Have you been contemplating a new business idea, but need a process to evaluate it? Venture School can help.

Venture School is a six-week accelerator program that helps entrepreneurs and existing firms test new business ideas through real-time feedback and customer interaction, and it's back in the Quad Cities for the fourth time beginning Monday, February 26.

Twenty-four teams of Quad Cities' entrepreneurs have completed Venture School since its launch in early 2015. Last year, two teams from the region earned top honors at the Venture School statewide pitchoff. The entrepreneurs behind The Germbot, a new portable floor sanitizing device, won first place, and Robotic Tank Washing, an idea for a robotic power washing system for industrial and chemical companies, placed third.

During this hands-on program, participants pitch their business idea and receive feedback from mentors on a weekly basis, interview prospective customers as a way to gain client insight, and learn the lean startup business methodology. By the end of the program, aspiring entrepreneurs will have used the insight and feedback gained to develop and fine-tune their business model, increasing the odds of success by 20%.

“The Venture School program was a great experience for our team.  It helped verify the information and strategies that we thought we knew and gave us some additional tools for market analysis that we hadn’t considered previously,” said Kevin Toft, President of area manufacturer ALM Positioners, Inc. “I would recommend this program to a new start-up company or an existing company that is doing market or product development.”

Want to hear firsthand from a panel of companies that have gone through Venture School? Join Kevin and others on Jan. 23 at The Current Iowa. (Click here for full details.)

Venture School meets on a weekly basis in the evening from February 21 through April 16 at the Kahl Educational Center, 326 W. 3rd St., Davenport. The deadline to apply is February 6. Learn more and apply today!

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