At the Quad Cities Chamber we work to foster an entrepreneurial community. Over 700 people are now engaged with our entrepreneurial efforts through Ignite Quad Cities, and just last month six of the nine teams that participated in the Quad Cities cohort of Venture School advanced to the state pitch competition; one team took first place and another took third place.We've had much to celebrate when in comes to the entrepreneurial community in the Quad Cities and in the spirit of Economic Development Week, we caught up with Julie Forsythe, Vice President, Entrepreneurship & Innovation to talk about steps entrepreneurs can take to start their business in the Quad Cities.

Ten steps to take to start your business

  1. “Like” Ignite Quad Cities on Facebook for all news, events and happenings entrepreneur in the Quad Cities region.
  2. Download or access the online Ignite Quad Cities Entrepreneurial Resource Guide to understand our region’s resources for any stage of your business:  concept, formation, growth, maturity or reinvention.
  3. Join an Ignite Quad Cities Meetup group to meet other entrepreneurs, mentors, innovators all fueling, supporting and guiding our entrepreneurial culture, all FREE to attend: Ignite Quad Cities Entrepreneurs Meetup and Quad Cities Open Coffee.
  4. Go through Quad Cities Venture School to validate the market and understand the best business model for your idea.  In six short weeks, with the assistance of mentors, you’ll use the lean startup methodology to de-risk starting your business. Can't do it right now? Get smart about the lean startup principals and process so you don’t waste time.
  5. Set up a FREE consultation and develop a relationship with your Small Business Development Center representative.  They will be especially helpful as you prepare to get funding. IllinoisJim Boyd at Illinois SBDC, WIU & IowaJoel Youngs at Iowa SBDC, EICC.
  6. Check out Quad Cities SCORE FREE online webinars and workshops to help you with the organization and planning of your business. AND, develop a relationship with a SCORE mentor who can help provide advisement along your startup journey.
  7. If you think you a product or process you need to protect, utilize the Patent & Trademark Resource Center at the Davenport Public Library for FREE to do an initial search to see if there are any patents/trademarks that already exist for your idea.
  8. Subscribe to Entrepreneur Daily and Innovation Daily – absolutely invaluable information!
  9. Need a professional for a particular service/product?  Use the online Chamber member business directory to connect with expert businesses.
  10. Have a question?  Just ask!

The Quad Cities Chamber is here to help you through your startup journey. Contact us and we'll help you navigate the resource options and connect you to the people who can ignite and fuel your business success.

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