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NIACC Introduces New Director of Incubation and Acceleration Services

This news story was published on December 30, 2012.
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MASON CITY – Daniel Pitts Winegarden joined NIACC’s JPEC Center as Director of Incubation and Acceleration Services in December. Mr. Winegarden is a graduate of Iowa State University and the University of Iowa, College of Law. He brings both private and public sector experience to the task including more than twenty years’ of work in economic and entrepreneurial development, both in Iowa and nationally.

Mr. Winegarden’s previous work includes entrepreneurial coaching for the National Science Foundation’s commercialization grant programs where he reviewed and helped develop business plans arising out of the national research labs and universities. “It’s critical to translate ideas into the language of business understood by investors and creditors necessary to fund a growth company. That means explaining what technology, a new product or service, is worth to the paying customer. Explaining the value proposition in convincing terms is the first step to successful sales.” He’s also participated in an Iowa venture capital, growth equity fund targeted in rural development with investments in food, fiber, alternative energy and biotechnology. This experience matches up well with North Iowa’s strong market clusters that are natural foundations for future regional economic growth.

“North Iowa is well-positioned compared to many small city and rural regions for economic growth,” said Mr. Winegarden. “The NIACC Incubator offers both coaching support and discounted rental space for non-retail businesses. We can reduce the cost of launching a new business or growing an existing business and enhance the likelihood of long term financial market success. The steps from concept to market success are well-known and so are the missteps. NIACC can help keep our entrepreneurial businesses on the right path. We offer a full set of incubation and acceleration tools, from training the owner/entrepreneur, to subsidized warehouse/work space, to workforce development and rapid prototyping of products to test market response and demonstrate traction. Entrepreneurs succeed by delivering high-value solutions to customer problems. The NIACC Incubator and other John Pappajohn Entrepreneur Center resources deliver high-value solutions to entrepreneurs, reducing risk and shortening time to market success. I plan to contribute to our area’s growing, regional entrepreneurial culture. This is a great place to live and work. We can profitably service regional, national and international markets and enjoy a great life/work balance and lifestyle. Creativity and risk-taking is not limited to urban centers.”

Mr. Winegarden lives in Clear Lake (Bayside) where they’ve maintained a second home for several years. His wife Lori is an ISU MBA and a commercial real estate construction senior project manager. They recently moved back to Iowa after a stint in Arizona. Their adult daughter, Amanda, lives in Saint Paul and works in information technology systems development for a national retailer.

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