CEDAR FALLS — An entrepreneur and investor is visiting the Cedar Valley in his Airstream recreational vehicle next month, offering support and guidance to startup companies.
The Cedar Valley Tech Tour April 2-6 will feature Paul Singh and a group of investors called the Results Junkies. Singh has visited 94 cities across North America in the past two years that are outside of Silicon Valley and other well-known tech hubs, bringing entrepreneurial expertise and venture capitalists with him.
Red Cedar, a nonprofit organization involved in developing Mill Race Coworking & Collaboration, is bringing Singh to the Cedar Valley.
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Mill Race director Danny Laudick, who is also part of the nonprofit, said “recognizing and celebrating the startup companies here” will be a focus of the week. Singh and others traveling with him will hold office hours and be available to the public throughout the week. Mill Race, at 200 State St., will also offer open co-working all week, allowing people who aren’t already members to learn about the space and spend time there.
A key event will be the Cedar Valley startup social, happening from 5 to 7 p.m. April 3 at Single Speed Brewery in Waterloo. Prior to that, starting at 3 p.m., will be the student pitch competition at the University of Northern Iowa’s Rod Library with $1,000 in prizes. Other features of the tour will be discussions with local innovators, investor dinners, workshops and more.
The week is all a “chance to pull people into the ‘entrepreneurial community,’” said Laudick. “Part of this whole event is helping people see what we mean when we say entrepreneur and startups.”
There is no cost for the events, which are happening in various locations, but space is limited. Those interested are encouraged to go online and register at cvtechtour.com or by searching Cedar Valley Tech Tour at Facebook.com
Organizers are hoping to attract “not just Waterloo-Cedar Falls, but really try to make it the larger area of northeast Iowa,” said Laudick. “Really, the whole point is to connect (participants) with resources otherwise they would have a hard time accessing.”
This is the first event being sponsored by Red Cedar. Laudick said it will work to “better support early stage companies and startups” by providing capital, mentors and advice. The organization has several partners and is seeking more.