Invest in or Replicate Iowa

Jim Offner has written an interesting profile (published in Delta SkyMiles magazine) on the great state of Iowa that may pique the interest of those of you looking to invest in or replicate a working economic model. Ranked as the 4th lowest in unemployment, Iowa was barely hit by the housing crash, and is known of the “king of corn”, with more corn grown there than any other state in the nation. Iowa is ranked sixth in the U.S. in manufacturing output, with a reported 24.5 percent growth in manufacturing GDP, compared to 15 percent in the U.S. over the past ten years (as reported by Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Department Authority).

Iowa also ranks third in the nation in wind power consumption and generation, as roughly 20 percent of its energy comes from wind. More than 80 companies in Iowa are supported by wind power as they make and assemble wind turbines seen throughout Iowa and the rest of the country. Iowa has also grown to become a high producer of jobs, research, manufacturing, and business and tech startups. Here’s another statistic for you—“Of Iowa residents age 25 or older, 91 percent have at least a high school diploma, the seventh-best state showing in the nation,” reported Jim Offner

The cost of doing business in Des Moines, Iowa is roughly 17 percent below the national average according to Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. There are more than 60 insurance and financial service companies headquartered in Iowa, including Wells Fargo—with 14,000 employees that (outside of its California base) make up the company’s largest worker roster. Outside of Chicago and Hartford, Connecticut, Des Moines, Iowa is the largest insurance center in the U.S., and it has the highest concentration of financial service workers.

StartUpCity, a Des Moines incubator, is hopeful that there will be huge growth of future companies by offering entrepreneurs access to mentors, a physical space to work, develop, and collaborate, and have access to investors.

It definitely looks like Iowa is on to something and is on track to be one of the top economic leading states in the U.S. this is the time if you’re interested in invest in Iowa, or copy like crazy what they are doing there!

Big 2012 Mergers and Acquisitions

Take a look at several of the big M&A transactions for 2012 reported by Barclays:

– Hertz acquired Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. for $3.7 billion

– ConAgra Foods acquired RalCorp for $6.8 billion

– Exelon and Constellation Energy merged. That is a $11.2 billion transaction

– United Rentals acquired RSC Equipment Rental for $4.2 billion

– DAIKIN acquired Goodman Air Conditioning and Heating for $3.7 billion

– GM has agreed to acquire the automotive financing operations in China, Europe, and Latin America from ally for $4.2 billion

– Eastman Chemical company acquired Solutia for $4.8 billion

– WellPointe acquired Amerigroup RealSolutions in healthcare for $4.9 billion

Source: Barclays.com

Goldman Sachs Gave Millions in Restricted Shares for 2012 to Top Executives

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Goldman Sachs gave Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein $13.3 million shares of restricted stock for 2013, and that Goldman’s top 12 executives received a combined $99.78 million of restricted shares.

Read more here: on.wsj.com/Xk2t3b

Operation HOPE is Giving Aspiring Youth Entrepreneurs the Chance to Shine

By Natasha L. Foreman

If you live in or will be in the Atlanta area Wednesday, January 16th then there’s only ONE place that you need to be from 9:30am to 11:30am, and that’s cheering on and supporting aspiring youth entrepreneurs at Operation HOPE’s HOPE Business In A Box (HBIAB) pitch competition at Jean Childs Young Middle School.

There are 29 teams competing, (consisting of 6th and 7th graders) for the HBIAB Entrepreneurship Grant (from $50 to $500 each), 6 weekly sessions with a Business Role Model, a savings account, and access to additional resources that will help them develop a mini business plan and launch their businesses.

Come out and lend your support to these young entrepreneurs. Be sure to share these details with your friends, family, associates, and colleagues. Tweet it, post it, and blog it!

Wednesday, January 16th
9:30am-11:30am
Jean Childs Young Middle School
3116 Benjamin E. Mays Drive SW
Atlanta, GA 30311
Cross street: Lynhurst Drive
(404) 802-5900

The competition will be held inside of the auditorium. Early arrival is strongly suggested as we will be starting promptly at 9:30am.

Check out our video and website for more details about HOPE Business In A Box: operationhope.org/business-in-a-box

I hope to see you on Wednesday morning, and don’t forget to spread the word about the pitch competition!

~Natasha

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