Entrepalooza Wrap Up
The fifth annual Entrepalooza wrapped up with Swimming with the Sharks business idea competition at Briar Cliff University on Thursday, February, 26. Interestingly, the top grant winners had businesses that are geared toward leisure time activities – Jackson Street Brewing, Marto Brewing (both craft brewers), and the Pickled Palette (an arts and crafts studio). Jackson Street Brewing is also a finalist for Sioux City GO’s Innovation Market that was held on the 24th.
Perhaps the most impactful additions to Entrepalooza this year were the entrepreneurship programs geared toward K – 12 students and the Hispanic market. The Enactus teams from Northeast Community College and Briar Cliff University taught young people the principles of entrepreneurship. Elementary school students brainstormed product ideas, learned how to market them, and sold them at two events. It was inspirational to see their enthusiasm with the project. The Enactus teams also mentored high school students interested in starting their own businesses. At the Innovation Grow Market, students pitched their business ideas to a panel of business people. The winning team’s idea was a data collection system for cars. These systems would automatically record information that could be used to establish fault in the event of a car accident.
Northeast Community College had a seminar that had two tracks. The first was for business owners who are Hispanic. They were given information on how they could incorporate technology into their business. This session was taught in Spanish. The second track covered how businesses could better market to Hispanic consumers and businesses. After the two simultaneous sessions were over, both groups met to network. This is a valuable addition to Entrepalooza.
Entrepalooza is a celebration of entrepreneurship in the Siouxland area. Its purpose is to draw attention to the startup community and to provide information and some funding for area entrepreneurs. Planning for Entrepalooza 2016 will begin soon. For additional information, visit http://entrepaloozasiouxland.com/.
Judy Thompson, Professor of Business Administration, Briar Cliff University