Every month in the Quad Cities, entrepreneurs get together to share their ideas, learn from those who have successfully launched businesses, and simply connect. They do this through Ignite Quad Cities, an initiative of the Quad Cities Chamber that fosters an entrepreneurial community. Launched in June 2014, the Ignite Quad Cities Entrepreneurial Meetup group began with a single member and has now grown to over 500 people.

“When we began Ignite Quad Cities, people told us that no one knew where the entrepreneurs in the Quad Cities were, and as a result, the perception was that we didn’t have a strong entrepreneurial culture. That wasn’t the case – there was simply no organized place for entrepreneurs to connect,” says Julie Forsythe, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation for the Quad Cities Chamber. “The Ignite Quad Cities Meetups give entrepreneurs throughout the region a community and a platform to come together and find resources and support as they’re navigating their own startup journey.”

Ignite Quad Cities Meetups often feature a keynote speaker, and have covered topics such as where to find funding for your startup, best practices and lessons learned from seasoned entrepreneurs, and most recently, how to spot and capitalize on technology trends for startup success.

Since the start of Ignite Quad Cities Entrepreneurial Meetups, a new entrepreneurial group has spun off; Quad Cities Open Coffee, which is currently held the 2nd and 4###sup Thursday of every month at 8:00 a.m.

“Some communities are recognized for having an especially strong entrepreneurial culture, and they achieve that status by having a variety of ways for people to connect,” says Forsythe.

In addition to hosting gatherings for entrepreneurs, Ignite Quad Cities also connects people to the resources that already exist in the region. Those include the Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Venture School, and many others. Click here for a complete list of regional entrepreneurial resources, and links to the Ignite Quad Cities Meetups and Open Coffee.

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