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Summer Startup Tour

Coming out of the pandemic, we are starting to unfold to a new normal of time and space. There is a resurgence of people solving problems, creating, building, making, and starting businesses and side hustles. Even after the mass disruption, the pandemic brought to our creative and business community, we strive to emerge together to spotlight the resilience that makes up the fabric of our startup and entrepreneurial community in Greater Des Moines (DSM).

The Greater Des Moines Partnership and several other organizations are working together to host the first-ever Summer Startup Tour, a month-long series of free events to welcome DSM’s entrepreneurs, creators and makers back to the community.

The Tour will also mark the 10th anniversary of the 2011 launch of the StartupCity DSM incubator, a public-private joint effort focused on growing the DSM early-stage technology community, viewed by many as the inflection point that led to the modern startup ecosystem.

First things first, all are invited.

The Summer Startup Tour will feature four stops at spaces in the community related to making, creating, and starting something. The series will kick off on Wednesday, July 7, and go through July 28.


Gravitate Coworking Downtown  |  July 7 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  |  REGISTER HERE

  • 8 a.m.  |  Coffee, Treats and Networking
  • 8:30 a.m.  |  1 Million Cups kicks off with a presentation from Pi515; 1MC concludes at 9:30 a.m.
  • 9:30-10:30 a.m.  |  Free Portrait Session by the Talented Visual Storyteller + Artist, Jami Milne
  • Noon  |  "Introduction to the Startup Scene" by Geoff Wood, Founder of Gravitate. Bring your lunch or grab food after with a group!
  • 4 p.m.  |  Happy Hour Sponsored by Gravitate
  • 4 – 6 p.m.  |  Portrait Session with Jami Milne

Free coworking all day at Gravitate Downtown — thank you Gravitate team!

Maple Ventures  |  July 15 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  |  REGISTER HERE

  • 11:30 a.m.  |  Lunch Sponsored by Ramco Innovations
  • Noon  |  Panel featuring physical-product builders and entrepreneurs including Gabe Glynn (MakuSafe), Amy Vohs (Lil' Sidekick), Max Gangestad (Gross-Wen Technologies) and Brandon Hart (HartSmart Products)
  • 1 p.m.  |  Tour of Maple Ventures

Mainframe Studios  |  July 22 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.  |  REGISTER HERE

  • 4:30 p.m.  |  Happy Hour and Introduction to Mainframe Studios by Siobhan Spain
  • 5 p.m.  |  Panel Featuring Artists and Creatives
  • 6 p.m.  |  Tour of Mainframe Studios

xBk Live  |  July 28 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.  |  REGISTER HERE

  • 4:30 p.m.  |  Happy Hour and Networking Sponsored by LenderClose
  • 5 p.m.  |  Welcome and panel featuring Tobi Parks, owner of xBk Live, Station 1 Records, and attorney for Sony Music; Tim Thelen, owner of BiLT Guitars; Jo Allen, photographer at JoVisuals; and Brandon Darner, musician, founding member of Envy Corps and producer (Imagine Dragons + more)
  • 6:30 p.m.  |  Live concert featuring The Finesse, a "healthy diet of hip-hop-jazz, blues and rock" to celebrate the end of the Summer Startup Tour!

Register today and follow along for the full schedule of events, speakers and concert announcements!

For questions or sponsorship opportunities, please email Diana Wright, Startup Community Builder at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

Thank You to Our Co-Hosts and Sponsors