Ignite Quad Cities, a program of the Quad Cities Chamber created to elevate the region's entrepreneurial and technology culture is achieving fast growth through collaboration with state-wide partnerships and initiatives. After an invite to participate in a panel at University Economic Development Association Annual Summit, a trip to the Innovation Expo with two local start-ups and the successful launch of Tech Brew in the Quad Cities, Ignite is growing its network and expanding its reach.

Last month, John Pappajahn Entrepreneurial Center invited Julie Forsythe, the Chamber's VP of Entrepreneurship & Innovation to sit on a panel to talk about best practices and lessons learned from building a statewide innovation training program, Venture School. The statewide program emphasizes real-world entrepreneurship and innovation-based, leading edge curriculum taught by serial entrepreneurs. The program works for startups, small business, non-profits, and corporate innovation teams is now enrolling for 2017 Venture School. Venture School is just one of the ways the Chamber works with regional partners to build up the entrepreneurial culture in the Quad Cities and provide a network of support to help businesses start-ups succeed.

Two start-ups from the Quad Cities, Optimum Fleet Health and Citispoon were featured in the Entrepreneur Showcase at the Innovation Expo in Cedar Rapids last week. The Innovation Expo is a coordination of three state-wide events, to enable more fruitful connections between resources and entrepreneurs. Citispoon, a 2015 graduate from Venture School, showcased their product, a mobile app that helps restaurants provide real-time table availability and wait times for diners.
The second Tech Brew took place last week at Endless Brews with over 45 people from diverse sectors of business and is a new way for people in the Quad Cities interested in technology and innovation to come together to gain valuable business connections. The free casual networking event will be held monthly in the Quad Cities for entrepreneurs, educators, technologists, business people and government professionals. RSVP for the next Tech Brew>>

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