A conference geared toward promoting entrepreneurship and innovation will feature a variety of decision makers and leaders and topics from a number businesses and organizations on Thursday and Friday.
Speakers at the sixth annual EntreFest will include Mike Draper, founder and CEO of the store Raygun, Mary Quass, president and CEO of NRG Media, Curtis Nelson, president and CEO of the Entrepreneurial Development Center, and Josh Cramer, founder of Cramer Dev.
Thirty-two other speakers and panelists are scheduled for presentations and workshops covering brand building, raising capital and social media, among other topics.
The two-day conference will run Thursday and Friday at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW. Registration is $119 per person, or $60 for students.
“This year in Cedar Rapids we have an immense and very exciting ecosystem being built around startups, so we tapped into that,” said Maureen Collins-Williams, director of entrepreneurship outreach at the University of Northern Iowa. “The energy that we’re building around this is tied to some pretty exciting ways to help people become more entrepreneurial, both in large companies and in startups.”
In conjunction with the conference, aspiring and existing small business owners will compete for a $10,000 grand prize as part of the statewide Dream Big, Grow Here business competition. Ten finalists will make their pitch before a panel of seven judges Thursday evening.
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will be the emcee.
EntreFest 2013 is sponsored by the University of Iowa, Kirkwood Community College, the Iowa Small Business Development Center, the University of Northern Iowa’s Regional Business Center and other businesses and organizations.
Go to www.entrefest.com for more information.