Business Innovation Zone

Eliason to Speak of Innovation, Success and Failure on the Road to Goodsmiths  

 “I really want to have an open dialog about things I have learned as an entrepreneur. I want to share failures and successes in hopes that it will be good for everybody that attends,” explains James Eliason, a man passionate about entrepreneurship and who now claims Co-Founder and CEO of Goodsmiths as the latest in a long line of titles he has shouldered since graduating from the University of Iowa Henry B. Tippie School of Business in 2001.

Eliason, a prolific blogger and frequent tech media subject, is scheduled to speak to the September edition of the Business Innovation Zone luncheon and networking session and brings a wealth of expertise to the subject that spans more than one generation, for as Jimmy Buffet was influenced being the “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” Eliason is a son of an entrepreneur which had no small impact of his choice of career paths.   

“I fit the classic definition of an internet entrepreneur,” he confesses. “I grew up around it, my father was an entrepreneur, it’s in my blood and I always knew that it was what I wanted to do.”   Upon graduation Eliason returned to his native West Des Moines and spent time working for his father’s companies as a financial and business analyst before beginning to spin-off his own ideas the first of which was Twittad, a network built on top of Twitter. Eliason Media, a web consulting company serving primarily agencies with back-end and front-end web development, followed. Amidst the successes of Eliason Media an opportunity was identified and in response was born the idea of Goodsmiths. Branded as a “Marketplace for Makers” this niche e-bay like site serves as an intermediary between creators of hand-made crafts and their consumers.   

Expecting an audience of entrepreneurs and small business people for the forthcoming BIZ session, Eliason hopes to share some experiences related to such diverse topics as innovation, the pros and cons of offshore development, team building and protection of intellectual property.   

Through interaction with numerous Iowa tech start-ups Eliason has often noted the challenges they have faced in the transition from sole entrepreneur to team leader. “So I plan to share how we have built our Goodsmith team,” he says of a group that has grown to six full time associates as well as a stable of bloggers and writers contributing content and providing outreach. A team that has set and achieved high standards of customer service believing it to be key among what differentiates them from the competition.   

Consistent with his personal mantra that innovation never loses, Eliason expects to share stories around failures as well as triumphs; with the Twittad experience teaching him a bit about trade-marks, lawsuits and as he describes it, “What happens when somebody comes after you.”  

Attendees should come expecting a discussion of issues germane to their challenges for this serial entrepreneur relates, “Honestly I have so many stories around businesses we have started, both successes and failures, that we should cover something relevant to everyone present.” September BIZ Networking Event

September BIZ Networking Event

Greater Des Moines Partnership

700 Locust Street, Suite 100

Des Moines, IA 50309

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Sep 18, 2013

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