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Global Entrepreneurship Week 2021: Featuring Mickey Davis, Mike Jefferson + Joe Leo

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 Mickey Davis (Greater Des Moines Music Coalition), Mike Jefferson (Greater Des Moines Partnership) and Joe Leo (BrownWinick Law Firm) have to say about being in the Greater Des Moines (DSM) entrepreneurship community.

 Mickey Davis

Mickey Davis

 Mike Jefferson

Mike Jefferson

 Joe Leo

Joe Leo


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

My Favorite Place to Create …

MD: … is my music studio. Otherwise, whether I’m working on music or programs for the Des Moines Music Coalition, my favorite place to create is between my headphones — usually at Mars Cafe.

MJ: … anywhere I can have my laptop.

JL: My front porch is the place where I feel the most creative.

The Most Courageous Thing I’ve Ever Done Is …

MD: … having a child. I knew it would be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m six weeks in and understand this takes a lot of courage.

MJ: … start my own business.

JL: I remember showing up for my first industry conference and walking up to a group of people I did not know and I introduced myself. It was hard to do the first time and I was self-conscious, but over time it becomes easier and I have met some amazing people by taking that leap.

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

MD: … you’re going to make mistakes and that’s cool! As long as you’re building authentic relationships with the people with whom you are working, people are generally willing to roll with the punches in the face of things going wrong. It’s all about the people.

MJ: Don’t stop when you make a mistake, but learn from it and keep going

JL: Always show up and be present. Opportunities do not come to you unless you are open to them.

What Do you Love About the Iowa Entrepreneurship Community?

MD: I’ve lived in several different places and have recently made my way back to Des Moines, in no small part because it’s a place where the community feels highly collaborative and does not have the level of competing for resources I saw in other places. Also, at least at this moment, cost of living in Iowa allows for greater experimentation and risk — coming from Colorado, I saw the effect a high cost of living had on musicians, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

MJ: The positive growth over the last few years.

JL: The wonderful connections I have made and the friends I have met.

What I Would Tell Others Who Are Starting Something …

MD: Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help! Any time I’ve questioned whether someone would be up to helping me before I asked, the answer was always yes. And, on that note, I would say if what you’re working on is music-related, reach out to me: mickey@desmoinesmc.com.

MJ: You’re going to need to have a healthy obsession with your project, which means late nights, staying to yourself or with your team and limiting outside distractions. Take note of all those things to make sure it’s what you really are prepared to do before diving in.

JL: Do something that you love. If you don’t love what you are doing, it is very difficult to do it well.

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.