Entrepreneurs showcase their businesses at Innovation EXPO

Last week’s Innovation EXPO drew a crowd of nearly 600 entrepreneurs, inventors, investors, students, business and community leaders from across the state. The EXPO comprised of multiple events that provided educational and networking opportunities for Iowa-based, high-growth-potential businesses of all stages.

This year’s EXPO coincided with EDC’s 15-year anniversary. The milestone was marked by a brief keynote speech given by EDC’s CEO, Curt Nelson, and Cedar Rapids City Manager, Jeff Pomeranz, who spoke about how entrepreneurs have inspired him to take calculated risks throughout his career.


Four Iowa entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to a panel of area business experts for feedback in the PitchLab. At the end of PitchLab, the audience and panel selected a winner.  Iowa City-based VerdiLife, won and received a cash prize sponsored by EDC. VerdiLife is the inventor of the Nano-Intelligent Smokeless Bio-Char System, a process that takes an input of wood or biomass and produces wood vinegar and bio-char.

Seed & Venture Forum

Five Iowa entrepreneurs presented their businesses to a panel of seed and venture capital experts from across the state at the Seed & Venture Forum. It was a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to tap into the minds of investors and learn what is required for a successful pitch.  Coralville-based Viewpoint Molecular Targeting won and received a cash prize sponsored by Iowa Innovation Corporation. Viewpoint Molecular Targeting develops pharmaceutical drugs for diagnostic imaging and therapy for cancer, with a focus on metastatic melanoma.

Entrepreneur Showcase

EDC’s Entrepreneur Showcase capped off the day with 88 Iowa-based exhibitors in the energy-filled exhibit hall that featured entrepreneurs at various stages of the business cycle.

At the end of the Showcase, STRATAFOLIO was presented with the People’s Choice Award. STRATAFOLIO is an online software solution that provides real-time data analytics for commercial real estate companies in an intuitively designed dashboard.