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A photo recap of Thinc Iowa 2011

More than 300 attendees packed the Temple for Performing Arts in downtown Des Moines on Oct. 21 for the first Thinc Iowa conference.  

We wrapped up the first Thinc Iowa conference more than one week ago, and now we have the complete photo set to share. A few of the best taken from the Oct. 21 event are posted below, and a big thank you goes to Anna Jones | Art of Photography and Ikonix Studio for documenting all the inaugural festivities. 

To view more photos, including the pictures from T8 Webware‘s opening party, the conference itself, Quova‘s Happy Hour and Microsoft BizSpark‘s closing party, see flickr.com/photos/siliconprairienews.

On Oct. 20, conference attendees and party-goers from the Des Moines community came together for the Thinc Iowa opening party presented by T8 Webware. 

A glimpse from outside the Des Moines Social Club, the venue for the kickoff festivities. 

With more than 250 people in attendance at the opening party, the conference conversations started as soon as the doors opened. 

Party-goers chat outside the phone booth photo booth before striking a pose. To see a few of our best shots from the booth that night, view our post “Thinc Iowa: Photo booth fun from the opening party.”

More than 300 attendees grabbed breakfast to fuel up for the all-day conference at the Temple for Performing Arts building.  

Thinc Iowa attendees mix and mingle before the doors open for speaker presentations. 

Two of Thinc Iowa’s featured artists, the husband-and-wife team of Scott Kubie (middle) and Cat Rocketship (right).

Sticker Mule stickers, T-shirts and other memorabilia were available to attendees in the conference store

Both Bens – Silbermann and Milne – tried out Fresk‘s interactive conference guide before their presentations. 

Rocketship and Kubie show off their QR code interactive Thinc Iowa art display.

With nine speakers in the conference lineup, the schedule was jam-packed with both corporate and startup presentations.

A view from the Grand Ballroom of the Temple for Performing Arts building, where the main stage talks were held. 

Anticipation for the first Thinc Iowa culminated as the clock counted down to the first talk.

Silicon Prairie News COO Geoff Wood and co-founder Jeff Slobotski gave an official Thinc Iowa conference welcome to more than 300 attendees. 

The Silicon Prairie News standing ovation brought Thinc Iowa attendees to their feet as each speaker took stage. 

Andy Murray, the founder and chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi X, kicked off the day and set the tone for the conference’s theme of bringing startups and corporations together. For Murray’s full talk, see our post “Thinc Iowa Video Series: Andy Murray of Saatchi & Saatchi X, Mercury 11.”

Continuing the cadence of the conference, Jerri Chou, founder and managing partner of Lovely Day, made the second presentation, focusing on empowering entrepreneurs and thought-leaders. For Chou’s full talk, see our post “Thinc Iowa Video Series: Jerri Chou of Lovely Day.”

A 60/40 split of attendees from the startup and corporate side of the spectrum were in the audience for the inaugural event.

The first of the corporate speaker to present, Luke Vandermillen from the Principal Financial Group spoke on the importance of listening to the customer. For more on his talk, see our post “Thinc Iowa Video Series: Luke Vandermillen of The Principal.”

In a contrasting presentation style to Vandermillen, Paige Craig, co-founder and CEO of BetterWorks took stage and shared about thinking big and executing small. For Craig’s full talk, see our post “Thinc Iowa Video Series: Paige Craig of BetterWorks.”

Throughout the day, Silicon Prairie News contributors hit their keyboards to live blog each speaker presentation. Pictured above: editor Michael Stacy.   

Jeff Slobotski prepped speaker Ben Milne, co-founder and CEO of Dwolla, before Milne fired up the crowd after the midday lunch break. 

A view of the full house during Milne’s presentation. To view Milne’s full talk, see our post “Thinc Iowa Video Series: Ben Milne of Dwolla

Attendees had the opportunity to engage with speakers throughout the day, asking questions after their presentations and during the extended Q&A session. Pictured above: Jordan Lampe of Dwolla

Douglas Olson of Microsoft Expression Studio discussed his experiences working in the world of startups and large corporations. To learn more about Olson’s talk, see our post Thinc Iowa Video Series: “Douglas Olson of Microsoft Expression Studio.”

Extended speaker Q&A participants Ben MilnePaige CraigAndy MurrayJerri Chou and Ben Silbermann fielded questions from the audience. 

Robbie Vitrano, co-founder and chairman of Trumpet Group, shared the importance of creativity and business development. To view his full presentation, see our post “Thinc Iowa Video Series: Robbie Vitrano of Trumpet Group.”

Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership, invited Nick Seguin, manager of entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, to join in an on-stage question-and-answer session. To view Case’s full presentation, see our post “Thinc Iowa Video Series: Scott Case of Startup America Partnership.”


Des Moines native and Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann closed the conference with a talk on his journey to entrepreneurship. For his full presentation, see our post “Thinc Iowa Video Series: Ben Silbermann of Pinterest.”

Conference volunteers (from left) Amber PankoninBen Pankonin and Jane Wang chatted at the happy hour presented by Quova

A view of Americana, the venue of the Thinc Iowa closing party presented by Microsoft BizSpark

Attendees and members of the Des Moines community finished up the first Thinc Iowa experience at the closing party. 

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