Make it two in a row.
Yesterday, I had lot of fun letting you all in on a few of the details around what we’re planning for Thinc Iowa this October. There was a tremendous response from across the state and around the country.
Today, I get to tell you about something else that’s been in the works for several weeks: Startup Foundation Des Moines. And, it officially launched today.
Startup Foundation is an idea put together by Startup Weekend core team members’ Marc Nager, Franck Nouyrigat and Shane Reiser. Looking for a way to impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem year-round, rather than in 54-hour increments (the length of a Startup Weekend event), they had the concept of locally-run foundations in cities around the globe. Each foundation would work on the most important startup initiatives for their specific community.
At this point, Startup Foundation is in a test phase and launched today with six cities domestically – New York, Seattle, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles and Des Moines – and one internationally – Sao Paulo, Brazil. Des Moines is by far the smallest community and the fact that we were chosen to participate is a credit to the hard work of all the individuals and organizations who have been putting their efforts into turning this area into a center of innovation. To provide a kick start to the concept, seed funding for each of the local foundations has been provided by the Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation.
Startup Foundation has asked me, through Silicon Prairie News, to lead the local foundation and I gladly accepted. Going forward, I will also continue in my role as COO of Silicon Prairie News. The goals of the Startup Foundation and the mission of Silicon Prairie News parallel each other in so many ways that we’re confident through working together we can achieve more. Additionally, the Startup Foundation network will provide support, awareness and access to experiences that will be beneficial to us all.
As things get into full gear we’ll be keeping you informed about Startup Foundation Des Moines here on Silicon Prairie News. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be engaging the community for feedback and prioritization on initiatives and working to assemble an advisory board.
Once again, I’m so excited about the energy in Des Moines currently, and I believe this added asset to our community is going to take it to another level.