Angel Investors Find Des Moines to be Heavenly

BY STEVE DINNEN

Des Moines may not yet be in the league of Silicon Valley as a national innovation hub, but there’s a lot of local investment money pouring into ways to make business and industry here thrive. Take, for instance, Plains Angels, a Des Moines-based investment start-up group that is hosting this week’s Best of the Midwest Angel Capital Association Conference.

It has brought together angel investors, accredited individual investors and seed capital managers to, in its words, minimize geographic barriers, improve syndication and build lasting relationships (there are several angel investor groups in Des Moines).

One focus of the conference, held at the downtown Hilton, is a discussion on the Global Insurance Accelerator efforts taking place in the city. Speakers include two executives from Principal Financial Group and Nick Gerhart, former Iowa Insurance Commissioner and current chief administrative officer at Farm Bureau Financial Services.

As one of the nation’s hubs for insurance, Des Moines has developed a knack for bringing funding — along with advice from leading industry experts — to entrepreneurs serving the industry. What better time or place to make this happen, and in a city that has the power to spark change across the globe?

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