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Marry My City
Your loved one is getting married and you’re trying to find them the perfect gift. After you procrastinate too long to make that memorable keepsake, you decide to check out their registry only to find it limited to items found in big box retailers. You print the list of stuff and see the items that remain are a Crock-Pot and an oven glove. So, you opt for the safe bet — a gift card. If only there was another way. That’s what sprang to Kaitlin Byers’ mind when she went through that cycle...
Melissa Carlson – 818 Design
Melissa Carlson picked up a passion for graphic design as a student in high school. She credits her interest in creativity, art and design to a high school teacher who encouraged her to pursue the field at university. Carlson studied at Grand View University in Greater Des Moines (DSM). After landing her first job at a publishing company, a second at an ad agency and then at an architecture firm, she then founded 818 Designs.
Ryan Gerhardy – Pitchly
After working in venture capital, Australian Ryan Gerhardy launches Pitchly in Greater Des Moines (DSM).
Gabe Glynn – MākuSafe
By Gabe Glynn’s own account, he has had a winding entrepreneurial career. MākuSafe began in early 2016, with a beta product tested in late 2016. The wearable technology has some smart software behind it that incorporates machine learning. The five devices first tested created seven million data points in a month.
Steve Sherlock – Pablow
The Sherlock’s startup, Pablow, is an insurance aggregate focusing on the travel insurance space. The platform connects with the APIs of six major insurance companies like AIG and Allianz to provide access to travel companies offer travel insurance vacation rentals after the sale.
Tracy Fuller – InnovativEvents
Greater Des Moines (DSM) entrepreneur Tracy Fuller’s story began in 1987. Her son had passed away and she was looking for a way to get off the couch and into the world. Fuller started a company called Happy Occasions. In 2004, the name changed to InnovativEvents when the company’s customer base went international. From the Sydney Opera House in Australia to a castle in Ireland, the company now produces events for corporate clients managing AV, sound, food and décor.
Brad Dwyer – Hatchlings
Greater Des Moines (DSM) games company, Hatchlings, recently turned 10-years-old. In that time, it has amassed 15 million users and shares a prestigious award with Tesla’s Elon Musk. The company began when DSM entrepreneur Brad Dwyer started a Facebook game called The Worldwide Easter Egg Hunt, which became a viral sensation amassing 1 million users in its first year. In the game, players from around the globe try to collect all 5,000+ different eggs and compete to get the highest score each...
Todd Krone & Jason Cope – PowerPollen
A Greater Des Moines (DSM) startup says they’ve developed a process to cross-pollinate corn that not only eliminates the need for manual labor but also can increase yields by up to 80 percent.
Amy Vohs – Lil' Sidekick
A Greater Des Moines (DSM) mom's mission to help parents across the world, one catch at a time.
Christina Moffatt – Crème Cupcake + Dessert
Crème Cupcake + Dessert owner Christina Moffatt was turned down by seven banks but her business still succeeded.
Megan Vollstedt – Iowa AgriTech Accelerator
Megan Vollstedt became the Executive Director of the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator in 2017 after rising up through the ranks at Workiva in Ames, Iowa.
Ben Milne – Dwolla
Founder and CEO Ben Milne launched Dwolla in 2010. Its customer-facing technology meant it soon got a high public profile as it worked from its Downtown Des Moines (DSM) location moving millions of dollars a day.
Kaylee Williams – VolunteerLocal
Kaylee Williams is the president of VolunteerLocal, a volunteer scheduling and registration platform. Williams joined the founding team at VolunteerLocal and led the strategic growth of the business into national and international markets. Customers include Lululemon, the United States Marine Corps, Ironman, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Australia, the largest LGBTQ event in the world. Williams is passionate about community service and diversity...
Amos Petersen – FarrPro
FarrPro is focused on eliminating premature death of piglets. Amos Petersen, CEO of FarrPro, is the son and grandson of Iowa farmers and a serial entrepreneur, and is an impressive mixture of theorist, economist and determined doer. Hear in his own words about the amazing, sometimes brutally fast growth of his hardware company. Learn how he is leveraging existing research and technology in entirely new ways to solve long-standing problems with tremendous financial upside.