An event billed as the largest gathering of entrepreneurs in Iowa returns this week after a year off. EntreFest is coming back to downtown Iowa City Thursday and Friday.
The conference for start-up business owners was launched in 2008 and managed for several years by the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Business Growth and Innovation. But EntreFest went dark last year as operation of the event switched to Cedar Rapids-based New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative. Its events director, Jill Wilkins, says she’s glad to see Entrefest return.
“Rethinking how something has been done and maybe how you can do it in a better way, a more creative way," she says. "I think it is really exciting and really energizing.”
Wilkins says EntreFest brings innovative corporate leaders into the same room.
“I think the ability for connections to be made, whether they are potential business partners, whether it’s a company that comes across a start-up with a product that would be a great fit for them,” she says.
The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is a co-producer of EntreFest. More than 700 people are expected to attend. They will hear from a number of successful, nationally known start-up business founders.