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New year, new location for EntreFEST: Iowa City
Annual event for entrepreneurs will be hosted in Iowa City for first time since 2017
Jessica Abdoney - NewBoCo
Apr. 24, 2022 7:00 am
It’s been five years since Iowa City hosted EntreFEST.
This summer, it’ll finally be back.
The Iowa City area can expect a large gathering of speakers and entrepreneurs to arrive for the two-day conference, June 9 and 10. It will be EntreFEST’s first appearance there since 2017 when NewBoCo first started producing the event.
While EntreFEST has brought entrepreneurs and industry professionals together for the past decade, the location rarely has stayed the same. According to organizers at NewBoCo, the conference started in Cedar Falls before making appearances in cities across the state, including Coralville, Cedar Rapids, West Des Moines, Ames and Iowa City.
“It is great to be able to host EntreFEST in different locations,” said Jill Wilkins, NewBoCo’s chief operating officer.
“It gives us the ability to work with different partners, highlight various communities, give our attendees continued unique experiences and keep the event fresh.”
EntreFEST organizers are working with the city to bring small businesses such as restaurants, hotels and venues together to create a unique experience for the attendees.
“We’re excited to be able to use businesses along the Ped Mall,” Wilkins said. “It is a great atmosphere and lends itself to wonderful opportunities for our attendees to meet with one another and engage in a fun and unique space.
“It’s definitely a full community effort, which is awesome.”
Those locations will include spaces and businesses that have been newly renovated or constructed giving past and first time attendees something new to experience together.
“The Ped Mall, Englert and the Graduate (Hotel) have all been renovated since we last held EntreFEST in Iowa City, and FilmScene at the Chauncey didn’t even exist,” Wilkins said.
“It’s great to see all of the amazing work that has happened downtown.”
EntreFEST has linked breweries, restaurants, retail and entertainment venues for attendees to experience while visiting the city. From the Englert to the Graduate, EntreFEST organizers have plenty of new spaces to use, thanks to collaborations with the city of Iowa City, Iowa City Area Development Group, MERGE, Think Iowa City and the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.
However, no matter the location — even virtually in 2020 — EntreFEST strives to tie innovation and entrepreneurship together, Wilkins said.
This year EntreFEST attendees can expect over 65 speakers, 50 breakout rooms, three keynote speakers, and individual coaching and investor sessions.
According to NewBoCo event coordinator Jourdan McChesney, “The common thread of the EntreFEST story is that the entrepreneurial and innovation community in Iowa and the Midwest comes together to make this ecosystem stronger.”
“As always, we are focused on bringing a diverse mix of people together to learn from experts in their field, meet new people and build relationships that can help advance business,” Wilkins said.
For details about EntreFEST and to purchase tickets, go to EntreFEST.com.