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Katie Patterson to Guest at 2016 Square One DSM Startup Stories

June 13, 2016

“We are going to focus on a seldom seen transition,” said Mike Colwell describing his guest for the July session of Square One DSM’s Startup Stories. “Happy Medium began as a service agency and expanded into a product development firm, and I want Katie to share that story with the group,” he said of Katie Patterson, CEO and Founder of both Happy Medium and Happy Boards.

Patterson joins Colwell as her businesses continue to garner recognition as evidenced by the 2015 ranking in Inc. Magazine as the fastest growing company in the state of Iowa based on a three-year revenue growth of 781 percent.  Patterson herself has amassed a portfolio of recognition including the Iowa Women of Innovation’s Rising Star, Business Record’s Best Up and Coming Business Leader, and inclusion in the 40 Under 40 class of 2015.

Despite her obvious proclivity for entrepreneurial success, in a recent University of Young Entrepreneurs podcast, she revealed it had not been a goal. “It was never my lifelong ambition to be an entrepreneur. I just had some opportunities and pursued them.”

Landing in Des Moines in 2005 with a freshly minted degree in Electronic Media and Journalism from the University of Northern Iowa, Patterson began her career as an Account Coordinator for Two Rivers Marketing, leaving in 2007 to become an Account Executive at WHO TV. 

In 2011, the catalytic opportunity presented itself when a client asked Patterson to come work for them internally. Seeing an opportunity for independence and perhaps hearing a hint of the siren call of entrepreneurism, Patterson opted to become a one client independent media consultant. Her success would belie her desire to stay small and quickly the client list and services offered grew as did the staff from one to eighteen at last count.

Then, in 2015, while moving into a new space, the idea for Happy Boards found its way into her thinking and she became a serial entrepreneur. Seeing the ubiquitous flat screen TVs that now don the walls of businesses everywhere as an opportunity for something more than a regurgitation of CNN or ESPN, Patterson hit on the idea of providing businesses with the means to create content and feed it onto those screens.

Launching in 2015, Happy Boards is a pioneering software allowing businesses to display a completely custom message across a screen. The product has the capability to welcome guests, share social posts, pictures and videos plus provide custom visitor information. Utilizing a web based software to manage the content and a proprietary black box that plugs into the TV’s HDMI port, the product is licensed and sold on a subscription basis.

“She builds a successful service company with no thought of product development, and suddenly they are selling both a Software-as-a-Service and the hardware that goes with it,” exclaims Colwell, Executive Director of Square One DSM. “That’s unusual and that’s a story I want to hear.” As should others.

$15 admission fee (includes lunch) or free (if you don’t want lunch).
11: 30 a.m.
July 20th, 2016

Greater Des Moines Partnership
700 Locust Street, Suite 100
Conference Center (street level)

Contact us at info@squareoneDSM.com for more information.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Square One DSM for details.


About Square One DSM

Square One DSM’s mission is to connect entrepreneurial needs with qualified community and state resources and to provide guided professional and business direction. Square One DSM helps entrepreneurs maximize their successes by helping them navigate resources, strengthen knowledge, improve skills, form strategic alliances and secure proper capitalization. Learn more at SquareOneDSM.com.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization serving Central Iowa for more than 125 years. Together with 21 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce and 5,700 business members, The Partnership drives economic growth and careers through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration. We foster an environment where residents are empowered to live their passions and shape our community, making Greater Des Moines the best place in the world to build a business and life. For more information, visit DSMpartnership.com.