MASON CITY – The North Iowa Corridor and NIACC’s Pappajohn Center have teamed up to promote business development and the consumption of alcohol.
According to a news release from the Pappajohn Center, a “TechBrew” event will be held in May at a downtown Mason City beer hall.
“These informal gatherings bring entrepreneurs, technologists, business people and funders together to talk over a beer (aka “Lubricated Serendipity”),” a Pappajohn Center news release said.
“TechBrew events are serendipitous networking occasions designed to bring together entrepreneurs, technologists, creatives, business experts and investors. These informal meet-ups began in Des Moines and are gaining traction across the state,” the news release claimed.
The non-profit, publicly-funded North Iowa Corridor has tried before to create informal social gatherings for entrepreneurs.
In early 2009, the Corridor “board of directors decided in a strategic planning session that the organization’s number one priority should be helping local companies recruit and retain young professional and technical workers,” the Corridor stated on a spin-off website it created called NorthIowaConnect.com.
The Corridor’s North Iowa Connect group was launched in October of 201o. It has been said that the North Iowa Connect idea was hatched by Corridor Director Brent Willett and Mason City Mayor Eric Bookmeyer, who were seen several times together in 2010 sharing drinks at the Other Place bar in Mason City. Bookmeyer soon made it clear that he favors “younger people” with “fresh ideas” versus older folks when making appointments to boards and commissions. His statement actually lead to accusations of age discrimination against him by prominent Mason City residents.
Once North Iowa Connect was launched, informal gatherings were held at local eateries with about a dozen “young professionals” in attendance each time, mostly sharing drinks and appetizers. Soon, attendance dipped so low that the events were cancelled altogether.
With failure at hand and a lack of interest from the public, North Iowa Connect claims that in 2012, “Connect shifted its focus to promoting local events, sharing opportunities to get involved in the community, and providing relocation assistance, all targeting people in their 20s and 30s.” The median age of people living in Iowa is 38.1 years.
NorthIowaConnect.com now amounts to a Google calendar and links to other websites for help in relocating or finding a job.