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May/June BIZ Newsletter

From: Kent S.
Sent on: Friday, May 2, 2008 11:14 AM



Green BIZ Client gets R&D at Iowa State University

In 2005, Andrew Hobbs founded Hobbs Building Systems, a company that has engineered a cost-effective "green" insulated concrete form (ICF) wall system. These ICFs contain recycled content, are disaster resistant, and use less concrete and energy when building.


Referred to the BIZ by Iowa Economic Development, Hobbs began to work with Mike Colwell. Mike introduced him to the Institute for Physical Research and Technology (IPRT) at Iowa State University and a technical assistance program that helps businesses take advantage of state college resources. Hobbs is now working on plans to do physical testing of his product.


"This data will potentially increase the application opportunities of the product in new construction of buildings," Andrew says. The findings are also expected to validate that this is an affordable, durable and energy-efficient solution to the building industry.

In 2008, Hobbs Building Systems expanded their marketing to include all of North America.


"Mike has been an excellent resource for me and my company," Andrew says. "He's not only been a mentor with his wealth of business knowledge, but also he has provided me with many valuable resources through his network of contacts."


To learn more about Hobbs Building Systems and their E-Rated Wall System, visit them online at or call Andrew at (866)[masked] Ext. 2.



Want to know how you can avoid fraud in your business?

Joni Tonnemacher, CPA, CFD, will be the guest speaker at the BIZ Business Insights and Networking luncheon in the Arthur Davis Room at the Des Moines Partnership on May 21.


As a Certified Fraud Deterrence Analyst and partner of McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C., Joni has experience with businesses in a wide variety of areas. She assists businesses in identifying occurrences of fraud as well as the creation and introduction of effective controls that help them avoid fraud.


Joni will share with us key fraud statistics that relate to small businesses and warning signs that fraud may be occurring. She will also share with us a few simple steps that small business owners can take to help avoid fraud.


How to approach investors

At the March Insights and Networking luncheon, Ken Kaplan from Cellencor talked about his philosophies as an angel investor and his advice on approaching investors.


Ken knows business from both sides of the table. He launched Microware Systems, which designed microprocessor-based products, in 1977. He eventually sold it to Radisys Corporation and remained on staff until his retirement in '02.


Finding that retirement didn't quite suit him, Ken decided to delve into the world of angel investing. But he wanted to do it his own way. He didn't want to just write a check. He wanted to invest his expertise and experience to help the companies avoid some of the common pitfalls and growing pains that can hit a young organization.


When asked how entrepreneurs should approach angel investors, Ken had some great advice.


~ Sit down and bounce your proposal off of someone with experience in this area.

~ Make sure your story is complete. If it isn't, how do you fill in the holes?

~ Have a complete budget and a plan for the future.

~ Be able to project and show the anticipated returns?

~ Give your company a realistic valuation.

~ Make sure your leaders have business experience


To learn more about Cellencor, visit their website.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Bob Mortensen suggests that you might just see your company.


Independent business consultant and director of business development for EndoMetric Corporation, Bob Mortensen was our guest on April 16th and much like you'd expect from a man with his credentials, he challenged our thinking and inspired our vision.


Bob suggested that everyone take a good long look in the mirror, because companies generally take on the personality of their owner. He encouraged us to be candid with ourselves and to recognize that if there's something we're not happy about in our organization, odds are its origins are with us.


He also talked about infusing your company with the personality you want it to have and how you can influence that.


Bob went on to talk about how a company needs to master the basics - good product, fair pricing and exceptional customer service - before it can truly be remarkable. Because part of being remarkable is embracing change.


For a copy of Bob's presentation slides, click here.

SBA Emerging 200 Initiative to help Des Moines small businesses

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has chosen Des Moines as a participant in the inaugural year of the SBA Emerging 200 initiative.


Through this program, 20 Des Moines-area small businesses will be chosen to participate in an educational experience that will allow them to develop a successful expansion strategy, including contracting and capital access options. They will also have the opportunity to network, work with experienced mentors, meet city leaders and make financial contacts.


According to Joe Folsom, district director for the Iowa SBA, 20-23 businesses have expressed interest in participating. The next step, which starts in a few weeks, is to meet with each of these businesses to determine eligibility as well as their levels of commitment.

For more information on the SBA Emerging 200 initiative, visit


May Business Insights and Networking Lunch

May 21st, 11:30am


Want to know how you can avoid fraud in your business? Joni Tonnemacher, CPA, CFD, will be the guest speaker at the BIZ Business Insights and Networking luncheon on May 21st.


Des Moines Partnership

700 Locust Street, Suite 100 (map it)


$10 for BIZ members

$12 for nonmembers


To register or for more information, contact Cathy Spenceri.


Branding Breakfast AND Lunch on May 7

May 7, 7:30am & Noon


McLellan Marketing Group's quarterly branding breakfast AND lunch is May 7.


The breakfast meeting (they'll provide the food):

Workforce Center, 430 East Grand Ave (downtown)

7:30 am as usual (map it)


They will repeat the same content (you BYOL) at:

Simpson College WDM campus, 3737 Westown Parkway (classroom #9)

Noon (map it)


Please RSVP and tell them -- breakfast or lunch.

Outclassing Your Competition

May 14, 8:30am - 1:30pm


Set yourself apart from the rest by joining us for a half-day examination and instruction of business and dining etiquette on Wednesday, May 14, at the Embassy Club, 801 Grand Ave. 40th Floor.


$135 per person/members

$155 per person/non-members

Includes four-course luncheon


Download printable registration form here.


For more information, contact Meg Fitz.

Business Building Breakfasts

May 21, 7:30am - 8:30am

Tim Johnson, chief accomplishment officer of Carpe Factum, Inc., will be covering the topic of Project Management.


June 18, 7:30am - 8:30am

Victor Aspergren, ESOP Evangelist for Unaverage Leadership Consulting, will be speaking on Corporate Culture.


IowaBiz holds their monthly Business Branding Breakfast the third Wednesday of every month. Join them for breakfast and to hear their resident experts share their knowledge and expertise that is valuable to everyone in today's marketplace.


Professional Solutions Insurance Services

14001 University Avenue, Clive IA (map it)


Please RSVP and let them know you will be there!

Mark Your Calendars!

The BIZ's monthly lunch/meeting will be held the 3rd Wednesday of every month (we skip July and December). Make sure you don't have a conflict by protecting those dates in advance.


Not only do we bring in excellent speakers but the networking opportunities alone are worth the price of admission!



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