Gov. Terry E. Branstad today met with Central Iowa tech/startup entrepreneurs in a "Tech Townhall" to discuss how Iowa can help encourage innovative entrepreneurship and what startups need to succeed. The Tech Townhall was hosted by the Heartland Technology Alliance and StartupCity Des Moines.
"Startups represent some of Iowa's best and brightest entrepreneurial talent. These entrepreneurs are exactly the kind of innovators we want to call Iowa home. To do that, we need to help ensure we have the best business environment possible for them to innovate and grow. Startups thrive when there is an ecosystem around them that understands them. Iowa has a fast-growing startup scene and we aim to keep it growing to keep innovation and job creation right here at home and attract it from across the country," said Branstad.
Governor Branstad kicked off the "Tech Townhall" with opening remarks then opened the floor for 45 minutes of candid discussion between the startup entrepreneurs and the Governor. Their discussion covered a wide range of issues, including the importance of a robust Internet Protocol infrastructure and mobile connectivity, taxes, regulations, health care and intellectual property, among others.
"We welcome Governor Branstad to StartupCity in Des Moines' innovation core for a roundtable with entrepreneurs who are building Iowa's future. This furthers the leadership his office has already extended through frank and continued interaction with the Lt. Governor, and we look forward to our continued discussions on topics of interest to this unique segment of Iowa's business," said Tej Dhawan from StartupCity Des Moines, where the meeting took place.
"Establishing a dialogue between policy makers and the startup community benefits everyone. We need to better understand each other so we can set the table for a bright future," said John Stineman, Executive Director of the Heartland Technology Alliance. Stineman added, "Whether it's ensuring continued private investment in broadband infrastructure, tax incentives for angel investors or availability of health care for the self-employed entrepreneur, the issues are complex. Having open communications between state leadership and the tech community is critical for Iowa to capitalize on its startup opportunity."