Digital Exclusive: Briar Cliff’s 11th Annual Entrepalooza makes changes due to pandemic

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A local business event that helps entrepreneurs in the Siouxland area has made changes to its format this year.

Briar Cliff University’s 11th Annual Entrepalooza has shifted from in-person to online, as well as going for one week instead of two weeks.

“We don’t have an audience that the contestants can present their ideas to. We have them make a video and upload it to YouTube of their final video and play it to the audience and the judges. The judges are already able to look at the videos before the event,” said Jonas Reinke, student manager.

Jonas Reinke, student manager for Entrepalooza, said the main event, Swimming with the Sharks, includes having the five finalists post their pitch videos onto YouTube.

After five months of restructuring the event, those involved in the planning of Entrepalooza are happy that the event is happening this year.

“Very excited! Jonas and I have worked very hard on this. We’re excited to see it come off because, as I said, we spent hours and hours planning and setting it up. We’re really excited to see that,” said Judy Thompson, Briar Cliff University advisor.

Judy Thompson, advisor for Entrepalooza, said the event is currently going pretty well while dealing with some of the learning curves of going online.

Entrepalooza is still able to help out local entrepreneurs despite the COVID-19 pandemic going on.

“It’s just that we show that local business matters. I mean, local businesses are, I think, 80% of the economy of the businesses owned by entrepreneurs. I think that it’s really important to keep them alive so they can help to create a sustainable economy moving forward,” said Reinke.

Last year, local small businesses had a tough year, which makes having this event even more important to highlight them.

“Our emphasis is on entrepreneurs. We want to make the Siouxland community aware that entrepreneurship is alive and well in Siouxland. We want to give them some help through feedback,” said Thompson.

This year’s Entrepalooza will be going on until February 19, and Thompson says she hopes to have next year’s Entrepalooza happen in-person and last for two weeks.

For more information on Entrepalooza and Swimming with the Sharks, go to the Entrepalooza Facebook page.

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