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StartupIowa is bringing the open-data movement to Iowa with the OpenIowa competition, April 27-29. The three-day code-athon—the first of its kind in the state—challenges developers to turn jumbles of government data into something that benefits the state’s residents, visitors, or businesses.

OpenIowa participants will be given access to vast city, county, and state datasets prior to the event. Available datasets are available at OpenIowa.socrata.com, with more to be added each day. The code-athon will kick off Friday night with pitches for using the data for web, mobile, SMS, or software applications. Voting will narrow down the ideas, and teams will form. Coders, designers, and data junkies will then have two days to bring the projects to life.

Open-data initiatives have been gaining momentum since the 2009 launch of Data.gov, the federal government’s effort to increase public access to information. One of the first open-data competitions in the U.S., Apps for Democracy, was held in Washington, DC in 2008, and led to the creation of 47 iPhone, Facebook, and web applications worth more than $2.6 million to the local economy. Similar contests have since popped up across the country and around the world.

The event costs $30 and includes all food and drinks for the weekend. Register using Tikly.

Friday, April 27
5 pm Registration (dinner served)
6 pm Kickoff/Speakers
6:30 pm Pitches (1 minute/person)
7:30 pm Voting
8-11 pm Teams form, work begins

Saturday, April 28
9 am Doors open (breakfast served)
Noon Lunch
6 pm Dinner

Sunday, April 29
9 am Doors open (breakfast served)
Noon Lunch
3 pm Final presentations
5 pm Winners announced

Be sure to check our blog for updates often!  More logistical detail here.

Events Calendar

Iowa Statewide Calendar

The Iowa Startup and Entrepreneur’s Calendar is the complete view of what is going on in the entrepreneurial and Startup scene in Iowa. Anyone is welcome to link to the calendar using the image below.  You are also welcome to submit an event for the calendar.

There are actually many calendars in this system.  The main calendar is the statewide calendar and contains all of the events.  Clicking on the pull down menu for the main calendar will display a list of all of the calendars available.

If you or your group would like to have a calendar in the system please let us know by sending an email to mcolwell@desmoinesmetro.com.  There is no fee for the use of the calendar.   You will note that the sponsor logo will appear on all calendars viewed by the public.   Thank you to Startup Launchpad and the Davis Brown Law Firm.

Please note that there are 6 event types available.  Each of these types is represented on the main calendar by a separate color:

Awards – Yellow
Conference – Green
Education – Teal
Government – Pink
Holiday – none
Networking – Orange

There is a complete user manual and tutorial videos available at: http://www.mhsoftware.com/documentation.html

If you would like to integrate your calendar or any of the state or region calendars directly into your website, you can contact Tej Dhawan at Startup City Des Moines. tej@startupcitydsm.com

Make sure you let others know about the calendars!  And make sure you give a big Thank You to Startup Launchpad by Davis Brown Law!

Statewide Calendar

Resources in Iowa

Our partners at MyEntreNet have developed a tool named Connections that is an extensive list of the resources available to entrepreneurs within Iowa.  We highly recommend reviewing it for local contacts, programs and other assets available to help you on your entrepreneurial journey.


Iowa Startup Fair

Save the date! StartupIowa will be hosting its second Iowa Startup Fair at various spots around the state in early September. The event will kick off in Des Moines on Sept. 11. The Iowa Lakes area will participate with its Iowa Lakes Corridor Innovation Pavilion at the Clay County Fair, Sept. 8-16. The event will finish up with the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area on Sept. 18 during the Innovation EXPO on Sept 18 at the Marriott in Coralville.

The inaugural Iowa Startup Fair, held Jan. 31, drew more than 400 visitors across the state. Designed to create valuable connections between the startup and broader business communities, the free event included exhibits from more than 100 startups in four regions across the state (Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Pella, and Cedar Falls).

Exhibitor information will be released in the coming weeks. If your company would like to participate, please contact the local representatives for each region.

The Des Moines area event is happy to have the support of the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Downtown Chamber of Commerce.



Fair Registration

The second Iowa Startup Fair is coming in early September. Startups from across the Iowa will set up informational tables in several regions to showcase their projects for an audience of business, investment, civic, and other community members.

The event is taking place in four regions around the state:

  • Des Moines (StartupCity Des Moines); Tuesday, Sept. 11  from 3 to 7 pm. Snacks and refreshments sponsored by DomiKnow. To register: Fill out the form below.
    Contact: Becky Mollenkamp, 515-554-5554 or becky@startupcitydsm.com.
  • Cedar Rapids/Iowa City (Innovation EXPO at the Marriott in Coralville); Tuesday, Sept. 18. Exhibitors register here and attendees sign up here.
    Contact: Amanda Styron, 319-400-7782 or amanda@seedhere.org.
  • Iowa Lakes Corridor (Innovation Pavilion at the 2012 Clay County Fair); Sep. 8-16
    Contact: Brian Dalziel, 712-264-3474 or bdalziel@lakescorridor.com.

Exhibitor Registration

To request a table at the first-ever Iowa Startup Fair, please fill out the form below. Someone will contact you soon to confirm your space and to provide more specific details.