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Greater Des Moines Partnership hosting events for Global Entrepreneurship Week

The Greater Des Moines Partnership will host several workshops and events for startups as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which takes from Nov. 14-20 this year.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a massive campaign to celebrate and empower entrepreneurs in every country and community around the world.

“We are excited to celebrate local small businesses and offer a robust line-up of educational workshops for entrepreneurs and startup investors during Global Entrepreneurship Week,” said Diana Wright, Startup Community Builder for The Partnership. “Small business owners and entrepreneurs drive innovation and build companies that create vibrancy in our community. Entrepreneurship happens here every day as entrepreneurs continuously bet on themselves and take the risk to start and grow their businesses.”  

Partnership events for Global Entrepreneurship Week are:

Sales for Startups (Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

This day-long revenue acceleration workshop will feature lessons on how to build, grow and optimize your startup. Learn more and register here

Raising Capital for Startups (Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

There isn’t just one right path to raising funds, which is why it’s important to know your options. From capitalization tables to equity compensation and managing the investment close, learn more about the seminar and other resources to help you build your startup to be successful. Learn more and register here.  

Iowa Angel Investor Summit (Friday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. )

Iowa Angel Investor Summit is a one-day summit for active and aspiring angel investors to come together to help accelerate the entrepreneurs that are changing the world. Learn more and register here.

In addition to these events, The Partnership will host Local Business School: Master Your Small Business Marketing beginning Nov. 7 through Dec. 12. These virtual learning sessions will cover topics such as brand building, Google Ads, email marketing and more. Learn more and sign up here.  

Greater Des Moines Partnership hosting events for Global Entrepreneurship Week | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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