Since 2003, MyEntre.Net has been connecting existing companies and start-ups with business assistance, financing and their peers. Created by professionals at the University of Northern Iowa, MyEntre.Net began as an online community serving entrepreneurs in rural regions of the state. But thanks to annual funding from the Iowa Legislature, it has developed into a statewide technology resource, serving thousands of Iowa small business owners annually. In fact, two MyEntre.Net programs recently received national awards from the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) at their annual conference in Pittsburgh.
The Iowa Business Concierge received the Research and Analysis Award for pioneering the way market research information is delivered to small Iowa companies to help them grow. In its first six months, the Iowa Business Concierge worked with 256 business owners resulting in 11 new business starts and eight new products or services.
"The Iowa Business Concierge team helped us build a highly targeted list of potential clients almost overnight. It is an extremely valuable service for all Iowa entrepreneurs." -Andy Brudtkuhl of Des Moines based 48web
The entrepreneur business contest Dream Big Grow Here received the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award for its online competition that rewards promising business ideas with money. Entrepreneurs can upload their plans for starting or expanding a business, and then encourages friends, family and customers to vote for them, earning up to $15,000 in prize money.
"The Dream Big Grow Here Contest has given my company exposure on a state-wide level over the past many months, thanks to our winning. We've since been given other state-wide awards due to the press and notoriety following our win, and have had many customers come from over 100 miles thanks to our expanded reputation. These are all things that have impacted my whole community in many ways, and they were all due to the Dream Big Grow Here contest." -Tom Mulholland, owner of Mulholland Grocery in Mills County