It hit me about midway through the second day of EntreFest: I was actually thinking of Big Omaha and EntreFest in the same thought and it didn’t feel like a stretch.
If you’re not familiar with EntreFEST, it’s been around for seven years. The University of Northern Iowa has been the driving force behind it since it launched, and the last two years it has been produced by Seed Here Studio of Cedar Rapids.
I can only claim to attending the last two, the 2013 event in Cedar Rapids and this year’s event in downtown Iowa City, May 14-16. It has historically been billed as an event for entrepreneurs — but the focus has been on small business entrepreneurs, not high potential startups, making it different event than other entrepreneurship and innovation conferences. Still valuable, of course, but inherently local in focus, and more of a workshop than a big galvanizing event. It was more about finding a good small business accountant or real estate agent to help launch your cupcake store or landscaping business than creating the next Instagram.