Funnel Canyoneering

Kaylee Williams is a sales savant and an empathetic venture capitalist dedicated to accelerating fellow founders. As the Investment Director at InnoVenture Iowa, she manages a $30M public fund focused on investing in early stage companies throughout Iowa, with applications for this year’s $100K InnoVenture Challenge now open!

Together, we chat about hiking in the Appalachians, raising capital, and filling the sales funnel to keep entrepreneurs building in the wild. As Kaylee reminds us with her closing canyoneering story, we are all capable of so much more, so push yourself into positions where the only way out, is through.

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Playforce Principles

Introducing a modern equation:

C + I + R + V = future of work

The “future of work” is something many people throughout an entrepreneurial ecosystem think about, talk about, and work on together.

When everyone is trying to figure out the future of work, how have we arrived at this simple solution to such a complex, important, and constant debate?

It began with 20+ years of collaborating through connection. This experiential wisdom is wonderful, but thinking/writing/talking about education through the lens of entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, and innovation has embedded perpetual learnings from students, educators, employers, and community builders. Along the way, “Playforce” was coined to describe a workforce that thirsts for significance through work that feels like play. In fact, an optional multiplier in this C.I.R.V. equation is actually having fun through an intrinsic sense of play. The depth of each variable (curiosity, initiative, real skills, and vocational knowledge) is also key to equalizing this complex equation.

This long-term focus has provided clarity, but this C.I.R.V. equation was refined through an ambitious collection of professional podcast interviews. In just three months, we orchestrated, recorded, and produced 55 fascinating episodes of You Don’t Need This Podcast. You read that right my friends. 55 thoughtful episodes of YDNTP were created in only 3 months, with a new episode now queued up to be released every week into 2024! During this prolific sprint, leaders boldly shared timeless insight linked to all parts within the educational system and related influences from throughout an entrepreneurial ecosystem. These were not quick chats. These were rich conversations with each special guest totally plugged in, sitting directly across me in a downtown recording studio! Navigating this many peculiar interactions sealed in the required comprehension that connects through pertinent perspectives.

Forecasting the future is hard, but action guided by the modern principles expressed in this new C.I.R.V. equation helps us activate exponential value as we continue building the future of work.

Growing the Garden

Hit the trail and plant some seeds with Diana Wright! As the Startup Community Builder for Greater Des Moines Partnership, Diana is a leader who uses the art of connection to evolve the Des Moines startup community, while also weaving webs throughout Iowa and beyond.

Together, we explore building within complex entrepreneurial ecosystems, how to plug into a startup community, the importance of learning from failure, communities of practice, Startup Iowa’s Hot List, and ways ecosystem allies can push through a J Curve by adding diverse energy into the mix.

BONUS: Listen closely to snag a free NFT airdrop or the YDNTB audiobook as well!

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Jam with Jay

Jay Byers is a legendary leader. Tune into this fun episode of YDNTP, as Jay shares stories from 18 years as CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership and looks ahead to his new role as President of Simpson College!

We also talk economic development, evolving entrepreneurial ecosystems, the magic of music, and the value of modern education. This epic episode of #YDNTP was brewed in the Pour Over Publishing studio and features timely, but also timeless insight you won’t hear anywhere else. Special thanks for all Jay Byers has done for so many and remember, the best way to predict the future is to create it.