Meet Executive Director Mike Colwell

Mike Colwell“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”  – Margaret Thatcher

That’s Mike Colwell’s favorite quotation. Based on his 30 years in business, Mike will tell you that doing is much more important than telling.

As executive director of the entrepreneurial initiatives of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Mike is responsible for the Business Innovation Zone now known as Square One DSM, Plains Angels and the NestMint Equity Fund program. In his role Mike spends his days coaching, mentoring, consulting, networking and generally asking very tough questions, the kinds of questions most entrepreneurs would rather he did not ask.

After spending more than 20 years in the mobile computing and wireless networking markets, Mike brings his knowledge and battle scars to bear with the goal expanding the Central Iowa entrepreneur ecosystem. Focusing on high-growth-potential companies, he works with businesses ranging from a single person with an idea to $10 million companies looking to grow to $25 million. Mike assists with business strategy, business planning, business plan execution and business model development. Mike is the founder and manager of the Plains Angels, an angel investor group with 2 Iowa chapters and over 90 members.

Mike is personally an angel investor and partner in startups. Growing up in the Cedar Falls-Waterloo area, Mike worked in several of his father’s small businesses. He attended the University of Iowa where he promptly sold his football tickets for a tidy profit, majored in management information systems, minored in computer science, managed real estate and did not focus enough on his GPA.

After spending a few years in Seattle, Mike lives in Ankeny with his wife, Beth, where they strive to raise their son, Ben, who regularly pummels his father at chess.

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