Capital Crossroads 2nd Quarter update
Friday, July 20, 2012 7:00 AM
Other developments of note mentioned at the meeting:
The Cultural Capital committee is forging stronger relationships with both Bravo Greater Des Moines and the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau to collaborate, share resources and expand sustainable funding for cultural events and organizations, co-chair Brian Laurenzo said. Notably, the City of Ankeny plans to enter into a 28E intergovernmental agreement with Bravo to join that organization, which is illustrative of how the Cultural Capital committee seeks to grow the pie of sustainable funding for arts in the region.
The Capital Corridor committee will be interviewing three consulting firms this summer to select a firm that will help develop a regional marketing plan for the Ames-Des Moines corridor connected by Interstate 35, co-chair Steve Zumbach said. Whether the marketing plan will present the corridor broadly to include regional strengths such as insurance and financial services, or more focused to key in on agriculture and biosciences, has yet to be determined, Zumbach said.
Greater Des Moines Partnership President Gene Meyer announced that 20 companies have verbally committed to participate in a nonprofit downtown redevelopment group to be named Acquisition Inc. Each company would provide a minimum $500,000 line of credit to the nonprofit entity, which will be housed at the Partnership. Meyer said he is seeking more companies to commit in addition to the initial 20, and that the formation of Acquisition Inc. will probably be announced sometime next month.
Just nine months into Capital Crossroads, a mix of technology-based and collaborative initiatives that are moving forward illustrate just how effectively the regional planning effort is working, J. Barry Griswell noted last week. Griswell, one of the tri-chairs of Capital Crossroads, led a quarterly update meeting of the committee co-chairs last week at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Center. With a lot of moving parts, Capital Crossroads has spurred new programs on several fronts, Griswell said, among them:
• StartUp City Des Moines - the business start-up incubator now has eight resident companies; six of which are generating revenues.
• SourceLink - launched in April, the one-stop website to help businesses find the services they need.
• eCertify - an online certification process for exporters supported by the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s international trade office.
• Acquisition Inc. - an emerging nonprofit in which businesses can invest in downtown redevelopment.
• GetActiveDSM app - a smartphone application launched by the Partnership to help people find healthy activities and track their progress;
• Plains Angels - a group of central Iowa angel investors that has begun meeting.
Additionally, the recent 7-0 vote by the Des Moines City Council to allow the Des Moines Social Club to move forward with the purchase of the former Des Moines Fire Department headquarters is indicative of how Capital Crossroads planning efforts are paying off, Griswell said. One of the priorities of both Bravo and the Cultural Capital section of Capital Crossroads is to broaden the availability of arts and cultural resources such as the Des Moines Social Club.
The next meeting will be held on Oct. 10.
To read about all the capitals, see the full plan and who all the capital leaders are, go to www.businessrecord.com/capitalcrossroads
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