Middle Bit: EntreFEST 2019 tickets now available

EntreFEST is set to return May 16-17, 2019 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Passes are now on sale now and are being offered at a discounted rate until October 31.

EntreFEST is a conference, festival and gathering for Iowa’s entrepreneurs, investors, business owners and anyone seeking to learn more about Iowa’s entrepreneurial community. The two-day conference will feature national keynote speakers, breakout sessions and workshops from experts focused on innovators, visionaries and entrepreneurs.

Venture School now taking applications

Applications are now open for Venture School in Des Moines and the Cedar Valley
Venture School.

Venture School is an innovative, seven-week training program through the University of Iowa’s that teaches startups how to focus on real-world experimentation, customer discovery, and Lean LaunchPad methodologies. The program uses the official National Science Foundation I-Corps curriculum to help high-potential startups turn their ideas into reality.

Venture School will be hosting a lunch and learn on Friday, September 7 at the Gravitate in Valley Junction for anyone interested in learning more about the program.

What else is happening?


Apple has acquired Akonia, a startup focused on making lenses for augmented reality glasses, the company confirmed on Wednesday, a signal Apple has ambitions to make a wearable device that would superimpose digital information on the real world. –Reuters


Chicago-based biotech company HappiLabs is the latest local startup to participate in Y Combinator, a selective accelerator program in Silicon Valley that has helped launch high-profile tech companies like Airbnb and Reddit. –American Inno


SocialLeads, an artificial intelligence and machine learning technology startup, has closed a round of seed funding for $750,000 to expand Socialeads’ resourcing needs to launch initial pilots for Northwestern Mutual’s financial advisors. The funding was led by The Winnebago Seed Fund with additional investment coming from Northwestern Mutual’s Cream City Venture Capital and the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation. –Tech Startups