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Small Business and Startup Stories DSM

Business & Economics Podcasts

Startup Stories DSM features conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

Startup Stories DSM features conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.


United States


Startup Stories DSM features conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.






Roboflow Co-Founder Looks Back at Building a Growing, Successful Startup

Brad Dwyer, co-founder of Roboflow, discussed the past 18 months for the company and how the business has grown to what it is today. A serial entrepreneur, Dwyer started his first company, Hatchlings, while a student at Iowa State University. His parents knew he’d be an entrepreneur after attending a wedding where Dwyer learned about supply and demand. He sold his parents quarters to park for $2 each, his first profitable business. He was five years old.


Lola's Fine Kitchen Heats Up In DSM

Hannah Elliott, chef and managing partner at Lola’s Fine Kitchen, shared how she began the business with Greater Des Moines Partnership Director of Small Business Development Christina Moffatt during the latest Small Business and Startup Stories podcast.


Empowering Refugee Youth + Working to Create Job Opportunities in DSM

Pi515 creates pathways to empower youth in DSM to become the faces in the future of tech. In 2010, Nancy Mwirotsi founded Pi515 to serve refugee youth throughout Greater Des Moines (DSM) by teaching them technology skills, coding and critical thinking to help them become innovative and empowered for STEM-field careers.


How to Stop “Shoulding” + Start Living in Order to Live Your Best Life

Get past the fears in your life and learn how to take charge of your life and choices to find success. For Jill Andersen, a speaker and coach in Greater Des Moines (DSM), “shoulding” had become a way of life. The Cedar Rapids area native and ISU grad majored in food science, which served her well for 20 years. She worked for General Mills, where food became a fun and interesting career. But the longer she was there, the more she thought there must be something more. So, she left the...


Artist Workspace in Greater Des Moines (DSM)

Diana Wright, Startup Community Builder at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Siobhan Spain, Director of the Local Artist Workspace at Mainframe Studios, and Beau Kenyon, Composer and Art Advocate in Greater Des Moines (DSM) and Boston, discuss arts entrepreneurship and artists in DSM in the latest Startup Stories podcast.


BURN Boot Camp Brings #BurnNation to DSM

For Darci Evans, co-owning her own business in Greater Des Moines (DSM) has brought big rewards.


PowerPollen Founders on the Influence of Good Mentors

Jason Cope and Todd Krone return to Startup Stories DSM to discuss good mentors and where PowerPollen stands today.


Salon Owner in DSM Pivots During the Pandemic

Tricia Rivas shares how she became owner of Trixie’s Salon in Greater Des Moines (DSM).


The Future of the DSM Startup Community Post-COVID

Tej Dhawan and Ben Milne join Mike Colwell to discuss the Greater Des Moines startup community from 2010 to now.


Iowa Event Producer Launches Second Startup in DSM

Amy Nebons describes her journey into entrepreneurship with Blink Events and BOCS DSM in Greater Des Moines (DSM).


Agrisync Sees Growth Year After Year

Casey Niemann reflects on the start of Agrisync, business focus and startup mentors for Startup Stories DSM. Agrisync, a startup based in Greater Des Moines (DSM), continues to see growth year after year. As the founder of the ag company, Niemann says that with more than 20 employees, and up to 10 staff members expected to be added in 2021, Agrisync serves more than 38,000 customers in more than 10 countries.


ISA Ventures Raises Capital Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Eric Engelmann discusses the start of ISA Ventures and raising capital to help Iowa-based companies grow.


Velorosa Sees High Sales in 2020 Amid Surge in Pandemic Cycling

Velorosa Cycling is Greater Des Moines’ (DSM’s) local shop for women’s cycling wear. From jerseys, tanks and shorts to face masks, rubber jewelry and other accessories, Velorosa has it all. Owners Kim Hopkins and Lisa Carponelli join Startup Stories DSM to discuss the business with the podcast’s host, Mike Colwell.


DSM Startup Impacts Marketing for Faith-Based Nonprofits

Chad Williams’ passion is faith-based nonprofits. From his time as a webmaster with a ministry nonprofit to his jump to startup owner bringing marketing services to faith-based nonprofits, Williams keeps his mission front and center. Five Q provides solutions that lead to higher website engagement, improved donations and an overall greater digital impact.


Blk N Bold Coffee Co-Founder Cezar Pernell

Pernell Cezar Jr. is co-founder and CEO of BLK & Bold Specialty Beverages, known for coffee and tea manufacturing that pledges 5% of its profits to programs for youth to develop professionally and fight youth homelessness. The company works with 14 youth pledge partners across the country in its effort to prioritize purpose. BLK & Bold Specialty Beverages is the first black-owned, nationally distributed coffee brand, and it’s headquartered in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The BLK & Bold story...


Three-Time Startup Owner Creates New Startup to Connect Nonprofit Givers

Matt Ostanik, Greater Des Moines (DSM) entrepreneur, speaks with Greater Des Moines Partnership Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Initiatives Mike Colwell about connecting people and businesses who are willing to give with nonprofits that need additional help. This is the mission of his latest startup, Given. Previously, Ostanik founded three other companies: FunnelWise, a sales and marketing software company that assists in improving marketing ROI; Submittal Exchange, an SaaS company...


TradeLabs: Where Trade Experts Teach Beginning Investors About Stock Trading

Nick Eltjes and Noah Loffredo share their experience starting TradeLabs in Greater Des Moines (DSM).


One World Supplies Brings PPE to DSM

Sul Huq describes his journey as an entrepreneur and the growth of DSM-startup One World Supplies.