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Kick-start Your Startup at 2018 Accelerate DSM (and Get the Shirt)

Accelerate DSM

March 21, 2018

From first product to market traction, startups and entrepreneurs can sometimes find progress a challenge. While caffeine-fueled brainstorming or a late-night realization can occasionally get you there, we invariably must seek the guidance of others along the way.

A daylong event, Accelerate DSM offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn from each other and experts hailing from all aspects of the startup ecosystem. Hosted at the Science Center of Iowa on April 5, this event is designed to deliver actionable take-aways you can use to accelerate your business.

An added bonus this year, Raygun has designed a limited-edition custom print t-shirt only available to attendees of the event. 

Emceed by Kaylee Williams, President of Volunteer Local, we’re excited to have the following keynotes for 2018 Accelerate DSM:

Brian Hemesath

With a background in computer engineering and marketing, Brian Hemesath has a knack for solving problems. He currently serves as the Managing Director of the Global Insurance Accelerator, which is designed to foster innovation in the insurance industry by supporting startups that target the global insurance industry. The Global Insurance Accelerator is not your typical accelerator. The investors are insurance carriers and the mentors are insurance executives which makes it more of a turbo-booster than an accelerator. Hemesath himself has built a career around technology startups as founder and co-founder of two successful businesses serving multiple industries, which makes him a powerful the ecosystem. While success has followed Brian, his presentation is titled, “FOL (Failing Out Loud)! Lessons from Some of the Stupidest Things I’ve Done.”

Tej Dhawan

Tej Dhawan has long been a fixture in the startup community in Greater Des Moines (DSM). In his current role, Dhawan serves as the Chief Data Officer for Principal Financial Group, but one of his many other significant accomplishments is his involvement with Plains Angels. Dhawan’s focus has been on helping other technology companies navigate the pitfalls in starting their venture. He brings a plethora of experience and utilizes his background in small business ownership, startup advocacy, accelerator mentorship and research of data utilization to influence and adopt innovation. His presentation is titled, “Unless You Dream Big, You’re Building a Small Business.”

Andrew Kirpalani

Workhound is a fitting name for both Andrew Kirpalani and the company he co-founded. While the company aims at giving truck drivers a voice and companies a solution, Kirpalani leads all things product behind the scenes. He brings over 10 years of experience in development and product management work in employee engagement, aviation and the automotive aftermarket. Like Hemesath and Dhawan, Kirpalani is a familiar face in the DSM startup community for his work running Startup Weekend Des Moines and his participation in various accelerators and incubators nationwide. Look out for his presentation titled, “Ramen. Roaches. Riches? — A Rather Blunt Telling of the Workhound Story Thus Far.”

There is also the opportunity to get hands on and ask your most challenging questions at the roundtable sessions and panel discussions focused on how to accelerate business growth.

DSM is a hotbed of entrepreneurialism. Whether you have an idea waiting to be realized, or you’ve completed a seed round, Accelerate DSM will offer the opportunity to learn how to accelerate your startup from peers and experts alike.

Interested in attending Accelerate DSM? Learn more and register here. Plus, find additional tools, resources and expertise through The Partnership’s startup and entrepreneurial initiative: Square One DSM.

Mike Colwell

As executive director of entrepreneurial initiatives of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Mike Colwell leads works with startups to build their business model, financial model, marketing strategies and capitalization plan. He is also co-manager of Plains Angels, a group of Iowa-based Midwest angel investors. Mike spends his days coaching, mentoring, consulting and asking tough questions to help entrepreneurs reach their full potential. Mike assists with business strategy, business planning, business plan execution, business model development and capital acquisition strategies.