DES MOINES, Iowa (November 30, 2017) – After quickly establishing itself as one of Iowa’s largest entrepreneurial conferences, the Young Entrepreneur Convention will be back in 2018.

The event will be held April 20-21, 2018 at the Downtown Marriott in Des Moines – the location just one of a handful of enhancements designed to provide a valuable experience for a more diverse group of young entrepreneurs. Tickets are currently offered at the early bird rate of $79 at

In its first two years, the Young Entrepreneur Convention has drawn more than 1,000 entrepreneurs to central Iowa. The goal, according to event co-founder Brandon T. Adams, is to increase that number significantly in 2018.

“We are excited about the new offerings this year,” Adams says. “First, we are offering a downtown Des Moines location in direct response to attendee feedback. Next, and most significantly, we are offering a two-track format that will allow entrepreneurs to learn from presenters with a career-path that closely mirrors their own.”

The two-track format will include a Startup/Tech Track and a Branding/Influencer Track, with each track featuring four speakers. In addition, there will be a panel discussion featuring professionals from both tracks, exhibitors, networking events, and the largest Elevator Pitch Competition in the United States. Jason Calacanis, an angel investor and titan in the startup world, is the first keynote to be announced.

“Anyone who has a vision of breaking out in the startup space knows who Jason Calacanis is,” says YEC co-founder Clayton Mooney. “Jason tells it like it is, and that’s why we’re excited to have him joining us as our closing keynote.”

YECDM has secured these keynotes for the event:

  • Jason Calacanis is a technology entrepreneur, angel investor, and the host of the popular weekly podcast This Week in Startups. He’s the founder of a series of conferences that bring entrepreneurs together with potential investors. As a “scout” for top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and later as an angel investor, Jason has invested in 150 early-stage startups including 4 that have achieved billion-dollar valuations (so far). His book “Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups: Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000″ was published by Harper Collins on July 18th, 2017. He lives in San Francisco, California.
  • Brooke Mickelson is a former Miss Iowa USA, wife, mom of four boys and owner of Brookies, a specialized home-based bakery. She has appeared on the Today Show and is a seven-time Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon winner. Her cookies and brand have grown in popularity since she started her business in December of 2013. Brooke is unabashedly her, and that is exactly what she wants to motivate others to be as well, imploring audience members: “You do you!”

For more information about YECDM, Adams says to follow on social media by searching “YECDM” or visit

“We are still a few months out from the event right now, but we anticipate we will far exceed our attendance from last year,” Adams says.

“I encourage people to give us a follow to keep up on announcements and to purchase their tickets,” he continues. “This is the kind of event that can change the course of an entrepreneur’s journey. We’ve seen it happen over the last two years. And we know it is going to happen again in 2018.”


Andrew Zalasky
(515) 291-9497