story1Iowa Startup Accelerator set for third launch tonight
Trevor Carlson and Kathy Good pitch on behalf of CareDrop during last year's Launch Day event.  CREDIT: Nicole Kuennen
The six teams of the Iowa Startup Accelerator will present their progress over the last three months during tonight's Launch Day event in Cedar Rapids, and they're expected to have a lot of company.

Last year's launch event drew more than 900 people to the DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex, and organizers are expecting a similar number of attendees ahead of this year's edition, including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. The event will be held at the Paramount Theatre.

"We are proud to take part in this celebration to highlight the efforts of the Iowa Startup Accelerator and these six Iowa-based entrepreneurs," Mr. Branstad said in a statement. "Iowa's entrepreneurial ecosystem is vibrant and flourishing. Iowa is an exceptional place to start a new business."
Launch Day is the culmination of 94 days of intense and focused work by the ISA's teams. Over the course of the program, team members work to validate their business models, test their ideas in the marketplace, attract customers and practice their pitches.
Although this is ISA's third cohort, it is the first to have half of its companies led by female founders and/or CEOs, and all of its businesses based in Iowa. Most teams are tech-focused and working in major Iowa industries such as agriculture, health, education or manufacturing, although there are exceptions, such as the fashion-focused WRITTEN Apparel.
"Providing aggressive acceleration to startups in the sectors in which Iowa is already strong makes it easier for them to get their first customers here, to grow here, and to collaborate with existing businesses here," said Eric Engelmann, executive director of NewBoCo, the ISA's parent organization.
The event begins tonight with a social hour at 5 p.m.; the main event is set to begin at 6 p.m. For more information or to RSVP, visit the Launch Day Eventbrite page.
downtownCedar Rapids law firm celebrates 90 years

Amy Reasner, president of the Lynch Dallas board of directors.
Lynch Dallas P.C. is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year with new clients and a newly remodeled space in downtown Cedar Rapids. 

The firm was founded in 1926 by Charles J. Lynch and M.J. Donnelly as Donnelly & Lynch to serve the general legal needs of the community. In 1961, the firm, then known as Lynch, Dallas, Smith & Harman, purchased the three-story limestone and brick building at 526 Second Ave. SE that was built in 1905 as the Interstate Schools business college, and moved into the third floor.

Today, Lynch Dallas P.C. has a staff of 16 attorneys and a support staff of around 20. The firm primarily represents insurance companies, cities, counties, school districts, and private employers across the state in employment, business and litigation matters, as well as representing clients in family law and tax and estate matters.

It has also grown to occupy most of its building, and recently remodeled its first floor to accommodate its emerging public sector practice, established in 2009.

"We're really as big as we've ever been," said Amy Reasner, an attorney and president of the Lynch Dallas board of directors.

Ms. Reasner credited the firm's reputation locally and across the state as a reason for its stability over the years, but said Lynch Dallas will continue to grow and evolve with clients' needs and digital developments.

"We hope to still be providing the same outstanding customer service that we've always provided, while also hopefully changing with the times," she said. "We're always striving to learn new tech and ways to serve our clients."
Story2Dingo Bar takes unique approach in IC's Peninsula
Co-owner Adam Pretorius shown in the Dingo Bar on a recent morning. 
Iowa City's developing Peninsula neighborhood has a new dining option, although it's also part coffee shop and part rental space.
Named after a bar in Paris frequented by literary giants like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Dingo Bar features a downstairs commercial area with a coffee shop serving traditional French drinks, as well as sandwiches and a toast bar. Above the cafe at 1040 Martin St. is a two-bedroom apartment called The Dingo House, which is available for rent through Airbnb.
The space came to be through the separate talents of its co-owners, Adam Pretorius and Jessica Kinney. Mr. Pretorius works in real estate and has worked to grow the Peninsula neighborhood along with his wife, Amy, who works for the development. Ms. Kinney has an extensive background in the restaurant business and experience with Airbnb. Neither of them wanted to take on the project alone, however.
"We were actually in line at the buffet at our [MBA] graduation ceremony and I brought up this idea that we had both been kicking around for a while," Ms. Kinney recalled. "Then we thought, what if we did this together?"
After realizing they could build their concept more successfully as a team, they found a space they could fill with their business.
"We kind of did things a bit backwards," Ms. Kinney said. "We knew we wanted to have a coffee shop in this area, and then we developed the concept and the theme."  The combination of the downstairs cafĂ© and the upstairs rental space offers a unique attraction to the up-and-coming neighborhood, she added. 
EcoLipsCorridor entrepreneurs selected as finalists for TAI awards

Kristi Thiel, pictured in a 2015 CBJ profile. CREDIT: Bill Adams
Several Corridor entrepreneurs have been named as finalists in the Technology Association of Iowa's 2016 Women of Innovation awards, which recognize and celebrate women leaders in the fields of business, government and academia.
Michelle Bates, the founder of Coralville-based tech firm BluPrairie, and Martha Krejci, the founder of Cedar Rapids-based digital marketing firm Alphapom, were both nominated in the award's Entrepreneurial, Innovation and Leadership category.
Kristi Thiel, a co-founder of University of Iowa spinout Immortagen, was nominated in the Research Innovation and Leadership category. She was also nominated as a "Rising Star" in the state's tech and STEM scene.

Kim Lehrman, president of enTouch Wireless in Hiawatha, was nominated in the Business Innovation and Leadership category.

Finalists were selected based on their professional experience, history of innovation, their ability to think creatively and solve problems, and their demonstration of leadership, according to the association.

"Our judging panel had a difficult job due to the strong competition in each category," TAI President Brian Waller said in a statement. "Each finalist is extremely deserving of recognition for her contributions and we are honored to celebrate each individual for her impact on Iowa."
The winner in each award category will be announced during the 2016 DMACC Iowa Women of Innovation Awards Dinner, to be held Nov. 9 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines. For more information or to register for the event, visit
A food truck shown in Iowa City's Chauncey Swan Park.

Farmers Insurance has launched a new food truck insurance policy, offering a unique option for mobile food vendors looking to consolidate policies.
The insurer group's new policy combines commercial automobile coverage for trucks with a restaurant business owner policy, the company said in a statement. It will offer food truck owners the option to obtain coverage for their truck alone or a truck attached to a standalone store.
Food truck owners are typically forced to maintain a mixture of separate policies, adding complexity to the process of insuring a mobile food business, the insurer said in a statement.
"The increased popularity of food trucks is an example of the impact of shifting consumer preferences, and it's important for Farmers to be able to provide our business owner customers with the insurance they want to continue to be successful in this constantly changing economy," Jake Rothfuss, head of business insurance for commercial auto at Farmers Insurance, said in a statement.
ConsultingConsulting: Business success begins before the business plan 
This week, CBJ columnist Jean Kruse offers some advice to those considering starting a new business:
What's the first thing to do when considering starting a small business? Ask more questions.
That may seem like a rather flippant response, but it's true. Success in small business hinges on gathering as much information as possible in order to make sound, informed decisions. That includes understanding your target market, your resources and - perhaps most importantly - yourself.
Entrepreneurship has many rewards, but also many responsibilities. If you're not prepared to handle them, those dreams of being your own boss will almost certainly become real-life nightmares.
So before drafting a business plan, brainstorming catchy company names or pricing office space, pose a few hard questions to the person who will literally make or break your business - you.
Is it the right time for me to start a business? The personal factors that affect the timing of a startup can change quite frequently. "Your finances need to be in order, your responsibilities should be consistent with the ability to invest time and capital, and you should have the appropriate experience under your belt," writes Carol Roth, a Chicago-based business advisor and author of "The Entrepreneur Equation."
Read the full column at
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Short-Term Event Planner
Nov. 3
ISA Launch Day 2016, by the Iowa Startup Accelerator, 5-10 p.m., Paramount Theatre, 123 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. This event is a culmination of 94 days of entrepreneurial effort by the ISA cohort. The evening will include a social hour, presentations by the teams and a celebration party. Free. Register online at
North Liberty Business Banquet, by the Iowa City Area of Commerce - North Liberty Steering Committee, 5 p.m., South Slope Cooperative Communications Company Community Room, 980 North Front St., North Liberty. This event includes a social hour followed by dinner and a program. Cost: $35 for members and $50 for nonmembers. Register online at or by calling (319) 337-9637.
Nov. 7
Coralville Roundtable - Monica's, by the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., Monica's, 303 Second St., Coralville. Roundtables are social lunches over the noon hour. All are invited to network, keep up to date with chamber and community events and frequent a member restaurant or business. Free. For more information, call the chamber at (319) 337-9637.
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28 
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28
The man who was wanted for the ambush-style killings of two Iowa police officers is now being questioned by police. CBS2/FOX28's crew in Des Moines says Scott Michael Greene is at the Des Moines Police Department for questioning about the shooting deaths of Urbandale Police Officer Justin Martin and Des Moines Police Sergeant Anthony Beminio. The were shot about two miles apart within 20 minutes of each other. Mr. Greene had been in a local hospital since Wednesday morning, after he was found on a trail outside of Des Moines. At a press conference, a Des Moines police spokesman alluded to Mr. Greene being charged with first degree murder, but charges have not been filed as of yet.

Three men now face four counts of kidnapping and first-degree robbery charges. Iowa City police say two men walked into the Domino's Pizza on Riverside Drive in Iowa City around 2:40 a.m Thursday, held up guns and demanded money. Police say they then forced four workers into a cooler and left. The suspects then took police on a high-speed chase ending near Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville. Corey Lindsey, 23, Keyshaun Hayes, 26, and Martavious Junious, 25, were found with cash, a cash bag, two guns and other items that that belonged to Domino's. They're all being held in Johnson County Jail.
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast
Temperatures today will warm into the mid 60s in the afternoon. Temperatures will be similar to Wednesday afternoon, but there will be plenty of sunshine, making it feel warmer. The nice weather will roll on through the weekend with plenty of sunshine and high temperatures in the mid to upper 60s.