Mark Nolte
Failure isn't the most obvious cause for celebration, but it may well be the best way to learn and grow. With that in mind, the Iowa City Area Development Group is borrowing an idea that originated in California's Silicon Valley a few years ago and has spread among entrepreneurs worldwide: the startup funeral.

ICAD plans to host its inaugural Startup Funeral for Radiology Protocols at 4:30 p.m. Friday at MERGE to "celebrate failure, support and moving forward" with chips, salsa and margaritas all around.

ICAD President Mark Nolte told the CBJ it is an idea whose time has come. As the area develops a stronger entrepreneurial system, it is important to recognize that not making it does not mean the founder or team is flawed or worthy of shame.

"If we are going to be serious about the startup ecosystem, there are going to be failures,"  he said. "We don't want the potential of failure to inhibit people from taking a chance."  
Before shutting its doors, Radiology Protocols 
developed and marketed a suite of radiology department workflow products.

The public post-mortem is designed to offer reflection and learning as well as recognition that not succeeding offers lessons and opportunities. The tradition originates in the tech world in which "fail often" is a guiding aphorism on the road to success. It also recognizes reality: according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, only about half of all new establishments make it five years or more and just one-third make it to the 10-year mark. 
Para2Soko Outfitters joins Corridor's growing outdoor scene

Soko Outfitters founders (l-r), Steve White, Steve Shriver, Graig Kone and Dr. Ryan Sundermann, shown in front of the location where the store will open this summer. PHOTO ANDREA SHRIVER
A new independent outdoor store is preparing to open in Czech Village this fall, demonstrating a leap of faith by four local entrepreneurs in the Corridor's growing outdoor scene.
Soko Outfitters will be a 5,000-square-foot store offering outdoor apparel brands not currently available in the Cedar Rapids market, including Patagonia, Prana, Kuhl, 686 and Parajumper.
About 80 percent of its stock will be apparel, while the remaining 20 percent will be hard goods such as backpacks, tents and camp stoves from leading brands such as Black Diamond and Big Agnes, which have largely been absent from local stores. Within two years, the owners also plan to add kayaks.
"We'll have outdoor programming - everything from 'how-to' to 'let's do,'" said Steve Shriver, who is partnering in Soko Outfitters with Steve White, Graig Kone and Ryan Sundermann.
Mr. Shriver owns the building at 45 16th Ave. SW, which was once a automobile dealership selling Studebakers and Ramblers. More recently, it housed the nonprofit Artisan's Sanctuary, which relocated to Uptown Marion.
Mr. Shriver and Dr. Sundermann briefly discussed opening an outdoor store in the building after it was vacated, but "just didn't have the bandwidth," said Mr. Shriver, the CBJ's 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year.
Mr. Cone and Mr. White later approached Mr. Shriver with the idea of an outdoor store, raising the possibility of forming a four-way partnership. It would mitigate the risk to the individual investors and allow them to lend expertise from a variety of backgrounds.
"We were thinking very small - a nice starter store with a little of everything just to test the water," Mr. Shriver said. "Once we did the research and saw the market had 250,000 residents with very little access to outdoor gear, we saw there was a great opportunity to do a store of good size."

Read the full story at
pitchNFIB calls state tax reform a win for small business  

At least one small business group is hailing sweeping legislation that would cut Iowa's individual and corporate tax rates by $1 billion, calling it a "great next step" for small business.

"The Senate tax bill is a great next step toward creating an environment where Iowa's small, family-owned businesses can afford to expand and create jobs," said Matt Everson, Iowa director of the National Federation of Independent Business, in a statement about Wednesday's package of cuts.

The Iowa Working Families Tax Relief Act would eliminate Iowa's federal deductibility, instead reducing personal income taxes by 30 percent over a two-and-a-half year indexing period. The state's top individual income tax rate would be cut from 8.98 to 6.3 percent and the corporate income tax rate would be slashed from 12 to 7 percent. The number of tax brackets would also be reduced from nine rates to five for individuals and from four rates to two on the corporate side, ranging from 5.5 to 7 percent.

"But this isn't a done deal," Everson said. "We're encouraging House leadership to build on Senate File 2383 and come up with legislation both chambers can support and Governor Reynolds will sign into law."

Democratic lawmakers are opposing the plan, which an Iowa Legislative Services Agency analysis indicates would reduce Iowa's budget by $208 million in 2019 and $1.2 billion by 2023.
Para3Fewer small Iowa businesses defaulting on loans, study shows 
In what could reflect more optimism about the economy, the percentage of Iowa small firms defaulting on loans went down and the level of borrowing activity improved in December 2017.

According to data published by PayNet as part of its Small Business Default Index (SBDFI), Iowa registered at 1.4 percent following a five basis point improvement from November. Compared to the national default level of 1.83 percent, Iowa's SBDFI was 43 basis points less.

At the same time, PayNet reported financial health is weaker than a year ago in the state despite the recent downturn in defaults. Year-over-year, Iowa's SBDFI increased four basis points, while the national SBDFI remained consistent.

The highest Iowa default rates were concentrated in three sectors: transportation and warehousing (2.93 percent), construction (2.47 percent) and accommodation and food services (2.36 percent). Nationally, transportation and warehousing had a default rate of 4 percent.

Registering at 93.5, the PayNet Small Business Lending Index (SBLI) for Iowa rose 2.5 percent from the previous month's state level, but was 6.8 percent lower than the national SBLI level of 100.3 this month. That is basically unchanged from a year ago.

"Lower default rates combined with increased borrowing signals a more positive view of economic prospects," William Phelan, president of PayNet, said.  
Para5Consulting: Building a culture based on leadership values

In this week's consulting spotlight, Scott Rude, a human resources and leadership strategist who teaches at the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business, says the moment is now to build a better, healthier workplace culture:
Early in my career, when I was a young HR manag­er, a professional woman approached me claim­ing inappropriate behavior by a senior leader in our business. I made discreet efforts to resolve the issue, thinking my company would back me. In­stead, my efforts were stymied and I was made to feel I was the problem for attempting to address the concern. I soon left the company disillu­sioned, but years later my former boss expressed regret, relating to me how the perpetrator became a serial harasser and abusive boss, resulting in low division morale and business performance.

Being right didn't make me feel vindicated - it made me sad. Peoples' lives were unneces­sarily damaged and I left a position I once en­joyed. I've kept this in mind over the years and on those occasions I've had to work on issues of inappropriate workplace behavior.

Today, the issue is front and center, as more and more allegations of inappropriate behavior by power brokers in media, politics and corpo­rate America continue to surface. Every day seems to bring a new revelation, with corporate hierar­chies reckoning with their failure to address the actions of their people.
Indeed, it seems as though the business and political worlds are running rampant with devi­ant people in power. But that's not true.

What is true is that 40 years after offensive workplace behaviors were first named and pro­hibited, we still have significant issues. There's no better time to assess ourselves and our compa­nies, and find a new path toward a better work­place for all concerned.

Read the full column at
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Stocks Corridor Stocks
AEGON AEG 6.81 -0.11 -1.59%
Alliant Energy LNT 38.49 -0.18 -0.47%
Deere & Company DE 156.81 -4.06 -2.52%
Dow Jones ^DJI 24,608.98 -420.22 -1.68%
General Mills GIS 50.57 0.02 0.04%
GoDaddy Inc. GDDY 59.36 -0.45 -0.75%
Great Western Bank GWB 41.42 0.53 1.30%
Heartland Express HTLD 19.55 0.03 0.15%
KemPharm KMPH 5.95 0.10 1.71%
Marsh & McLennan MMC 81.82 -1.22 -1.47%
MidWestOne MOFG 32.05 0.23 0.72%
Pearson PSO 9.87 -0.10 -1.05%
Pepsico PEP 108.12 -0.81 -0.74%
Principal Financial PFG 61.19 -1.14 -1.83%
QCR Holdings QCRH 44.15 0.55 1.26%
Rockwell Collins COL 136.04 -1.68 -1.22%
S&P 500 ^GSPC 2,677.67 -36.16 -1.33%
Tanger Factory SKT 22.49 0.16 0.72%
Procter & Gamble PG 78.7 0.18 0.23%
United Fire Group UFCS 44.63 0.15 0.34%
U.S. Bank USB 53.08 -1.28 -2.35%
Wells Fargo WFC 57.31 -1.10 -1.88%
West Bank WTBA 24.55 0.25 1.03%
Whirlpool WHR 160.57 -0.72 -0.45%
Short-Term Event Planner
March 5
Coralville Roundtable, by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., The Radisson, 1220 First Ave., Coralville. Roundtables are social lunches over the noon hour. All are invited to network, 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.

March 6
Customer Discovery for Product & Service Success, by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 8-9:15 a.m., 501 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids. Julie Zielinski of EDC Inc. will discuss best practices for productive customer delivery. Free. To register, visit

Ignite Your Passion Workshop, by ICAD Group and Kirkwood Community College, 8:30-10:30 a.m., MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Learn how to evaluate and be accountable for personal successes, using a daily, weekly and quarterly process. Cost: $25. To register, call (319) 398-1022 or visit

The Future of Technology, by Corridor Business Journal, 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m., The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids. The CBJ's new Future of Technology event will uncover and showcase the region's most innovative companies and products. The program will feature a technology CEO panel discussion as well as brief presentations about their groundbreaking ideas. Tickets: $40 up to Feb. 27 or $55 after; $400 for table of 10 up to Feb. 27, or $550 after. For more information or to register, visit

On the Menu: Digital Marketing Basics, by Marion Chamber of Commerce, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Marion City Hall, 1225 Sixth Ave., Marion. This edition of the chamber's quarterly lunch-and-learn series will explore digital marketing basics. Learn about the most popular digital marketing concepts, strategies and platforms. Cost: Free for members, $10 for non-members. Find more information and register at
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28 
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28
The Iowa State Patrol says Iowans are driving way too fast. Troopers pulled over 2,717 drivers for speeding at more than 25 mph over the speed limit in 2017. Even more startling, 797 more drivers were stopped for driving more than 100 mph. "It's very scary to see cars are going out there that fast," says Sgt.Nathan Ludwig, "Ninety, 95 percent of the time if you stop someone for speeding, their reason is they are running behind." The Iowa State Patrol says the fastest driver pulled over last year was going 151 mph.

The Floodwater Comedy Festival the first weekend of March will not only bring laughter to Iowa City, it's helping out two major organizations.The proceeds of the event will be shared with the Johnson County Crisis Center and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.The event will feature headliners Carmen Lynch, Preach and Sam Tallent, alongside more than 50 performers from both Iowa and all over the country. 
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

Clouds are moving out and cooler air is moving in. There will be plenty of sunshine today and temperatures will warm into the low to mid-40s. Winds die down tonight and skies stay clear which will allow temperatures to fall into the 20s by Friday morning. Temperatures will be in the 40s once again tomorrow and then warm back up over the weekend. It will be sunny and dry Saturday and Sunday and temperatures will be in the 50s both days. Late Sunday clouds will build in ahead of our next storm.