Clarke County Development Corporation hosted its CEO Luncheon at Lakeside Casino this month. The event attracted area CEOs, entrepreneurs and managers interested in economic growth and development in Osceola. Presenters spoke about the abundance of resources available to Clarke County residents who want to grow an idea into a business, or expand an existing small business.
Kirk Bjorland of the Iowa Innovation Corporation stressed the broad spectrum of individuals who can cultivate ideas through online resources,
“whether you’re developing a lawnmower blade in your garage or conducting large-scale research at a public university,” these programs are available to help.
From Idea to Income
The Iowa Innovation Corporation can provide businesses and individuals with access to state, federal and venture capital, growing ideas by packaging them in a way that encourages lenders to invest. Budding entrepreneurs can get help developing their ideas with Venture Net Iowa, a funding continuum that helps create business models and assemble effective management teams. The site also gives examples of funding sources for startups, including some requirements they must meet to be commercially relevant.
Alternative Energy Pays
Mark Petri from the Iowa Energy Center spoke about support his company can provide for economic developments involving alternative energy or energy efficiency. The low-interest loan program for alternative energy projects helps entrepreneurs fund solar power, energy-efficient HVAC systems and other “green” projects. The Iowa Energy Center also provides grants for schools, universities and organizations that are pursuing alternative energy projects.
Know your Market
Paul Kinghorn of the Iowa Waste Reduction Center addressed challenges facing Iowa businesses, including the obstacles of understanding your industry. Business Concierge, hosted in partnership with Iowa Source Link, provides answers to relevant business questions, including competitors’ sales figures, market trends and other important metrics to know when expanding a business. The Iowa Source Link website gives businesses access to many other useful resources, content and contacts.
If you have an innovative idea that you think has the potential to start or grow a business, the Iowa Innovation Center can help you get federal grants through the Small Business Innovation Research Outreach Program. The program will review your idea in a free 1-hour consultation, fund proposal assistance and provide financial assistance of up to $25,000 to match Innovation Corporation awards. Find this resource and others on iicorp.com.
Start in Osceola
There is a wealth of resources available to help Osceola residents start or expand a business. Check out the resources mentioned above and start building your idea into your dream job, and come to the next CEO Luncheon to network and continue to grow your business.
If you have any questions about the CEO Luncheon or any resources available to Oscoela businesses or startups, contact Bill Trickey, Executive Director, Clarke County Development Corporation, 115 East Washington Osceola, IA 5021, Phone: 641-342-2944, WEB: http://ClarkeCountyIowa.com Email: [email protected]