EMERGE@Simpson is working with an independent adjunct professor (Tom Meyers) to offer a "Business of Blockchain" class through Simpson's C&G program. Tom is becoming known in the metro for his work on Blockchain and has been provided background materials being used at MIT on similar classes.
Initial plans call for a 6-week, 1 credit-optional, class that combines learning the "Emerge and Pivot" approach to value creation using the "business case for blockchain" as the lead example in the class. The goal is to separate the value from the hype.
By combining the two topics, we can approach a wider set of corporate stakeholders, both companies and their employees, as Carver Connections, mentors, and investors. Plans call for classes to be offered in conjunction with the West Des Moines Incubator and at Simpson's West Des Moines campus.
Having this type of flexible class available will also benefit on-campus students seeking blockchain information and position Simpson well in the metro for this emerging technology. One investment team has inquired about combining this with an actual digital currency mining platform as an EMERGE@Simpson venture.
ExpresSeed would be a potential customer for that venture, as the future of food supply export appears to be using blockchain recordkeeping of DNA information alongside transactional information, according to former USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack at a recent speech.
Next steps are for the team to finish developing the curriculum, test marketing the class to potential customers, and making plans for a summer class.
IdRamp is an Indianola-based startup providing a decentralized, business to business, login identification platform. It is an advanced startup in that they have a growing customer install base. Their primary goal in working with the Emerge Foundation is to have Series A capital options and access to Simpson College talent as they move forward in 2018. More information about the company is available at:
A 2018 Foundation strategic goal is to widen its scope to include off-campus and non-Simpson ventures seeking entry-level incubation and pathways to seed capital. To accomplish this, the Emerge Foundation is now piloting Carver Connections.
Carver Connection extends the EMERGE@Simpson program through The Emerge Foundation to create a larger startup ecosystem. By working with partners at the West Des Moines Incubator, Gravitate, area business accelerators, and independent consultants, ventures will receive a wider support network in exchange for modest service fees.
South-Central Iowa will also soon have the option to join LaunchPad65. LP65 is a fledging Indianola-based startup gateway to metro-area resources including a local co-working space, and The Emerge Foundation is a founding member to expand its scope even further. Carver Connections can dual-enroll at LaunchPad65 under the same fee, if it is advantageous to their business launch.
Access Sentry has enlisted the Emerge Foundations as a Carver Connections to incubate its product launch. Access Sentry is a product and software spinout of an established Des Moines business with an extensive existing customer base. Their innovation is a front desk security kiosk connected to a cloud-based security software platform.
Advantages to Access Sentry joining the Emerge network include entry-level business incubation and being included on the Foundation's marketing for venture capital in 2018. More information about the company is available at:
From the Director
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