Tuesday, March 29, 2016

“Diana Kander captures what it’s like to launch something new. The result is a book that helps set readers on the path to finding startup success,” said CEO of Zappos.com, Tony Hsieh, of serial entrepreneur, Diana Kander, and her best-selling book, All in Startup.

On February 23, the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and MidWestOne Bank were proud to host Kander for the 2016 Ben S. Summerwill Lecture Series.

Held at the Englert Theater, the lecture series featured Kander as she shared her entrepreneurial journey. Beginning with her family’s middle-of-the-night flee from the Soviet Union, through her decision to step into the world of entrepreneurship in her early 20’s, Kander is now a Senior Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and a New York Times’ Best Selling Author.

During the lecture, she also did interactive activities with the audience, teaching lessons on customer discovery and finding solutions to customers’ problems.

The following day, Kander participated in a variety of small discussion groups with Iowa entrepreneurs, supporting community members, UI faculty, staff, and students.

Kicking off with a Power Women’s Brunch hosted by Venture School, Kander and a group of local women entrepreneurs held a lively discussion on a variety of topics including Kander’s personal experiences and hurtles for women in entrepreneurship.

University of Iowa student, Laura Davison said of the event, “It was really amazing to see how many women entrepreneurs are actually in the community and that they could all come together to gain insight from an inspirational woman who has been successful in her entrepreneurial ventures.”

To finish out the day, Kander took part in a discussion group with teachers, professors, and community support members on best practices for teaching entrepreneurship followed by lunch with JPEC’s Sigma Nu Tau student organization.

Maddie Guyette, a chapter member, said her biggest takeaway was Kander’s advice on prioritizing. “One thing she discussed was prioritizing based on a scale when deciding what to dedicate your time to,” Guyette said. “If it’s not at least an 8 out of 10 on the scale, then we shouldn’t worry about it since we have a limited amount of time each day.”