The University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center had the perfect venue ready when a national conference was looking to showcase startups to entrepreneurial students and other advocates last month. The school had just opened the Thinc Innovation and Collaboration Lab, a 5,000-square-foot co-working space at the corner of Market and Dubuque streets. The space is one of two recently opened in Iowa City, with a third new co-working space soon to follow in neighboring Coralville.
City officials say their support of these types of spaces is part of an overall strategy that, rather than pursuing huge companies’ expansions, focuses on building local startups.
The approach has helped Iowa City become one of the hottest startup scenes in Iowa, which in turn builds the region’s reputation as a startup hub.