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Understanding that small business owners benefit and learn best from interacting with their like-minded peers; a collaborative group of Iowa service providers called the entrepreneur roundtable joined forces in 2007 to plan what would become the first comprehensive conference for Iowa entrepreneurs and the people who support them- EntreFEST.  Spearheaded by the UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation, EntreFEST has grown into an Iowa tradition of championing business owners and the economies they support.  Part summit, part festival, and part resource hub, this is the premier networking and learning event for economic developers, community leaders, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. From nationally recognized keynote speakers to local expert panels, at EntreFEST attendees can expect to be celebrated, inspired, and educated.  In recent years, further enhancements to EntreFEST have developed, including incorporation of the Dream Big Grow Here business grant finals, transition of leadership to an entrepreneur team with Seed Here Studio, and the creation of conference tracks targeting each key sector of the entrepreneurial stack of support organizations. These changes have resulted in EntreFEST becoming a destination to celebrate entrepreneurship for people from all across the Midwest, annually attracting 700+ innovators, business owners, startups, and developers to Iowa.

EntreFEST 2015 is presented in partnership with Iowa State University, University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa.  EntreFEST is produced by Seed Here Studio based in Iowa City.

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EntreFEST changed our perception of Iowa. We felt like we were on an island before the conference. Our connections from the event have been invaluable to the growth we’ve experienced this past year.

Rachael Roewe, {made} community