It’s been a big couple of weeks in Ames and Iowa City.
School started at the end of August at the state’s two largest universities, flooding the communities with the kind of vitality only a rush of tens of thousands of college students can provide.
In rankings released by different publications in the last month, both the City of Ames and The City of Iowa City were rated as the “Best College Town” in the United States.
Both the University of Iowa and Iowa State University opened the season with their football teams in the Top 25. Two weeks into the season, both remain undefeated, fueling optimism for great things to come in both communities.
And on Saturday evening, amidst a sea of tweets featuring the hashtag #CollegeAmesDay, came word that the annual Cy-Hawk football game, hosted this year in Ames, will provide the setting for the most popular college football pre-game show in the universe: College GameDay.
Setting aside the traditional #HateWeek banter, this is a big week for Iowa. We will thrust our student-athletes into the spotlight and show the world the pride we have in our football teams.
There is no doubt that the passion displayed during #CollegeGameDay, in tailgates in the parking lots, and within the confines of Jack Trice Stadium will become the thing of legend. Hosts will speak of it for years to come.
And that is great.
Why don’t we show that same amount of enthusiasm for a group of students working just as hard at their craft, putting in long hours in the pursuit of perfection, building out game plans and attempting to flawlessly execute their strategy?
Why don’t we show out in record numbers to support the students at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University who are building businesses?
Why isn't student-founder as revered a term as student-athlete?
Why isn’t there a line of folks just waiting to get into Demo Day for the Iowa State Entrepreneurship #CyStarters or standing room only when a U of I student gives a 1 Million Cups Iowa City pitch in the MERGE Iowa City building?
Is it a stretch to think that we should fill stadiums to back a student starting a business?
But can we as a community do more to give these students the push they DESERVE as they put their time and talent into building businesses that may be transformative?
May the best team win this week.
Good luck Hawkeye Football.
Good luck Iowa State Football.
And in addition to rooting for our teams, may we all do our part to share a passion for our state, our communities and all of our students, whether we find them on the field of play, in the lab or building the next big thing.
[From time to time, #YEConvention co-founders Andrew Zalasky and Clayton Mooney will share thoughts on the entrepreneurial landscape and the joys and pitfalls of being an early-stage #founder. They will sign off each column with their initials. If a piece resonates with you, we kindly ask for a like, comment and/or share.]