The Young Entrepreneur Convention (YEC) is set to take place at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center on April 26-27, 2019, marking the first year the convention will be held in Ames.
“Almost 3/4 of our attendees in year two and three were from the Ames area and with Iowa State Universty promoting entrepreneurship campus-wide, it made sense to move everything here,” said Clayton Mooney, YEC co-founder.
In its first three years, the convention has drawn nearly 1,500 entrepreneurs to central Iowa. The majority of attendees are college students looking to gain inspiration, insight on building companies and an opportunity to network with others that share their passion for startups.
“We have a lot of alumni who end up coming back every year,” said YEC co-founder Ander Zalansky. “People who have been there since year one and come back to connect with people they’ve met at previous conventions.”
The event will feature an opening keynote and social the evening of Friday, April 26, and a full day of programming on Saturday, April 27. In addition to multiple keynotes, Saturday will include a panel discussion, exhibitors, time set aside specifically for networking, and an elevator pitch competition.
“The biggest thing I’m proud of is the elevator pitch competition,” Mooney said. We’ve been able to award over $150,000 in cash and prizes in just three years.”
“Over the last four years, we’ve evolved and I feel like we have a firm grasp on offering programming that is especially valuable to early-stage entrepreneurs, startups and college students who are pursuing that career path,” Zalansky said.
Speaker announcements will be made in the weeks to come and tickets will go on sale for $99 after the first of the year.