In a recent blog post, we covered networking opportunities for IT professionals in the Cedar Valley.
Now we'd like to highlight events and groups more focused on small businesses, entrepreneurs, and other business professionals.
is a website dedicated to small business owners, helping to connect them with whatever resources they need. Membership is free and, once you are logged into the website, you can browse or search for other members, businesses, and financial resources as well as attend educational webinars and read blogs and lots of other things.
MyEntre.Net also offers opportunities like EntreFest
and EntreBash to learn and connect with others in person. I have attended both events and found that they are excellent networking opportunities for small businesses. EntreFest is a 2 day conference held in a different location in the state each year. Its very reasonable registration fee covers all sessions and includes lunch for two days and breakfast for one. EntreBash events are free to the public and generally last a couple of hours. Free hors d'oeuvres and drinks and included. Sign up for MyEntre.Net to learn more about these and all the other events and learning opportunities provided.
Greater Cedar Valley Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Cedar Valley Chamber of Commerce
offers several networking opportunities. I have participated in Power Networking, Legislative Forum, Strictly Business and the Annual Awards, all four of which I found to be excellent.
Power Networking, in particular, is a must-attend event if you are not comfortable with networking in general. This "speed-dating" type event gets you in front of 20 - 30 different local businesses. Even if you don't walk away from Power Networking with any leads, you have shared your story with 20 - 30 other people and you have no idea who those people know and what it might lead to. I met one of my best clients through a contact made at Power Networking. It's definitely worth a try.
Cedar Valley Young Professionals
I have to admit, I joined CVYP
over a year ago, but have not participated in it as much as I should. However, I did attend Frostbite Friday and I made some great connections there. I also participated in several Appointment Exchanges
and I am excited about the potential of this.
CVYP also hosts monthly Leader Luncheons as well as Thirsty Third Thursdays. The group has a lot to offer and membership is only $30/year. Despite its name, there aren't any age limits and membership includes people varying in age from 20s to 50s.
Economic Development Center (EDC)
hosts quarterly networking events that offer great opportunities to meet people and learn about businesses in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor. I've attended a few of these and found them to be valuable and informative. Events are free to attend and generally include a couple of complimentary drink tickets.
If you're aware of any other groups or events people in the Cedar Valley should be aware of, please share!