What is the Innovation Lab?

The Innovation Lab is a platform that builds capacity for innovation within the community. It’s focused on helping a diverse network of community partners foster innovation more effectively and efficiently.

We've spent a year having conversations about innovation and entrepreneurship with stakeholders throughout the community. We listened as they talked about strengths, areas for opportunity, and real or perceived barriers. As a result of these conversations, we’re working closely with individuals, schools, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to develop new ways to spur innovation among a variety of audiences.

Generally, work will occur in 4 areas:

1. Educational Innovation
To build an innovative community, we need to foster more innovation within our educational systems. Working with community partners, we're developing new ways to help educators cultivate innovation among students.

2. Community Events
Sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration. We’re working with entrepreneurs, local businesses, and community partners to create public events that share inspiring examples of innovation and entrepreneurship, promote connections between innovators, and show that our community is highly innovative.

3. Innovation Tools & Strategies
It's easier to get the job done when you have the right tools. In partnership with industry experts and using best practice solutions, we’re creating a comprehensive portfolio of tools and strategies to help individuals, nonprofits, and businesses be more innovative.

4. Entrepreneurship
We’re working to reduce barriers and grow entrepreneurial efforts within our community, especially among underrepresented populations. From business development coaching to high quality coworking facilities, we’re helping entrepreneurs of all stripes move from idea to implementation.

Innovation Lab Advisory Council

The following individuals and businesses are investing their time, talent, and resources to help grow the Innovation Lab and the role it plays in our community. 

Julie Bauer - Executive Director, Alliant Energy Foundation
Colleen Callahan - General Manager, PBS Systems
Mark Dickson - General Manager Dubuque Works, John Deere
Amy Green - Director of Program Sales, Northeast Iowa Community College
Nathan Greiner - President & CTO, Design Mill, Inc.
Lance Hummel - Owner, Higley Industries
Cheri Jones - Manager, Financial & Industrial Sector Project Management, IBM
Chris Miller - Owner, Miller Development Group
Gordon Miller - Director, Construction Engineering, John Deere
Leah Rodenberg - Senior Program Manager, Alliant Energy Foundation
Laura Roussell - Senior Community Affairs Manager, Black Hills Energy
Jake Schneider - Independent Consultant




The Innovation Lab is a platform that helps launch ideas. We'd love to help you launch your next big thing.