2 unexpected moments:

This is important for all of us in Des Moines in the technology community. It’s obvious this incredibly amazing transformation is happening in Des Moines. Things are happening that never would have happened 2-3 years ago.

This transformation is indicative of a much more mature community. One that has grown to the point that when you cut off one head it grows another.

That is incredibly positive.

  • People in Des Moines obviously found the Big Series beneficial and it’s a bummer to see it leave Des Moines but folks in DSM are willing (like any good startup community with gumption) to pick up the baton and create a new event to the fit the community even better.
  • It looks like tickets are pretty low cost ($50 bucks) making sponsorships possible for attendees. I’ve seen this work great at Startup Weekend events and it reduces the barrier in a big way for younger attendees. That’s incredibly good because it means we can get people who are young and motivated through the door.
  • Really active people in the Des Moines community are putting it on which means a gaggle of people are going to pitch in. That’s a good thing.

I/OWA is a startup itself that solves a problem:

  • The community saw a hole and then the community filled it. 2-3 years ago that wouldn’t have happened.
  • No one seems to know whose speaking and probably even where it’s going to be and that’s ok. You just figure it out. I bought a ticket today and you probably should too.
  • This is a startup in of itself and we’re all going to get to watch it and be a part of it. Maybe it won’t work but that’s half the beauty of these things… It has a lot higher probability of being successful BECAUSE SOMEONE JUST DID IT!!!

This is great. Self motivated, self funded, and making it happen. Good on you, Des Moines.

It’s also worth saying that while I know people may have been initially surprised with SPN’s choice to cancel this particular event, I think we can all recognize how much they’ve done for the community and will continue to do.  They’ve played a big part in many of us having opportunities over the last 2-3 years that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’m sure they remain excited to see even more people in region wanting to spread love, knowledge, and access to the startup community.

Seeing things like Welch Avenue and I/OWA come together is simple proof that the DSM community has grown, believes in the mission, and has the confidence to execute.

To everyone who pulled I/OWA together, Thank you! Super excited for this.