UEDA Summit 2013 - Awards of Excellence - Research & Analysis - The Iowa Business Concierge


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Entrepreneurs often need key business intelligence to make decisions associated with starting or growing a company. Market and customer demographics, industry trends, competitor data and email/mailing lists are critical, yet most information of this kind is out of financial reach for young companies.
The UNI Business Concierge provides on-call and online business intelligence for free, to startups and young companies in Iowa. UNI’s Entrepreneurship Outreach team assembled existing university database resources and trained a business concierge to offer custom and timely business intelligence to entrepreneurs, then connect them with the service providers needed to move them forward. All online.
The Business Concierge is marketed by service provider partners who upload a iframed Business Concierge module into their own websites, where it is marketed as a free, local resource for small business through the city, county or regional economic development organization’s website.
Early outcomes suggest the Business Concierge is effective. Between June 2011 and December of 2012, more than 840 small companies were served by the Business Concierge, averaging 3 hours per business served. Of 127 Business Concierge survey respondents, more than one third reported opening or expanding a business. Twenty three reported starting a new business and 13 more reported launching a new product or service. Many reported hiring employees (14 FTE jobs and 48 subcontract positions).
UNI has scaled the technology, formalized the approach and is in early conversations to beta test the approach outside of Iowa as a cost effective, outcome driven resource to serve young companies.

Read the Case Study: http://universityeda.org/value-to-members/best-practice-sharing/awards-of-excellence/awards-of-excellence-2013-finalists/the-iowa-business-concierge/

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  • UEDA Summit 2013 - Awards of Excellence - Research & Analysis - The Iowa Business Concierge

    1. 1. The MyEntre.Net Business Concierge UEDA Awards of Excellence October 2013 Patrick Luensmann, Program Manager UNI MyEntre.Net Patrick.Luensmann@uni.edu
    2. 2. Our Common Challenge  Young Companies Need Business Intelligence Expensive Difficult to Find Complex Data
    3. 3. What If We Could Provide On Demand Business Intelligence to Small Businesses?
    4. 4. The Business Concierge Multiple Success Measures Provide Easy Access Eliminate the Cost Issue Translate the Data Actionable Information Martha Norbeck, C-Wise Design Consulting Services, Iowa City , IA
    5. 5. The Business Concierge  D&B MDDI  DemographicsNow  FINTEL  Jigsaw  ProfitCents  Salesgenie  Moz Mailing lists Pricing Comparisons Demographics Competition info Industry trends Sources for Grants/loans  SitetoDoBusiness  ReferenceUSA  LexisNexis  IBISWorld  Small Business Reference Center -Ask Us Anything
    6. 6. The Business Concierge Bedbugs! How Big is the Problem? Universities and Community Colleges? What is the Market Share? Is it Growing? Declining? Midwest Mailing List Josh Rzpeka Enviropest Solutions, Waterloo, Iowa
    7. 7. The Business Concierge Online Technology Chat, Email, Phone or Online Rapid Turn-Around Referrals Program Format Student Research Teams Interpretive “Your service is beyond invaluable when I did not even know the questions to ask” -Gail Chavenelle, Chavenelle Studio Metalworks
    8. 8. The Business Concierge 256 Served in Six Months 11 New Business Starts 2 Businesses Acquired 8 New Products/Services Carolyn Corbin Consulting Decorah, Iowa Industry Statistics & Customized Mailing List
    9. 9. The Business Concierge 500-600 Requests Annually 3-4 Hours Per Request I-Frame Available to Iowa EDO’s Benefits Seen Entrepreneurs Students Higher Education
    10. 10. The Business Concierge Going Forward Resources on Every Campus Student Baseline Databases Sharable Technology I-Frame CRM w/Tracking Patrick Quinn, Technology Association of Iowa List of every Iowa technology Company < five years old