Ascent’s Startup Boot Camp Impacts Iowa’s Women-Owned Businesses

Ascent’s Startup Boot Camp Impacts Iowa’s Women-Owned Businesses

Women entrepreneurs and those who’ve dreamed of launching their own businesses are urged to register now for Ascent’s next Startup Business Boot Camp for Women. Classes begin in January in both Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, and seating is limited.

Created by Drake University, this session will be co-sponsored by Kirkwood Community College and Drake, where the classes will be held. The Startup Business Boot Camp consists of a Friday evening session and all-day Saturday session over two weekends. Participants learn from area experts and entrepreneurs, with presentations, group discussion, and hands-on support. Classes are small, with just seven to ten participants, and presenters focus on providing students with the tools needed to start their own business. Attendees at prior Ascent Boot Camps credit the experience with giving their business plans a measurable boost.

“The Boot Camp provided the initial push I was lacking,” says Valerie Johannsen, of Des Moines. “Sharing my ideas, putting my plan on paper, and getting instant feedback made me realize that I could make my dream a reality. Being able to establish and develop relationships with other women, mothers and peers has made me more accountable in following through on my idea and has provided me with additional avenues of support and networking.”

Other participants in Ascent’s June 2014 Startup Business Boot Camp have enjoyed similar success. One month after her Boot Camp graduation, Jodi Manternach of Fairfax quit her job to turn her new business, Beyond Painting, into her fulltime career. Jodi’s classmate Jean Wenisch, owner of John Holladay Graphics of Cedar Rapids, was chosen in September 2014 to participate in IWLC’s inaugural “Invest in She” competition, where she won $2,000 in technical assistance.

Cost for the Ascent Startup Business Boot Camp for Women is $150 per person, which includes class materials, beverages, appetizers on Fridays and lunches on Saturdays. Discounts are available for Ascent members and for Drake University and Kirkwood Community College students and alumnae. To register or learn more, contact Jami Gordon at (319) 450-0600 or [email protected].

Ascent is a not-for-profit organization driven by the private sector with the assistance of public and academia partnerships. Our mission is to inspire and support women in business ownership by helping them grow in a meaningful way, to create jobs, drive economies and strengthen communities.

Jami Gordon, Director of Operations, Ascent Iowa

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