116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Visitors to NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids may have noticed a new addition spring up in recent weeks — the WeDream Cyber Cafe and Gaming Center, which had its official ribbon cutting Saturday.
The cafe has gaming computers and competitive eSports leagues, among other features.
Owner Darryl English says it all happened thanks to a fundraising effort through Kiva Iowa.
“We’re aiming to bring kids back together, get them out of their homes and see what the competitive gaming industry has to offer,” he said.
“And hopefully we’ll be able to teach them some skills on the side.”
English is the owner of WeDream Technical Solutions, also known as the NewBo Service Center. Located inside the NewBo City Market, WeDream provides computer services, phone repair and other technical support.
English, who worked in the computer industry in Chicago before coming to Iowa, saw a need for young computer gamers to have a place to gather and form teams for games such as Overwatch 2 and Fortnite.
He envisioned expanding WeDream into the cyber cafe realm. However, he didn’t have the revenue to make that expansion on his own.
That’s where Kiva Iowa came in.
“I knew it was going to be expensive to build these computers, and Kiva made that possible, “ English recalled.
“Kiva came at a time when I wasn’t in a position to pursue a traditional banking route and it gave me the resources that I needed to open. Kiva presents an opportunity where we can use our skills and our services to connect with the community, to reach out to them and say. ‘This is our vision, and you have an opportunity to be a part of that vision.’”