Not your typical job fair


Logos courtesy of their respective companies

Startups in Des Moines try to attract current students for future jobs.

Sarah Binder

Startup culture in Des Moines continues to grow, and companies are looking for students to fill new positions. The first annual Startup Job Crawl, to be held in Des Moines, is a way for them to meet. 

The after-hours event, hosted by Silicon Prairie News and Startup Foundation Des Moines, has attracted more than 20 companies. Students will hear a bit about each as they hop from building to building on “Silicon Sixth Avenue” 

“I think it’ll be fun,” said Geoff Wood, COO of Silicon Prairie News. “It certainly won’t be what you expect from a traditional job fair.”

Some companies are looking to hire full time positions, some are seeking interns, and some are just looking to meet students. It will also provide the opportunity to meet students from other colleges; at least six will be represented. 

Companies in attendance range from heavy hitters like Dwolla, an online transactions company, to companies that are just a few weeks old. Wood especially recommended Startup City Des Moines for students who might have their own startup ideas. The new company helps turn ideas into companies.

Many of them sprung up right there on Sixth Avenue, transforming from coffee-shop discussions to full-fledged businesses. 

“It’s very organic, but also very strategic,” Wood said. “It’s a very trendy thing right now.”

While networking can be intimidating, Wood said that this would be a low-pressure situation. Companies are attending specifically because they want to meet students; indeed, the event is limited to current students and those who have graduated within the past year.

“I think networking is very important. It’s how you get your foot in the door today,” Wood said. “I’ve been out of Iowa State 12 years, and it’s gotten me a lot farther than any academic experience I had in school.”