Recent News

Final ‘community conversation’ on culture is Thursday

Reported in the Business Record – July 30, 2014

Greater Des Moines residents are invited to the final cultural “Community Conversation” at 5 p.m. Thursday at the State Historical Building of Iowa, located at 600 E. Locust St. The event, presented by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, is designed to help shape the future of arts, history and culture in Iowa. It’s also being held to focus on developing revitalization plans for the State Historical Building. More information can be found on the DCA’s website. Those who wish to attend can also RSVP online.

The Venture School – Registration due August 1st

Reported in the Business Record – July 28, 2014


Have an idea to start your own business? A University of Iowa program coming to Des Moines this fall can help.

The Venture School program is part of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and helps entrepreneurs to quickly build and test their products and concepts. Registration for the first session is required by Aug. 1.

“The best validation of your business model is having somebody actually buy a product, and if you wait a year to do that, that’s really too late,” said Lynn Allendorf, director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa.

So the Venture School program speeds up the process by using a lean startup methodology developed in part at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley and supported by the National Science Foundation.

“Basically it’s a way to help entrepreneurs vet their ideas before they write a business plan and spend a year developing a product,” Allendorf said.

That vetting process includes things such as defining who the businesses’ customers are and how they are going to reach customers, and how they are going to distribute their product.

Read more:—Innovation/Tech—Innovation/Article/Take-your-idea-to-venture-school/172/834/64572#ixzz38n4AbU1D
Under Kum & Go ownership, apartment building and body shop will continue to operate

BY KENT DARR | Senior Staff Writer | @KentDarr

Des Moines Business Record

It will be business as usual for Jefferson Apartments and Scotty’s Body Shop, two properties recently acquired by entities related to Kum & Go LC in the Western Gateway, according to an email from the company.

“There are no immediate plans for changes to the buildings on these properties and normal operations will continue,” according to the email. “These additional land purchases are in line with Kum & Go’s growth and expansion plan as the company works to determine its downtown footprint.”

Entities related to Kum & Go LC have made several purchases recently in the Western Gateway, where the company plans to build its corporate headquarters, the Business Record reported yesterday.

Limited liability companies paid nearly $7 million for properties that include Jefferson Apartments at 1519 Grand Ave. and Scotty’s Body Shop at 1432 Linden St., according to Polk County property records. In April, Kum & Go’s Linden Street Investments LLC paid $1.7 million for the Subway restaurant at 1423 Grand Ave.

The company has been approved for $9.1 million in state of Iowa tax credits to develop an anticipated $92 million corporate headquarters along Grand Avenue.

Other limited liability companies connected to the company and CEO Kyle Krause also have purchased several properties along Locust Street.

The Des Moines City Council approved a $974,000 development plan last month for properties held by Locust Street Investments LLC at 1420, 1424, and 1430 Locust. The project includes the restoration of two historic buildings that were once automobile showrooms and the conversion to office, restaurant and other retails uses.

Get ready to tickle the ivories downtown

July 9, 2014 – Reported in the Business Record

City Sounds: The Des Moines Public Piano Project announced it will install two outdoor public pianos on July 15 in downtown Des Moines. One will be located near the west entrance of the Central Library, and the other in the East Village at East Fourth Street and Grand Avenue. The pianos are scheduled to remain at those locations until mid-October, and ongoing programming is being planned for the pianos during the season. “This project has been pure magic,” said coordinator Kathryn Dickel, who called it a “testament to our city’s continued love and support of music.” The piano to be located near the library is sponsored by Orchestrate Hospitality, which owns Centro Restaurant, and will be cared for through a joint effort of the library and Centro staffs. The second piano is sponsored by a consortium of East Village businesses, and will be maintained  hrough a joint effort of RAYGUN and Zombie Burger. For more information,
Downtown Chamber Member Discount for Music Under the Canopy

Downtown Chamber Members can take advantage of an exclusive offer for the next Music Under the Canopy event. $35 ticket for $25 (or $10 off premium seating) or $90 premium weekend pass for $60 ($30 off premium seating weekend pass), with the discount code ‘chamber’.

The Singer Songwriter Music Festival presented by Community Choice Credit Union, is  July 11-13 at Brenton Skating Plaza. Visit www.musicunderthecanopy to take advantage of this great low price or to learn more.