QA with Ryan Martinez and Sean Richardson on Sioux City and Base 3
On Thursday, July 16th, Sioux City’s premier entrepreneurship night, Base 3, will be returning for its fourth event. The one-night event includes 3 speakers, live music and art, as well as beer sampling and food. We spoke by phone with the event’s organizers Sean Richardson and Ryan Martinez from Flyover Technology to find out…
On Thursday, July 16th, Sioux City’s premier entrepreneurship night, Base 3, will be returning for its fourth event. The one-night event includes 3 speakers, live music and art, as well as beer sampling and food. We spoke by phone with the event’s organizers Sean Richardson and Ryan Martinez from Flyover Technology to find out what’s new this year, and what’s new in Sioux City.
SPN: For people that don’t know what’s going on Sioux City, what would you say are the most interesting things to watch right now?
SR: I would say Startup Sioux City. It’s basically all the startup people, service providers, and economic development people. They’ve come together to help promote Sioux City. We just formed a board last year, and that’s going really well.
We normally work out of Springboard Coworking. That’s really big for Sioux City.
RM: Springboard Coworking has been huge for developing the startup movement in Sioux City. The owner Diane Daby hosts a First Friday Coffee every month. An entrepreneur comes and discusses their business, and the community works together on how we can help them. It’s very similar to One Million Cups.
In the last year Sioux City has lept from nothing to something, really, really quick.
SPN: What do you think makes Sioux City a distinctive startup community?
RM: We find that our bankers attend a lot of the events that we throw. Whether it’s a Biz Brew or a Base 3, you can always count on Security National, US Bank, Central Bank to be there. No doubt.
SR: We had Gateway up here. That was a huge company. They haven’t been around for many years, but there’s still all those guys left over. They are really knowledgeable on the tech. Maybe not so much in programming, but in tech support. We have a lot of that.
I also think one of our biggest potential industries is Ag. That’s a big focus up here
In the last year Sioux City has lept from nothing to something, really, really quick
SPN: What would you say is the biggest challenge Sioux City is facing right now in terms of developing successful companies?
SR: We have a lot of successful businesses here, but they are more traditional businesses. We’ve had some startups take off, but we haven’t had the true champion or success story yet. I think we’re right on the brink of having one of us take off.
We have everything in place. We have networking events. We have the Springboard Coworking. All the service providers are really involved. The [economic development people], bankers, the Chamber of Commerce–they are all involved.
SPN: What has the response been like to Base 3?
SR: In 2013 we had two events. The first was at Springboard, and we had 30 people. The next one was at the Ho-Chunk Center, and it was 50-60. And the last event [in 2014] we sold out at 80 tickets. And this is our fourth one, and we are expecting between 125-150.
SPN: What will be the biggest difference between last year’s Base 3 and this year?
SR: We’ve always had a Biz Brew beforehand, and a lot of people like that. We’re going to have a live artist painting a scene during the event. We’re also going to have a guitarist and singer around the campfire.
RM: We brought in the musician and the artist because we want to support local talent. We want to develop all local entrepreneurs across all industries.
SPN: Did you say you’re having a campfire?
SR: [laughs] A fake one. We wish it was real.
SPN: Which speaker this year are you really excited about?
SR: I’m really excited about Mike Draper from Raygun in Des Moines. I heard him speak at the Innovation Expo up in Sioux Falls. He was one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard in my life. He’s really good guy, really funny and intelligent.
RM: I’m excited about our first speaker set, Erika Klotz & Scott Hanson [of PopBookings]. I met them at Big Kansas City last year. They’re basically a young power couple. They grind every day to knock out their startup, and they continue to grow. They just raised $250,000. I really want young entrepreneurs to look up to them and see that anyone can do it, no matter your age.
We’re also excited to get Brian Rand to Sioux City, Iowa. Talks of his work at The Bakery in Sioux Falls, SD have traveled from his city to ours. His success with fostering collaboration in a community is what we want to enhance in our startup scene.
For tickets and details, visit the Base 3 event web site.
SPN is a media sponsor of Base 3.
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