The Qneo app is free to download on itunes and the Google Play Store. 
Billing itself as "the most community-focused coupon app on the planet," Sioux City-based Qneo has brought its free-to-download service to Iowa City.

Qneo, which founders Lloyd Lee and Travis Hemmingson describe as kind of a "hyper-local Groupon," launched their Iowa City operations Jan. 11 with 16 local businesses participating. The app sends out bundles of special offers from different businesses each day, including - on the day the CBJ tested it - Wedge Pizzeria, D.P. Dough, Mickey's Irish Pub and Shakespeare's Pub and Grill.

The free app is designed to highlight unique local businesses. In the Sioux City market, Qneo sends out three notifications daily - up to 90 deals per day. The business launched in 2016.

"It's time sensitive so you have to save the deals you want before the next ones get sent out otherwise they're gone forever," founder Lloyd Lee, a 2009 University of Iowa graduate, told Startup Sioux City when the service began there. "There're points involved, free giveaways for users and, most important, the focus is on local businesses. Think Groupon, but more exciting."

Mr. Lee told the Sioux City Journal earlier this month it had always been his intention to bring Qneo to Iowa City.

"Like Sioux City, there are so many unique small businesses there and the community is so receptive to new ideas," he said. 
Para2Reynolds approves Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning    
Gov. Kim Reynolds announces the establishment of the Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning at a Monday event. 
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an executive order this week establishing the Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning, a new venture intended to curate and provide work-based learning opportunities for Iowa students.
The clearinghouse will be a joint venture of the Iowa Department of Education and Iowa Area Education Agencies (AEA) Learning Online. Together, they will facilitate distance K-12 school-business partnerships and build an inventory of established and newly created work-based learning opportunities for K-12 students, as well as students in college and trade schools.
"We have to think longer term about how to help all K-12 students connect what they learn in the classroom to future careers,"  Gov. Reynolds said upon signing the order. "Expanding work-based learning is an essential step in that direction."
A new advisory board will also be created for the clearinghouse, with half of its members coming from business and industry. Fareway Stores has been announced as the first business to partner with the state.
"Through Fareway's 80 years of business, it's been committed to supporting, mentoring and employing Iowa's youth," Fareway CEO Reynolds Cramer stated in a press release. "Gov. Reynolds' Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning is an effort to team Iowa's youth, regardless of their location, with local academia and Iowa businesses in order to identify work-based learning opportunities. This is a great initiative, and we are proud to support it."
Work-based learning is already happening in Iowa. The Governor's STEM Advisory Council's STEM BEST program has launched 37 projects across the state involving 39 schools or school districts and more than 360 employers. 
The governor's budget includes $250,000 for the clearinghouse as part of the Future Ready Iowa Initiative. The goal is to launch the clearinghouse by July 1 of next year.
Para3Tech is a blessing and a curse for Iowa restaurants

Technology may be an increasingly important tool for getting guests to walk through the doors of a restaurant, but consumers still prefer the "human touch" once they arrive.

New research from the National Restaurant Association indicates that having the ability to view an online menu before choosing a restaurant was the difference maker for 60 percent of patrons looking for restaurants. Millennials were even higher with 74 percent citing access to an online menu as the primary factor when opting for one restaurant over another, and 68 percent of Gen Xers and 50 percent of baby boomers say the same. 

Additionally, the ability to read online reviews is important to all ages with nearly six in 10 adults saying this was a key decision maker when picking a restaurant.
However, once that decision is made, most patrons prefer to interact with people. Nearly half of consumers surveyed said technology can complicate restaurant visits and ordering. In fact, 74 percent said the inability to ask questions can detract from their restaurant visit or ordering experience.
"Given the demographics and culture of our state, most Iowa restaurants are taking a blended approach to integrating technology," said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association.  "Even Mom-and-Pop Shops are taking strides to be intentional about their online presence, but the importance of real people making patrons feel welcome and cared for in the hospitality industry can never be replaced by a smart phone or tableside tablet."  
pitchCarrico on shortlist for international coaching award 

Erica Carrico
Cedar Rapids resident Erica Carrico, is one of six finalists worldwide for the Beautiful You Emerging Coach of the Year 2017-2018 Award.

Ms. Carrico, a certified career and life purpose coach, says her job is to "ignite your passions, transform your career into something purposeful and meaningful, and live the life you were put on earth to live."

In addition to her life coaching certification, she has an undergraduate degree in psychology, a masters in nonprofit management and more than 12 years experience in international recruitment and nonprofit leadership. Ms. Carrico describes herself as "a free spirit, star gazer, mommy of two and world traveler" who "guides awakening souls out of a meaningless career and into a career or business of their dreams. One that unveils their true purpose so they can finally earn a living doing what they absolutely love - what they were put on earth to do."

The winner of the award honoring coaches for "gently impacting the world with every client they see, group program they create, podcast they inspire with and book they write" will be announced March 16th at an awards dinner in Melbourne, Australia.
Para5Consulting: Market analysis is more than a one-time exercise

In this week's consulting spotlight, Linda Kuster of Vernon Research Group says market analysis is more than something to do before launching; it should be an ongoing process. 
When business planning for 2018, did you in­vest resources in updating your market analysis? Prioritizing this work regularly can pay off in market share, revenue and profitability.

Often, when an owner launches a business or an executive joins a company, she will spend a great deal of time analyzing the market, custom­ers and prospects. But then the daily demands of the business mean a full analysis often goes by the wayside. "Analysis" may dwindle to man­agers making a projection based on a quick re­view of sales data.

What do you risk by not conducting a regular market analysis?
  • Failing to capitalize on opportunities
  • Being unaware of new competitors
  • Stagnant growth
  • Advertising with low ROI
  • Brand identity that loses relevancy
Solid market analysis
First, revisit your definition of your market. Peo­ple often define this too narrowly. Your market includes anyone who might buy from you for any reason. It is your customers, competitors' cus­tomers and those who may have a future need. It should also include people who don't make the purchase but who influence the decision, such as children helping aging parents select an assisted living community or physicians who advise pa­tients on the best weight loss programs.

Read the full column at
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Stocks Corridor Stocks  
AEGON AEG 6.88 0.09 1.33%
Alliant Energy LNT 39.08 -0.67 -1.69%
Deere & Company DE 167.85 1.43 0.86%
Dow Jones ^DJI 26,186.71 37.32 0.14%
General Mills GIS 57.88 -0.61 -1.04%
GoDaddy Inc.
GDDY 56.01 0.78 1.41%
Great Western Bank GWB 43.19 1.04 2.47%
Heartland Express HTLD 22.73 0.04 0.18%
KemPharm KMPH 6.60 0.35 5.60%
Marsh & McLennan MMC 85.05 1.53 1.83%
MidWestOne MOFG 33.15 0.07 0.21%
Pearson PSO 9.86 0.09 0.92%
Pepsico PEP 120.30 0.00 0.00%
Principal Financial PFG 68.46 0.86 1.27%
QCR Holdings QCRH 44.15 0.30 0.68%
Rockwell Collins COL 139.41 0.92 0.66%
S&P 500 ^GSPC 2,821.98 -1.83 -0.06%
Tanger Factory SKT 24.07 -1.11 -4.41%
Procter & Gamble PG 85.85 -0.49 -0.57%
United Fire Group UFCS 43.83 0.44 1.01%
U.S. Bank USB 57.46 0.32 0.56%
Wells Fargo WFC 65.51 0.12 0.18%
West Bank WTBA 26.00 0.40 1.56%
Whirlpool WHR 182.49 1.07 0.59%
Short-Term Event Planner
Feb. 5 
Coralville Roundtable, by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, 1220 First Ave., Coralville. Roundtables are social lunches over the noon hour. All are invited to network and keep up-to-date with chamber and community events. Free for members. Call the chamber at (319) 337-9637 if interested and not a member. 

Feb. 6 
Employer Panels, by ICAD Group, 9-10:30 a.m., Kirkwood Regional Center at University of Iowa, 2301 Oakdale Blvd., Coralville. Hear directly from local experts on how to make your job search more successful. Free. RSVP to

Iowa City Roundtable, by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., Buffalo Wild Wings, 201 S. Clinton St., Iowa City. Roundtables are social lunches over the noon hour. All are invited to network and keep up-to-date with chamber and community events. Free for members. Call the chamber at (319) 337-9637 if interested and not a member.
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28 
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28
Dyersville police have charged a 20-year-old man for vandalizing the Field of Dreams movie site. Austin Pape turned himself in this morning and was charged with second degree criminal mischief and reckless driving. Deep tire marks were found all over the iconic field on Jan 22. Al Steffen, a facility manager, says sprinkler heads in the field were also ran over and broken. A GoFundMe page raised more than its $15,000 goal to pay for repairs. The Library of Congress added "Field of Dreams" to the National Film Registry in 2017.

Steve Goedken and Jennifer Koenighain had been dating for a little over a year-and-a-half. They met each other their freshman year of high school and dated for a semester. "I would always tell her to give me a real smile, because her real smile was the best," Mr. Goedken said. "I mean, I would've done anything to make her smile." Ms. Koenighain was killed Monday night in a car crash on I-380. She was driving home from a coffee date with a friend when her car collided with another driven by 69-year-old Rob Norton Jr., who police say was driving on the wrong side of the interstate. It was on Sunday - a day before the accident - that the couple had decided to share a day to themselves. The couple spent the day at a spa in Iowa City, before going out to lunch and meeting a few friends. Jennifer and Steve lived together in Cedar Rapids with their two dogs, Blaze and Mika. She worked at Mercy Medical Center as a supervisor in the patients account department. Read the rest of the story here
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

Arctic air has moved in and an active, wintry pattern will unfold over the weekend. With mostly clear skies tonight and a bit of a breeze, temperatures will drop to near zero by morning. It will be sunny and cold Friday with temperatures in the 20s. Temperatures will get bumped into the upper 20s and low 30s Saturday ahead of a weak disturbance. This system will bring some light snow to the area late Saturday. Then another piece of energy will move in Sunday. A stronger storm will move in Monday and lead to another round of snow.