ICAD, NewBoCo team up for new Regional Speaker series

Monthly series topics to include business names, business formation, local requirements

There are plenty of questions that come with starting a business, from advertising to figuring out how to get power set up.

NewBoCo and the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD) are teaming up to make answering those questions a little bit easier.

Launching in January, the monthly Business Startup Speaker Series will lead current and aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through a step-by-step guide of how to start and grow a business. Each month, a guest speaker will visit both MERGE co-working space in Iowa City and The Vault co-working space in Cedar Rapids to provide information and introduce resources to help new business owners with the basic administration, operation and go-to-market tools for getting started and staying open.

“If you have a great idea, don’t let your fear stop you from pursuing it,” Alex Taylor, managing director of the Iowa Startup Accelerator, said in a news release. “We’re here to help businesses to make those ideas happen.”

The first speaker in the series will be Julie Lammers, president of Lambo Business Services. Ms. Lammers will speak about administrative basics, covering what needs to be done to get registered, licensed, and “officially” established. The session will cover business names; business formation (sole proprietorship, LLC; C-Corp, S-Corp, non-profit), state and local requirements (EIN, licensing), opening a bank account, customary discovery, and more.

Ms. Lammers will hold talks in both Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. In Iowa City, the session will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St. In Cedar Rapids, it will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 31 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Iowa Startup Accelerator/Geonetric Building,  415 12th Ave. SE.

According to Liz Hubing, ICAD’s director of entrepreneurship and community engagement Liz Hubing, the project came about after a conversation with Mr. Taylor at MERGE in October.

“As Alex and I were reflecting on our organization’s goals for 2023, we realized that we had a mutual interest in more business education, especially for idea-stage and early-stage entrepreneurs and business owners,” Ms. Hubing said. “There are so many incredible resources for entrepreneurs in our community, but we recognized a gap that we wanted to fill. It was clear that joining forces on a regional series would maximize our impact by allowing participants throughout the Iowa City — Cedar Rapids region to ask questions and plug into resources.”

A new speaker session will be held each month. Following January’s event, the next three presentations will focus on Legal 101, Business Financials, and Branding. Each session is free for participants.

Mr. Taylor says if the program is successful, it could eventually grow to include other cities as well.

“The collaboration between ICAD and NewBoCo continues to strengthen ties between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City in our business communities and our ecosystems,” Mr. Taylor said. “If it works in our ecosystem, there’s no reason we can’t expand into other communities throughout the state.”