognize the division we create and live in
Redefine our approach to the impact we bring
Design opportunities to be seen and heard

11

30AM

-

12

00PM

Summit Wrap-up

We'll wrap up our time and announce our next summit location!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021


9

45AM

-

10

30AM

Raising Funds in your Ecosystem (at Greater Des Moines Partnership)

Tej Dhawan

Iowa’s nascent angel investor ecosystem in early 2010s recognized there was a need for similar-sized small angel groups to collaborate on deal flow, lessons learned, due diligence and more. We formed a loose syndicate to address these items of interest and the network has persisted despite leadership changes in angel groups, local and remote meetings, disparate styles and more. This session will share some of our mechanics, successes and failures, and the unique niche this syndicate fills to help regional startups.

10

45AM

-

11

30AM

Behind The Research: Women Entrepreneurship in Iowa (at Greater Des Moines Partnership)

Mo CollinsJennifer Murphy

In 2011, Iowa ranked dead last in the country for women-owned business startups. Since then, Iowa women have launched companies in record numbers in the state. What has changed? What is today’s experience like for women entrepreneurs? In this session you’ll hear from Jennifer Murphy, who just completed her doctoral research on women entrepreneurs in Iowa and Mo Collins, who has led many of Iowa’s research-based, public sector investments into novel programming and resources serving women entrepreneurs in the state.

11

30AM

-

12

15PM

Engaging Established Corporations in the Startup Community (Greater Des Moines Partnership)

Dan KeoughEllen Willadsen

BrokerTech Ventures is a Des Moines-based accelerator, mentor network and early stage investment group for InsurTech startups that is supported by 13 super-regional brokerage firms from across the country. In this session, you'll hear from Dan Keough and Ellen Willadsen, two executives at Des Moines-based Holmes Murphy & Associates who sparked the idea for BrokerTech in 2019, about why their agency chooses to engage with the startup community, the successes and stumbles they've experienced in building programs for nascent companies and what they see as the future for both BrokerTech and the InsurTech industry.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021


9

45AM

-

10

30AM

Growing Entrepreneurial Ideas in Rural Iowa (at Rocket Referrals)

Jordan DeGreeSue GehlingEthan PittDiana Wright

There are 99 counties in Iowa but almost all net population growth in the last ten years has occurred in just 7 of them. So how do we encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in the other 92? In this panel session, you'll hear from two individuals that work on programs to support rural entrepreneurs across the state and one early-stage health tech founder based in rural Iowa that is creating a remote solution to serve others who live outside the urban centers.

10

45AM

-

11

30AM

Developing Startup Assistance Infrastructure for Underrepresented Groups (at Rocket Referrals)

Nancy MwirotsiReShonda Young

A strong entrepreneurship community must be rich in diversity to thrive. From the people who start companies and work for them to the resources they access, it's critical to support underrepresented groups in our startup communities. In this panel session, you'll hear from three community leaders that have created programs that focus on closing the entrepreneurship diversity gap across Iowa.

11

30AM

-

12

15PM

Artists, Creatives, and the Music Economy (at Rocket Referrals)

Mickey DavisKuuku Saah

The music economy in Greater Des Moines (DSM) passes throughout the entire community. Established and emerging festivals, new venues, promoters and champions, and a wealth of music makers, creatives, and entrepreneurs - find out why DSM is home to a vibrant group of people you may never have known were here. In this session, you'll hear from two leaders from the Des Moines Music Coalition who are doubling-down on growing DSM as the music city of the Midwest.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021


9

45AM

-

10

30AM

Community Storytelling and the Value of Ecosystem News

Jake SlobeGeoff Wood

Clay & Milk is Iowa's only newsroom dedicated to daily coverage of the state's startup and entrepreneurial communities. This session will discuss the types of stories Clay & Milk tells, community events we've organized and put together, and future goals for the publication. The session will also discuss the importance of community journalism and the role that news sources like Clay & Milk play within entrepreneurial ecosystems.

10

45AM

-

11

30AM

Scaling in Iowa: the Local Founder Experience

Joseph Nelson

In this session you'll learn what it's like to scale an early stage company from Iowa through the experiences of Joseph Nelson, the cofounder and CEO of Roboflow. Joseph and his cofounder Brad Dwyer are childhood friends who had a history of building companies independently. In 2020, they came together to create what is now Roboflow, a set of developer tools for computer vision. The company currently has more than 50,000 users, a team of ten and has raised more than $22 million in investment capital. They are proudly based in their native Des Moines and have distributed talent all across the country.

11

30AM

-

12

15PM

DeepDive: AgTech in Iowa

Liz KeehnerKevin KimleKyle McMahon

Agriculture is well known as a cornerstone of the Iowa economy so it's not surprising that AgTech is a major component of the state's startup community. In this session, you'll hear from a successful founder, a leading investor, and an innovative educator about how they're pushing the industry forward.

Speakers

Sponsors and Partners

Organizer

Summit Host

Presenting Sponsor

Summit Partners

Summit Champion

Summit Supporter

Tickets

  • Member Ticket - Regular ticket price

    $299.-

    Member Price

    SCN Members regular ticket price

    Buy Ticket
  • Non Member Ticket

    $399.-

    Public Price

    Become a member on our membership page to get the SCN Member price! $150 annually

    Buy Ticket
  • SCN Partner

    $500.-

    Public Price

    Buy Ticket
  • Summit Speaker/Presenter

    $299.-

    Public Price

    These are reserved for Summit speakers and are complimentary as a thank you for contributing time and knowledge.

    Buy Ticket
  • SCN T-shirt

    $20.-

    Public Price

    Grab your SCN t-shirt at the summit! T-shirts are located behind the registration table.

    Buy Ticket

Lodging

SCN has secured preferred pricing at two local hotels. Click the links for special pricing and booking information. 


COVID Protocols

Startup Champions Network and its organizing team are committed to the health and safety of staff, attendees, and speakers during the Fall Ecosystem Builders Summit in Des Moines. We have been following the COVID-19 situation closely, as well as staying up-to-date on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). 


After conversing with the SCN board, staff, and planning team, and in accordance with the most recent recommendations coming from the CDC, we have decided on the following Covid safety precautions:

  • We are requiring the wearing of masks for all indoor Summit areas, conference rooms, shuttles, etc. unless actively eating, drinking, or presenting.
  • Sanitizer will be available in common areas and all session areas.
  • Color coded stickers will be available that indicate your preferred greeting (hug, elbow bump, wave from afar).
  • Summit areas and high-touch points will be sanitized regularly by Summit staff.
  • We will be reminding attendees regularly to stay at home if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and/or have been caring for someone who has COVID-19.


Please note any interaction with the general public increases the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed while in attendance at the event. We also want to make attendees aware that there are currently no mask mandates in Iowa. While our Summit attendees will be wearing masks, other indoor spaces and public areas in the city beyond our event will not necessarily be following the same procedures.