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Small Business Success Summit

Local and small business owners, entrepreneurs and startups are invited to join the Greater Des Moines Partnership on March 22, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for the 6th Annual Small Business Success Summit. Summit participants will have a chance to hear presentations by keynotes from industry leaders that will inform and inspire, participate in workshops with fellow business owners from Greater Des Moines (DSM) and engage in in-depth conversations at various breakout sessions. 

This year's featured keynote is award-winning New Yorker writer and co-creator of NPR's "Planet Money," Adam Davidson. 

See the Full Schedule  Download the Event App

Register for the 2023 Small Business Success Summit. 

2023 Small Business Success Summit 

If you’d like to sponsor the 2023 Small Business Success Summit please contact the Small Business and Member Support Manager, Emily McLain

Speaker and Session Descriptions


headshot of Adam Davidson

The Passion Economy  |  Adam Davidson

Adam Davidson is an award-winning New Yorker writer and the author of “The Passion Economy.” A widely respected public voice with a unique talent for explaining the complicated interconnections between business, technology, and economics, he was previously an economics writer for the New York Times Magazine. Davidson co-founded and ran NPR’s “Planet Money,” served as NPR’s international business and economics correspondent, and has been a frequent contributor to “This American Life,” where he received a Peabody Award, a DuPont-Columbia Award, and a Polk Award for his work on “The Giant Pool of Money.” His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, GQ, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. He also served as a technical consultant to Adam McKay, the co-writer and director of the Academy Award-winning film “The Big Short” (and later, Davidson’s cohost on Gimlet Media podcast “Surprisingly Awesome”). He is currently launching a course on passion storytelling for business with the education startup Maven. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and lives in Charlotte, Vermont with his wife and son. For more information about Speaker, please visit www.prhspeakers.com

Other confirmed speakers during The Summit are:

  • The Ten Year “Overnight” Success Panel. (Panelists will be announced at a later date.)
  • Dawnelle Conley, U.S. Small Business Administration and Jodi Essex, CIRAS Apex Accelerator, will provide an overview on supplier diversity and contracting.  
  • Mollie Frideres Smith, MFS Consulting, will discuss small businesses HR strategies. 
  • Christy Jones, Certified Business Coach, Accelerate Action Coach, will discuss how a strong culture leads to a strong team in addition to sales and profit strategies.  
  • Siobhan Spain, Mainframe Studios, will moderate a panel of Iowa creative entrepreneurs who share their experiences as creative business owners. 

Pitch Competition

New this year, The Partnership will offer a Pitch Competition for local entrepreneurs to take place during The Summit with over $10,000 in total awards. The competition is geared toward business owners or entrepreneurs who seek to establish a new business or grow or expand an existing business in DSM.

Applications for the 2023 competition are closed. Entrepreneurs chosen for the competition will be notified on Wednesday, March 15. If chosen to compete, a participant would be asked to prepare a three-minute pitch to present to a panel of judges at The Summit. 

See the Pitch Competition Guidelines for more information.

Premier Sponsor


Gold Sponsor

Meta Logo

Silver Sponsors

Ankeny DMACC

Bronze Sponsors

Brown Winick ciras connectifyhr Health Partners
IEDA Mediacom Purpose Bank Two Rivers Bank
University of Iowa

Hospitality Sponsor

Jennings Kallen Advisors


Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce, Dymin Systems, SBA, SCORE, The Iowa Center for Economic Success, Goldman Sach's 10000 Small Business, P&M Apparel, Women Lead Change