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Trying Something Different

Young Professionals Connection New Event Format and Cli

Morning Meet-Up

Young Professionals Connection (YPC) tried something new at the Morning Meet-up on May 18. We changed the format and made it a two-part event, partnering with the Des Moines Downtown Chamber. The Monthly Morning Meet-Up took place at Startup City Des Moines. Startup City is an incubator for tech startups. Because I’m not an expert on explaining what that means, check out their website or contact me (impactdowntown@ypcDSM.com, and I’ll get you in touch with someone who can answer your question(s).

After a little networking, Becky Mollenkamp from Startup City briefly explained the incubator and introduced Emma Peterson, founder of Tikly, an online ticketing company. Emma talked about what it was like being a 22-year-old business owner and answered a slew of great questions from the group of just over 20 YPs and chamber members.  

In the second part, we pushed together a few tables and started a discussion on entrepreneurship. The group consisted of members from the Downtown Chamber — Matt McIver, Christina Moffatt, Todd McDonald, to name a few — and a small number of YPs. We limited the number of people for this part of the event because we wanted an intimate setting where conversation could flow freely.  The conversation bounced from what it means to be an entrepreneur to how to manage your time and sanity, as well as the importance of mentors.

One of the attendees, who is relatively new to YPC, said, “I really enjoy these events because they give me the ability to network with like-minded folks who are passionate about the community and about growing their professional careers. I plan to become a member, and I'd like to get more involved very soon.”

This was the first time we’d done anything like this, and it turned out great. This was our first event with the Downtown Chamber, and we’re planning more for the summer. Look for future roundtable-style events from the Impact Downtown Committee and the Downtown Chamber, and possibly some different kinds of networking opportunities. 

For June, the Monthly Morning Meet-Up will be at Raygun on June 22, and we’ll be letting Mike Draper talk about whatever he damn well pleases; keep an eye on the calendar for details.

Shane Hefty
Impact Downtown Chair

YPC Night at Climb Iowa

Rock climbing isn't something I've ever done before. I have several friends who are members of Climb Iowa, and the opportunity to give it a try with YPC sounded too good to pass up. The day to climb came, and I was a little nervous; the two-page waiver they made us sign didn't do anything to calm my nerves. We had two teenagers explain the basics to us, and they provided us all with a harness. I figured if people born in the late 1990s could be instructors, I could probably manage not to kill myself. 

They told us we would not be belaying each other; we could use any of 5 auto belays or either of the instructors would be willing to belay for us. The routes up the walls were marked with different colors and numbers, indicating the difficulty of the routes. We each had to demonstrate our ability to clip ourselves into the auto belay and make our way partially up the wall before they let us go on our own. I paired up with a couple of other girls and we all took a try at the easiest route. It was a little intimidating at first, but as I got the hang of the different handholds and figured out my footing, it got progressively easier. After a few trial runs, I was able to make it to the top of the wall (on the easiest route, but still). 

We had two hours to climb, which was plenty of time to try a lot of different routes as well as the bouldering wall. It was a wonderful time and not nearly as scary as I feared it might be. Other than arms that felt like spaghetti noodles, the YPC group came away from the experience injury-free and smiling.  

Meredith Leigh

Young Professionals Connection (YPC)

The Young Professionals Connection (YPC) promotes an environment that attracts and retains young professionals in Greater Des Moines (DSM). YPC connects young professionals to each other and to the community through social, civic, charitable and professional development endeavors. YPC members have unique opportunities to grow personally and professionally and forge lasting relationships. They engage, connect and form a foundation for their future in DSM. YPC is an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.