Iowa Veterans Entrepreneurship Conference Invited Speakers Portal

Thank you for committing your time to be a speaker at the 2024 Iowa Veterans Entrepreneurship Conference, co-hosted by America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Iowa and the Iowa State University Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. The conference will provide workshops and resources for Veterans and their families looking to acquire powerful new skills to achieve new levels of entrepreneurial success. The one-day conference on May  4 (with Pitch Competition and Welcome Reception on May 3) in Ames, Iowa, will include keynote sessions and educational breakout sessions focusing on starting a business, growing an existing business, or looking to connect with an all-new community of friends, supporters, and valuable connections. We expect the conference to draw an attendance of 50 interested entrepreneurs.

Our first-class line-up of speakers will allow our attendees to hear about and experience educational, informative, and innovative topics relevant to entrepreneurial Veterans and military personnel.

Our speakers will be a mix of successful entrepreneurs and professionals with expertise in their respective fields. Speakers will share entrepreneurial experiences, wisdom, and specific relevant and timely content related to or based around entrepreneurship and provide how-to’s and real-world applications that attendees can immediately apply to their entrepreneurial lives and futures.

Session Formats:

  • Keynote Sessions: These sessions will be 75 – 90 minutes in total length featuring activities and up to three different presenters, each for approximately 20 minutes with 5 minutes for Q&A. Keynote speakers will provide thought leadership from entrepreneurs and experts in professional services for entrepreneurship and small business ownership. Content should be related to an audience of entrepreneurial Veterans/military personnel offering tactical entrepreneurial advice.
  • Workshops: Forty-five-minute workshops allow for in-depth discussion and learning on new approaches and best practices on aspects of running a business and leadership topics. Workshops should be designed for interactivity, participant networking, and practical takeaways.

Speaker Benefits: 

  • Speakers (including co-presenters or a guest) will receive complimentary registration, including admission to events, the Exhibitors, conference meals, and all networking events, including the Welcome Reception on Friday, May 3.
  • Exposure on the conference website and social media and in event marketing materials.
  • After the conference, an evaluation report with session ratings and feedback will be available.

If you are available to present on Saturday, May 4, please complete the short questionnaire below so that we can collect your bio and session information. Once completed, you will receive an email with the session specifics.


What to Expect

  • We will promote you as a speaker in the conference program book and on the conference website.
  • We will promote you as a speaker on social media posts and ask you to share the posts with your network.
  • The dress code is casual to business casual.
  • The sessions will be running back-to-back, and session moderators will help facilitate keeping sessions running on time.
  • We ask for you to please:
    • Check in with the Conference registration desk at LEAST 30 minutes prior to your scheduled session.
    • Provide handouts if they are a part of your presentation.
    • Share any conference-related social media posts.
    • Refrain from “brochure speak” (advertising pitches) while presenting.
    • Refrain from using derogatory remarks.
  • Allow us to:
      • Share your slide deck with conference attendees and use it as a resource for post-conference informational purposes.
      • Capture you on still, video, broadcast, and/or sound recordings while at the conference.
    • Use and share such film captures for educational purposes and/or future conference promotions. Let us know if this is not ok.
  • The meeting rooms will be equipped with a standing lectern with wired microphone, LCD projector/screen, and laptop computer.


Speaker Tips

Below are some tips to consider for your presentation:

  • Share why you are qualified to present your suggested topic and your expertise.
  • Think about what you can incorporate into your presentation to excite the audience or make the topic sound exciting.
  • Think about how you plan to arouse the audience for participation.
  • Identify what will be said in your talk that you feel has not been conveyed in the “classroom.”
  • Think about how your talk will help educate the audience.



More information about the conference can be found on the event home page or by contacting


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