Prepare to Launch

Prepare to Launch Main Photo

16 Aug 2018


Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is proud to offer Prepare to Launch, Northwest Iowa’s Premier Entrepreneurship Workshop. A partnership between the Corridor, local businesses and entrepreneurs, this program is designed to help people take practical steps to make their business dreams a reality. Upon graduation from the workshop, participants will have created a functioning business plan and other elements necessary to start a new business. 


Corridor Senior Vice President and entrepreneur-in-residence Brian Dalziel has been offering hands-on business startup workshop training to Northwest Iowa entrepreneurs for 8 years. “Iowa Lakes Corridor offers Prepare to Launch as a part of its continuing commitment to expanding the vibrant startup community in Northwest Iowa,” Dalziel said. “During the past 8 years, 175 Corridor clients have expanded their businesses, and 84 startups have launched with the backing of over $20 million of investment capital resulting in the creation of hundreds of jobs for Northwest Iowans, the diversification of our economy and the building of wealth that stays in our region.” 


He cited several benefits of a thriving entrepreneurial community, including, “More shoppers for our retailers, more students in our schools, more parishioners in our churches and more volunteers & financial supporters for our non-profits. Prepare to Launch does this by lowering the risk of launching a startup through networking the members of the startup community, introducing future business owners to mentors & community leaders, informing them of a proven business building process they can execute, assisting them to understand how much money they need to launch their business and connecting them to sources of needed startup funds.”


The ten-week course will begin Thursday, September 13, and continue through Thursday, November 15th. There is a fee of $200 to cover the cost of materials, and scholarships are available. Each class will take place in Estherville’s Studio 12, a coworking space designed to promote innovation and collaboration. “Studio 12 is a hub of activity in the startup community,” Dalziel noted. “Entrepreneurs, inventors, mentors, CPAs, attorneys, community supporters and investors connect with each other in Studio 12 every week. By holding Prepare to Launch in Studio 12, workshop participants are integrated into this startup community. Clustering startup businesses enables business owners to draw on each other for emotional support (it can get lonely starting a business) as well as the sharing of what works and does not work in learning about what customers want from them, how to price products and services, how to recruit partners and employees, how to best utilize social media as well as traditional advertising channels and how to measure progress to ensure the best possible growth path for their companies.”


Prepare to Launch has produced several extremely successful area businesses over the years, including LearnAcre, LLC, of Estherville founded by Mark Gruwell. “Prepare to Launch played a pivotal role in my ability to start new business ventures,” Gruwell said when asked how the program benefitted his company. “The workshop is both informative and engaging, and I continue to apply the practical strategies I learned in my businesses. Anyone thinking about pursuing entrepreneurship or a business idea needs to take this workshop!” 


“The decision to start a business will impact not only the prospective business owner but their family and friends as well,” explained Dalziel. “By participating in Prepare to Launch, the workshop participant gains a clear understanding of what running a business is like, what will be required of them and what the impact on their friends and family will be. Prepare to Launch workshop participants can make an informed, deliberate decision on whether or not to launch a business, and if so which kind of business best enables them to reach their professional and personal goals.” 


For more information or to register for the course, please contact Brian Dalziel at (712) 264-3474.


About the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is the regional economic development agency for Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties. The Iowa Lakes Corridor’s mission is to foster, encourage, promote, aid or otherwise assist in the economic development growth and development of the four-county region.