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EntreFest! entrepreneurial conference to bring together business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs and experts March 7 and 8

March 4, 2013

Maureen Collins-Williams, director, UNI Entrepreneurship Outreach, 319-273-4327,

Andy Stoll, event coordinator, Seed Here Studio, 319-855-0895,

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- New businesses create nearly all net new jobs, develop new ideas and offer valuable services across the state, and they employ more than half of Iowa's private labor force. Inspiring business owners to grow and develop their business, and providing the tools to do so, is the impetus behind the sixth annual EntreFest! conference, Thursday, March 7 and Friday, March 8, in Cedar Rapids. EntreFest! brings entrepreneurial information, expertise and inspiration under one roof, providing Iowa entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn, share and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit.

The two-day conference will be held at the Hotel at Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids. The registration fee for the conference is $119 per person.

This year's conference will add three new educational tracks focused on helping innovators in startup companies, inside of large corporations and economic developers working to grow more entrepreneurs in their communities. The sessions are geared to help attendees successfully start, grow and manage their businesses.

EntreFest! will welcome three iconic Iowa entrepreneurs who will share their entrepreneurial stories with attendees. Speakers are:

Mike Draper, founder & CEO, RAYGUN; Draper started selling snarky T-shirts on street corners in college and now RAYGUN generates more than $3 million in annual sales through their iconic tongue-in-cheek Iowa apparel.

Christian Renaud, co-founder, Startup City Des Moines; A serial entrepreneur, Renaud mentors dozens of Iowa tech startups and has been nationally recognized for helping to put Iowa on the national entrepreneurial map.

Mary Quass, CEO & president, NRG Media; Quass purchased her first radio station with bank loans and now Cedar Rapids-based NRG Media is the 7th largest radio network in the U.S. with 45 stations.

Attendees will also take part in more than 30 learning sessions on a wide range of topics including building a brand, social media, raising capital, how to manage life outside of business and how to build companies through the latest innovation strategies, including Lean Startup Methodology and Business Model Generation. The conference includes networking opportunities, pitch competitions and hands-on workshops, and the Biz Info Smorgasbord will provide attendees a chance to ask questions of business experts in a fun, informal setting.

EntreFest! 2013 is presented by a committee of Iowa's premiere service providers from across the state, and is sponsored by UNI Regional Business Center, Iowa Area Development Group, Black Hills Energy, MidAmerican, Iowa Farm Bureau, Delta Dental, Iowa Bankers Association, Alliant Energy, Small Business Development Centers, TSB, University of Iowa, UNI Business & Community Services, Kirkwood Community College, Technology Association of Iowa (TAI), Entrepreneurial Development Center (EDC) and the UNI Iowa Waste Reduction Center.

For more information about EntreFest!, including a full schedule and registration details, visit or contact Andy Stoll, event coordinator, Seed Here Studio, at 319-855-0895 or