Building Momentum for Ag Innovation at EntreFEST

Building Momentum for Ag Innovation at EntreFEST

Renew Rural Iowa is a charter sponsor of both EntreFEST and the Dream Big Grow Here contest.  We understood from the beginning the importance of these new and innovative showcases designed to encourage and inspire entrepreneurship in Iowa.

As the Dream Big Grow Here contests have evolved with industry specific contests this year it seemed most appropriate for Renew Rural Iowa to host the competition geared at innovation in agriculture. The Dream Big Grow Here contest led us to build an industry specific theme featuring Ag Innovation woven into the comprehensive EntreFEST agenda. We were excited to help design eight different sessions geared at innovation in agriculture. Among those, EntreFEST featured a number of sessions including the Hot Trends in Agriculture panel featuring 3 founders of interesting new companies here in Iowa, a Keynote from Bruce Rastetter of Summit Group, and The Art of the Investor Pitch session for those looking to raise startup or growth capital. There were nearly 250 attendees that took part in Renew Rural Iowa designed sessions with nearly ¼ of the overall EntreFEST attendees finding value in the Ag Innovation specific theme. Agriculture is the backbone of Iowa, after all. 🙂

EntreFEST also provided the perfect backdrop for our Ag Innovation MeetUp!   There were almost 50 attendees at Pullman’s Diner in downtown Iowa City including 20 first-time participants.  Renew Rural Iowa will continue to support these ongoing events designed for valuable peer business connections!  Ask us about our next Ag Innovation MeetUp coinciding with the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute in the Iowa Lakes Corridor coming in early August.

Overall, Renew Rural Iowa was extremely pleased with the excitement surrounding both EntreFEST and Dream Big Grow Here. We have really enjoyed helping grow both from ideas to mainstays here in Iowa over the years and are very proud to support both in our own little way. We heard great feedback from many grateful participants and will work hard to continue to build on the momentum as we move forward.

Sandy Ehrig, Economic Development Administrator, Iowa Farm Bureau

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