Archive for February, 2014

Calling All Entrepreneurs: $5,000 Prize Available for Your “Big Idea”

Posted in Uncategorized on February 11, 2014 by Tory Brecht


Where would we be without the dreamers, innovators, inventors and big thinkers whose ideas drive business? Here in the Quad-Cities, we know that more than 80 percent of all economic growth is home-grown. And we want to see our entrepreneurs thrive even more.

Quad Cities Fast Pitch is a new business idea competition open to anyone in Scott or Rock Island counties with a great business idea or dream. We are looking for bright ideas in the categories of Manufacturing/Industrial; Web/Technology; Retail/Service and Restaurant/Entertainment.

The grand prize winner will receive $5,000 cash and thousands of dollars worth of in-kind business services. Three category semi-finalists will receive $1,000 cash and in-kind services.

The Quad Cities Fast Pitch competition is a joint effort between the economic development departments from the cities of Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island and Moline and several other partners, including: Ignite Quad Cities, the Iowa and IllinoisSmallBusinessDevelopmentCenters, the University of Illinois Extension, Iowa State University Extension, AugustanaCollege and WQAD-TV. The Riverboat Development Authority is sponsoring the cash prize for the contest.

Quad Cities Fast Pitch is a three-stage competition. The first stage is an open application period, where contestants submit their ideas in writing to the contest committee in one of four categories: Technology/Web, Manufacturing/Industrial, Restaurant/Entertainment and Retail/Service. The application period is Feb. 10 through March 15. Applications can be found at the Quad Cities Fast Pitch website at

Five semi-finalists from each of the four categories will be chosen to present at the Quad Cities Fast Pitch live event, hosted by AugustanaCollege and WQAD.   Semi-Finals and Finals Event: April 5, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Gävle Room in Augustana College’s Student Life Center. Semi-finalists will give a 10 minute live presentation to the judging panel in the semi-final round between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Four category winners will be selected from those presentations and will be required to present live in front of an audience beginning at 4 p.m. The grand prize winner will be selected out of the four finalists.


Doing It in Davenport – A Look Back

Posted in General Information with tags , , on February 4, 2014 by Tory Brecht

Doing It in Davenport logo

This blog is typically focused on looking forward and concentrating on all the great projects just getting underway or recently completed as Davenport’s renaissance continues. However, sometimes it’s healthy to take a look back at where you’ve been and to measure the growth.

The past four years have shown phenomenal growth in Davenport, highlighted by local businesses growing and expanding. Around two dozen unique businesses have grown, landed or expanded in Davenport thanks to public-private partnerships since 2010. All together, they have committed more than $145 million in private investment, created nearly 300 high-quality new jobs and retained more than 2,300 positions. Their investments were supported by around $14 million in public sector contributions, showing the strength of such collaborations.

Of these businesses, 71 percent are in the manufacturing sector, 19 percent retail/service, 5 percent distribution and 5 percent document management. For every $1 in public funds invested towards a project, the private sector contributed $10.62, providing a huge return on investment of taxpayer dollars.

The following table illustrates the breadth of projects assisted:

Company Type Private Investment (millions) Public                Investment Jobs                  Created Jobs           Retained
Alter Trading Mfg Expansion 14.3 184,000 3 75
Cobham Mfg Expansion 6.3 280,000 63 380
Compacker, Inc Mfg Expansion 2.39 35,000 5 12
Fidlar Technologies Document Mgmt 4.5 832,500 4 44
Genesis Robotics Mfg Expansion 4.65 0 2 8
Green Buick GMC Sales/Service 4 1,260,000 25 80
Hardi North America Mfg Expansion 3.7 120,000 18 62
Heart of America Sales/Service 27 4,250,000 35 0
Lewis Machine Mfg Expansion 2.5 750,000 7 169
Maxx Industries New Mfg 0.95 320,000 10 0
Mid American Glass Mfg Expansion 4.1 232,000 13 29
Nestle Purina Mfg Expansion 19 0 0 400
PCT Engineering Mfg Expansion 0.7 100,000 4 71
Penske Mfg Expansion 3 107,000 0 13
Phoenix Closures Mfg Expansion 0.73 35,000 8 43
Roemer Machine Mfg Expansion 5.5 215,000 0 20
Sadler Power Train Mfg Expansion 3.25 144,000 6 17
Seaberg Industries Mfg Expansion 3.3 110,000 12 90
Sears Manufacturing Mfg Expansion 1.4 50,000 0 450
Von Maur E Comm. Retail/Distribution 14.5 1,700,000 23 317
Von Maur HQ HQ/Distribution 15.5 1,354,500 10 17
Von Maur E Comm. Retail/Distribution 5.5 1,732,354 50 0
Totals   $146 M $13.8M 298 2,297

Success builds on success, and we fully expect the next four years to see even more accelerated growth. Stay tuned to Doing It in Davenport to track the progress.