8 Women-Led Businesses Caffeinating the Iowa Startup Ecosystem

February 2, 2017

2:20 pm

Throughout February, eight women-led businesses are set to present at 1 Million Cups in Iowa in a series of events that will showcase up-and-coming startups. The Female Founders events will be held to better highlight the contribution and impact female entrepreneurs have made on the business community.

1 Million Cups is an organization that spans across more than 100 cities in the United States and aims to educate, connect, and “caffeinate” an entrepreneurial nation. They hold a weekly meeting geared toward attracting entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, service providers, artists, and anyone involved in innovation.

“I’ve walked into networking events and pitch competitions and other startup events and been the only female or the women would be outnumbered ten to one…That’s why I was determined to feature a month of female founders; it makes our entrepreneurial ecosystem more accessible to half of the population,” said Jessalyn Holdcraft, organizer of 1 Million Cups, in a press release.

1 Million Cups’ Iowa Branch will host two different women-led businesses in an event each week of February. Holdcraft says the first Female Founders event already brought in more women than any other event.

Show & Tell Downtown Lingerie Fashion Show, presented by Abigail Rawson and Cat Cantrill

Rawson’s Daughter and Vitality Fitness & Dance Studio are teaming up to bring the Show & Tell Downtown Lingerie Fashion Show on Saturday, February 4. Hear about how these two female-led businesses got together to use fashion to empower women.

Over the Heart, presented by Caroline Edmunds-Diez

Over The Heart is a company that creates customizable clothing line that makes it easier to get dressed for any person with a medical condition or caretaker.

Be Leaderly, presented by Jo Miller and Angie Klein

Be Leaderly’s mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help them lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, Be Leaderly is here to support and inspire you. The team offers workshops, webinars, and coaching programs for emerging women leaders, as well as keynotes by CEO Jo Miller.

Dumpling Darling, presented by Lesley Triplett

Dumpling Darling makes dumplings from around the world and international street food inspired by their travels. You can try their delectable creations in NewBo City Market or the Iowa City Downtown District.

Full Circle Wellness, presented by Samantha Ferm

Samantha Ferm, Kirkwood SBDC business counselor and founder of Full Circle Wellness, will share her entrepreneurial journey from Arizona to D.C. to Iowa. Full Circle Wellness offers everything from relaxation massage to deep tissue and neuromuscular work to help in your healing and wellness path as well as Reiki and Shiatsu.

EntreFEST, presented by Jill Wilkins

EntreFEST is a festival + conference that is the largest gathering of Iowa’s entrepreneurial and innovation community. In 2015, 41 percent of attendees were female; in 2017, the goal is to reach 50 percent female attendance.

MarryMyCity, presented by Kaitlin Byers and Tallis Strub

MarryMyCity is a wedding registry designed to provide couples with locally-crafted experiences, connecting them to the city they live in. MarryMyCity delivers small businesses exposure to the wedding market and presents wedding guests with a unique buying experience.

Kick Ass Red Lipstick, presented by Cat Cantrill

Kick Ass Red Lipstick (KARL) is an online and in-person community in which women from all over the world support, encourage, and inspire one another through the power of permission. KARL is a platform where women begin to start loving themselves and start the process of self-investment.

Read more about 1 Million Cups in Iowa City & Cedar Rapids here.

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Jacob is a journalism and political science student at Arizona State University. He likes to learn and write about anything that isn’t cliché. His primary interests are foreign policy, solutions to global poverty, and tech innovation. He has helped lead multiple student groups on campus that have hosted a range of speakers on international issues and has acted as moderator for a couple himself. In his free time, he likes to watch movies, read weird books, and drink offensive amounts of coffee.

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