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Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021: Featuring Ben McDougal, Christina Moffatt + Amy Nebons

Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021

The Greater Des Moines Partnership has collected stories from people within the startup community to share during Global Entrepreneurship Week Nov. 8-12, 2021 in an effort to celebrate the community of creators and entrepreneurs to amplify the message that Iowa is a place to start something. See what Ben McDougal (Techstars, 1 Million Cups, FliteBrite, OpenOpen, Jet Set Studio, Pour Over Publishing), Christina Moffatt (Greater Des Moines Partnership, Crème Cupcake + Dessert) and Amy Nebons (BOCS DSM) have to say about being in the Greater Des Moines (DSM) entrepreneurship community below in our first Q+A of the week.

 Ben McDougal

Ben McDougal

 Christina Moffatt

Christina Moffatt

 Amy Nebons

Amy Nebons


Blog images captured by Jami Milne during the Summer Startup Tour.

My Favorite Place to Create …

BM: … is here and now, with you.

CM: My home.

AN: I literally cannot sit in one place for too long, so typically am bouncing around. But I do my best work in a quiet (actually silent) room with ZERO people around so I can openly talk to myself and dream some dreams — but also get some stuff DONE.

The Most Courageous Thing I’ve Ever Done Is …

BM: … choosing to build in a way that feels like play to me, but looks like work to others, while also leading as a heretic who makes a ruckus by creating energizing environments for more remarkable people to fuel positive change as we leave status quo behind.

CM: Raise a child and start a business.

AN: Become an entrepreneur and start a business. There is a lot to be scared of out here on an island.

If I Could Go Back in Time to When I Started My Business/Project, I Would Tell Myself …

BM: … to explore everything we read about in You Don’t Need This Book: Entrepreneurship in the Connected Era.

CM: There are no days off. Your brain doesn’t allow you to stop thinking about how to make the business better.

AN: NOTHING! Ignorance is bliss and allows you the freedom to play around and make mistakes but more importantly authentically learn. I believe the journey is playing out how it is meant to and lessons are being learned constantly.

What Do you Love About the Iowa Entrepreneurship Community?

BM: The work within such a complex adaptive system is never finished, but the Iowa entrepreneurial ecosystem is collaborative and collectively thrives through a positive-sum mindset. In short, if you win, we win. As we continue to inclusively support entrepreneurs, local startup communities and our statewide ecosystem can further evolve at the speed of trust, which allows us all to do more with less in the connected era.

CM: Supportive. I hear from others across the country when in class or conferences that they’ve never heard/seen so much collaboration from entrepreneurs and services that support them like what we have in Iowa.

AN: The creativity and support is astounding. I owe a lot of my triumphs to this community being so open to receiving what I’ve dared to dream. There is SO much talent here and there is an able and willing mentor for every lesson to be learned here.

What I Would Tell Others Who Are Starting Something …

BM: … is that the energy of accelerating others is unmatched. The entrepreneurial journey can lead anyone toward career nirvana, but community is the ticket to ride such a lonely rollercoaster, and persistence brings everything together. Start on the timeline of now and leave nothing behind knowing we either succeed or learn. Keep building my friends!

CM: Prioritize personal nonbusiness goals first for yourself, partner/spouse second, children and family third, friends fourth and then the business last. This will allow you to make sure you have time for those that matter and need you. You will also know how many hours you have to get the work done and be efficient. If you flip flop these, you will always feel torn between family and business. This also helps you figure out your hourly rate. Example you know you want to make $80k gross.

AN: Get started. Don’t let your fears or reservations hold you back from taking the leap. Take one step and then the next and then don’t stop. By the time you look up you won’t believe your progress. Recognize that there will be peaks and valleys to the journey. The valleys challenge you but that is where the real grit and perseverance kick in. Keep going and you will hit those peaks again.

Looking for tools to help grow your startup or small business? Visit the Small Business Resources Hub to find the information you need or sign up for Mentor Connection to build relationships with a trusted group of mentors.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.