Downtown Des Moines to host Young Entrepreneur Convention

A conference for young entrepreneurs is coming back to Des Moines in 2018.

The third annual Young Entrepreneur Convention will be held at the downtown Des Moines Marriott April 20-21. Tickets are offered at the early bird rate of $79.

In a news release, Co-founder Brandon T. Adams said that moving the convention to downtown Des Moines and offering a two-track format will allow entrepreneurs to learn from presenters with a career path that mirrors their own.

Clayton Mooney is an organizer and said the two tracks focus on tech/startups and influencer/brand.

Mooney said along with the two track focus, there’s a pitch competition that has awarded just shy of $100,000 in two years.

“That pitch competition is coming back for 2018,” Mooney says.

In its first two years, the Young Entrepreneur Convention was held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and brought more than 1,000 entrepreneurs to central Iowa, according to the release.

Jason Calacanis, angel investor and host of the weekly podcast, “This Week in Startups” will be one of two keynote speakers; Brooke Mickelson, former Miss Iowa USA and owner of Brookies—a specialized home-based bakery—will also be a keynote speaker.

“This is the kind of event that can change the course of an entrepreneur’s journey,” Adams said. “We’ve seen it happen over the last two years. And we know it is going to happen again in 2018.”

Mooney said Miara Steir has attended the last two Young Entrepreneur Conventions with her mom and decided to write a book.

“She launched it on kickstarter,” Mooney says. “It was fully funded.”