NewBoCo Workiversary: Eric Engelmann

Jessalyn HoldcraftEcosystem, StartupsLeave a Comment

NewBoCo officially opened its doors in August 2014. At that time the team was a lot smaller, but with Eric Engelmann leading the charge, it has grown to 17 people and three main areas of focus (entrepreneurship, innovation, education) over the last five years. 

To mark this momentous milestone, the NewBoCo team shared some of their favorite memories of working at NewBoCo and with our Executive Director Eric Engelmann. You can learn even more at our inaugural Annual Meeting on September 19, including what we have in store for the next five years.

  1. The thing that made me want to work with Eric is his drive to do something positive and his willingness to take a risk to make sure it happens, along with his generosity of spirit. When others were taking a “wait and see” approach after the flood of 2008, he and his business partner decided to build new in the New Bohemia district. I think that inspired many others to start looking at the city in a different way. His leadership in the district, at Geonetric, then NewBoCo and the many programs it has generated, have touched thousands of individuals in the community and across the state.
  2. I have greatly expanded my knowledge of what it really takes to be an entrepreneur and the hard work and dedication it takes thanks to working at NewBoCo with Eric.
  3. Eric’s brain is constantly working and you never know what he may come up with next. It’s fun to watch someone who has an idea and then the drive and courage to take on that idea or challenge and make it happen.
  4. I feel like everyone in this community sees the importance of supporting entrepreneurs at every step. I don’t think that was true before we started this work. There is room at the table for all of us and I think that makes the work we’re doing special.
  5. One of my favorite memories of working with Eric was pairing on code issues and watching him flow effortlessly through code bugs. Coding can be fun and his example provided that insight.
  6. I appreciate Eric’s authenticity and caring manner.
  7. I met Eric on a building walk through when 415 [Geonetric building] was first built. Hearing his vision for the future inspired me to seek my own path to create a new future for myself. Wanting to work in a place like 415, brought me back to 415 where I now work. It’s really amazing to me, and I am thankful for the opportunity every morning on the way to “work”.
  8. Eric has a great ability to see gaps and needs in a community and then determine how to fix the problem.
  9. My favorite work related memory of Eric has to be his unquenchable desire to play the ultimate April Fool’s prank, especially the one where he was going to fly back from Europe to make Easter brunch for the entire building. I think several people actually cancelled other reservations for lunch that day hoping they would see Ben Dillon in an Easter Bunny suit.
  10. He’s a visionary. He’s always coming up with crazy ideas about what NewBoCo can be in the future and knows how to inspire people to complete those goals.
  11. NewBoCo creates opportunities for those in the community, whether it be DeltaV, ISA, K-12, or Intrapreneur Academy. We’re exposing people to ideas and technologies they may have never come across.
  12. Eric approaches every idea with the assumption it can be done, and we just need to figure out how.
  13. When I moved to Eastern Iowa 5 years ago, I asked my network in Central Iowa who I should know in the Corridor. I heard the name Eric Engelmann enough times that I picked up the phone and gave him a call, and I’m so glad that I did. Eric is leading significant impact in Iowa and when he gets excited about tackling a big challenge, it’s infectious.
  14. I love working for Eric and NewBoCo. It gets crazy sometimes, but that’s because we’re makin’ shit real. Never a dull moment.
  15. Pancake breakfasts. Hands down. While I am not one to pass up a pancake, I appreciate that his gives so much of his time to help build the community within our building and organization.
  16. Eric is always changing full-steam ahead. It’s impossible to feel unmotivated when in his presence because he’s constantly finding ways to maximize the potential of everyone on staff in order to accomplish hefty goals. I’ve never worked with anyone quite like Eric and feel so lucky to be learning from him at every turn.
  17. I enjoyed pairing with Eric on Entretrack and seeing how far he’d come with programming in a short time.
  18. Eric and NewBoCo started my career. Before working as a developer for NewBoCo, all I had done was random freelance work. It was Eric who convinced me to enroll in DeltaV and that kickstarted the crazy adventure that led me to work here.
  19. I would describe Eric as a visionary bulldozer. He has such a strong and vibrant vision for what our city, region, and state could look like and he puts his all, including co-founding NewBoCo, to make it happen.
  20. So many great memories but one that stands out is Launch Day 2014. So many people in the community showed up to celebrate entrepreneurship that day and the teams just dominated the stage. All the hard work and sleepless nights paid off.
  21. The early addition of K-12 STEAM education to the mission and its continued growth throughout the state via our Code.org partnership will ultimately reach thousands in the next generation.
  22. His never-settle attitude. Second to none.
  23. It was so much fun learning one of Eric’s family traditions prepping for egg roll day. Never would I ever think that I’d help roll 500+ egg rolls, but here we are and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
  24. After several years at one company, conversations with Eric and a variety of early-stage companies and organizations have enhanced my understanding of the relationship between businesses and technology.
  25. One of my favorite memories of working with Eric was helping him create one of his infamous April Fool’s Day pranks, especially because people actually believed that he was moving where they could park.
  26. No doubt we have not yet seen the full impact to what Eric and NewBoCo have created and will continue to develop as time goes on. I have no doubt that if we keep up with our programs and work that we will change Iowa and the world for generations to come.

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