Pella Chronicle

January 23, 2012

Central College hosts startup fair for local entrepreneurs


The Chronicle

Pella — Central College will host one of the first fairs in the state for local startups. The event is sponsored by StartUpIowa, a statewide initiative aimed at bringing resources to entrepreneurs. The fair will be held in Graham Conference Center Jan. 31 from 3-6 p.m.

Local entrepreneurs from Marion County will get the chance to showcase their products and projects to an audience of students and business, investment, civic and other community members. Wade Steenhoek, director of the Martin Heerema Entrepreneurship Program at Central, is organizing the event in partnership with Joel Bennett of Veel Hoeden Coworking. Steenhoek expects 15-20 startups from Pella, Knoxville, Oskaloosa, Newton and Grinnell.

“As we strive to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Marion County, this event is a great opportunity for the public to see the innovation and creativity happening here,” said Steenhoek.

The Central College fair is one of several sponsored by StartupIowa on the same day in locations around the state, including Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids. Central is hosting the Pella fair in partnership with Veel Hoeden, a Pella company that provides shared space for the business community to work independently on projects.

Central College is committed to nurturing entrepreneurship in its students and the local community. This includes a variety of on-campus and off-campus activities geared toward creativity, innovation and problem solving.

“This fair will give students the opportunity to see firsthand what entrepreneurship looks like in the business world, to see innovation as it happens and to learn from the people doing it today,” said Steenhoek.

The event is free and open to the public. Those interested in entrepreneurship in Marion County are strongly encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Steenhoek at 641-628-5917. Entrepreneurs seeking space at the fair should register at www.startupia.org.