By Randon Gettys, Startup Peoria Coordinator

Startup Peoria is off to a strong start in 2017! We’re trying a lot of new stuff this year and I’m thrilled to report that the community is responding positively. Startup_Winter-Mixer_9

At our Winter Startup Mixer, the first in a series of mixers to connect the GP startup community, we set an attendance goal of 75 people – we ended up selling 112 tickets, including five future entrepreneurs who played in the kids zone.  By all accounts it was a great time and many new connections were made.  Special thanks to Startup Peoria intern Sarah Hayes, who planned the event, and to all our volunteers.

We announced at the Mixer that Startup Peoria has committed to a five-year seed funding agreement with Junior Achievement to launch a youth entrepreneurship program, Junior Achievement Company.  This program is a chance for high school students to get an immersive entrepreneurial experience.  Startup Peoria and Junior Achievement will launch one Junior Achievement Company in each of the five counties that the Greater Peoria EDC serves.startup-travel-grant-1

Our latest news is the launch of the Startup Peoria Travel Grant. The Startup Travel Grant is for those that need to travel in order to take the next step in growing their business. We want to fund the trip that will help entrepreneurs and startup companies meet with potential investors, suppliers, and customers. Interested entrepreneurs should apply online at startuppeoria.com.