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Startup
Des Moines


This is where we talk about everything you need to know about the Des Moines startup ecosystem.

SCROLL DOWN

Startup
Des Moines


This is where we talk about everything you need to know about the Des Moines startup ecosystem.

 

You've come to the right place

New to Des Moines? Want to know more about the entrepreneurial scene and what's going on in the community?

From all of us in the local startup community, we are excited to have you here. We want to help you get started, become acquainted with the support resources available, and introduce you to the network. Yes, we really are "Iowa nice" and we look forward to meeting you soon.

 
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Des Moines Startup Ambassadors


The people you need to know. Reach out to our ambassadors so you can get connected quickly. 

Des Moines Startup Ambassadors


The people you need to know. Reach out to our ambassadors so you can get connected quickly. 

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Main Industries In Iowa


Main Industries In Iowa


You might think that Iowa is located at the intersection of the middle of nowhere and the land of corn and pigs, but that’s just what people who have never been here think. While agriculture plays a big part in our economy, you’ll find we’ve got a lot more going on.

Our main industries include:

  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Agriculture
  • Renewable Energy
  • Politics (the Presidential race starts here with the First In the Nation caucus)
  • Healthcare
  • Education Technology
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What Makes Des Moines Great for Startups?


What Makes Des Moines Great for Startups?


Here are just a few reasons we think the greater Des Moines area is a good place to start your business.

1. The community has pride in local endeavors and welcomes new ideas and innovation. (Pinterest had a large Iowa following early on because of its connection to Des Moines)

2. The saying “Iowa Nice” is true. Midwesterners are friendly and ready to help. Des Moines is a large enough community to offer many resources while small enough to allow startups access to the people and support that are necessary to build successful companies.

3. Leading city amenities, low cost of living, space to breathe, good family values, great art scene, and delicious food options provide a great lifestyle balance outside of work.

4. Des Moines is centrally located making it easy to connect to Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, and Minneapolis by car and is just a short flight from either coast.

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Local Programs and Organizations


Local Programs and Organizations


COWORKING COMMUNITIES & MAKERSPACES:

Looking to tap into a thriving coworking community? We’ve got one of those! Need a makerspace to work on your craft? Yep, that’s here too.

LOCAL PROGRAMS:

There are a lot of local organizations that want to help you and your business succeed.

 

ACCELERATORS:

Accelerators are everywhere these days, but if you are looking for an insurance or agricultural focused experience, we’re the place for you.

LOCAL UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS:

Education and student endeavors are also important to the greater Des Moines startup scene and you will find some of the finest educational programs within arms reach.

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Ongoing Events


Ongoing Events


There always seems to be an event or two on the calendar each week for you to tap into. Come out and meet other entrepreneurs and business leaders in the community. We look forward to meeting you soon!

WEEKLY


ANNUALLY

  • Accelerate DSM (annually)
  • Invest in She (bi-annually)
  • Startup Weekend (annually)

 

ONLINE ENGAGEMENT

 

KEY LOCAL EVENTS

MONTHLY

 

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN MEETUPS

Looking for more technical and development groups?

You can find all of them at the Des Moines Web Collective

 

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Notable Startups and Local Companies


Notable Startups and Local Companies


The Greater Des Moines area has had our fair share of startup activity. From very early stage companies to those that have successfully exited, we pride ourselves on trying new ideas. Here are a few of the startup companies that are proud to call Des Moines home:

ACCELERATOR COMPANIES:

SMALL FUNDING / BOOTSTRAPPED:

MORE INFORMATION:

  • A broad index of companies throughout Iowa that have raised investment capital is available here, courtesy of Square One DSM and NewBoCo.

SUCCESSFUL EXITS:

  • Banno
  • SmartyPig
  • NewLink Genetics (IPO)
  • Tourney Machine
  • Workiva (IPO)

VENTURE-BACKED:

ANGEL FUNDED:

We are also proud of our locally-headquartered companies:

  • DuPont Pioneer
  • Hy-Vee Food Stores Inc.
  • John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group
  • Mercer
  • Mercy Medical Center/Mercy Health Network
  • Meredith Corporation
  • Nationwide
  • Principal Financial Group
  • UnityPoint Health
  • Wellmark Inc.
  • Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
  • Workiva
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Startup Funding in Iowa


Startup Funding in Iowa


Looking to tap into the network of investors in Greater Des Moines and throughout the state? Here’s who you need to know.

ANGEL AND SEED INVESTORS:

PRIVATE EQUITY:

VENTURE CAPITAL:

More information can be found on the Iowa Venture Capital Association website: IowaVenture.org

State of Iowa resources for entrepreneurs:

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Hangout Spots


Hangout Spots


Need a break from your hard work? These awesome places won't let you down.

LUNCH:

  • Fighting Burrito
  • Fong’s Pizza
  • Moar Tacos
  • The Cafe (Ames)

CRAFT BEER:

  • 515
  • Confluence
  • Firetrucker
  • and so many more...try all Iowa craft brews at the Iowa Tap Room

COFFEE:

  • Mars Cafe
  • Scenic Route
  • Smokey Row
  • Zanzibar

DINNER:

  • Americana
  • Bubba
  • Centro
  • Django
  • RoCA
  • Zombie Burger

FOOD TRUCKS LOCATIONS:

  • The Western Gateway around the sculpture park
  • The area around the Iowa Events Center
  • The Locust Bridge and East Village
  • The Court House area 
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How to Get Involved


How to Get Involved


We want the chance to say hi so be sure to join us and get involved!

  1. Join The Startup Iowa Slack Channel
  2. Join the Startup Iowa Facebook group
  3. Subscribe to The Pull - the weekly Iowa innovation community newsletter
  4. Go to 1 Million Cups and/or Startup Ames
  5. Introduce yourself to the community!