09/23/2008 Welcome to the Ames Business Quarterly: All about entrepreneurs By: Bob Zientara Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, literally and figuratively. And Ames exhibits about as many kinds of entrepreneurship as can be imagined from the classic "technology transfer" exemplified by Iowa State University's Michael Roof, who transformed an idea from his research to what is today Boehringer-Ingelheim VetMedica, a multinational corporation, to the kind of homegrown, free-spirited opportunity capitalized on by Ames restaurateur (and City Council member) Matthew Goodman, owner of the Flying Burrito. In this, The Tribune's inaugural issue of Ames Business Quarterly, we've explored the concept of entrepreneurship from a number of different angles. It's natural for much of the activity to be connected with ISU, one of the nation's great research universities. We've focused on companies such as VetMedica and Novozymes, which are rooted in or connected to the university. But there's a lot going on off campus, too: Woodruff Construction, founded in Fort Dodge is now a major presence among the area's construction companies, and the Fying Burrito, whose founder took a part-time job while a college student, ended up as the owner of a popular Campustown eating establishment. Is there room for improvement? Always. A study by ISU Professor Peter Orazem shows what former ISU grads think of the positives, and the challenges, posed by the Ames business climate. And we've highlighted the ambitious plan by the Ames Economic Development Commission to grow the area economy in the next five years by half a billion dollars and 1,000 new and retained jobs. The evolving role of the ISU Research Park is also a focus in this issue, as its leaders seek to improve communication between the university's research community and the private industries that develop new products and better the bottom line by contracting with ISU for research help. Welcome to the new issue. Enjoy reading and please contact us with comments and ideas. (To read the Ames Business Quarterly Fall 2008 Edition: Building Business – The Entrepreneurship Issue, click here. Bob Zientara can be reached at 232-2161, Ext. 487, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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