It was an interesting evening at the SEMEE event tonight.  Several new businesses presented their stories and it was exciting to see so many people in the audience who care about entrepreneurship in Central Iowa.  Thanks to the Steens of Transition Capital Management for organizing the event.

The star of the show?  Undoubtedly Charlie Anderson.  Charlie is a dynamic speaker who sells Guidry’s Cajun style pork sausage which is made from his mother’s generations-old receipe.  After seeing this guy present I know there will be a whole bunch of people running out to the local Hy-Vee to grab themselves a taste.  What I enjoyed most about Charlie’s presentation is that he told his story from the heart and did not rely on the dreaded powerpoint.  The other presenters and many of us in the audience likely learned a thing or two from Charlie in how to capture an audience.  Charlie has a future as a motivational speaker once he is done selling pork. 

It was also nice to see the guys from US Rodeo Supply demonstrate their online success through the use of NetSuite.  Matt and Nathan Owen run their business from a small storefront in Truro, Iowa and have developed quite an online presence including their own blog, Spur’N Conversations.

Finally, I enjoyed the talk from Barbara Rasko of MakeMineWine Magazine.  The statistics regarding the growth of the wine industry in Iowa are impressive.  I know Governor Chet Culver wants us to become the Silcon Valley of alternative energy but the highlights of the Iowa wine industry are pretty amazing.