The University of Iowa

Innovate 120 - Sustainability and Marketing

Innovate 120 Logo
Academic Year 
2021-2022
College/Department 
Business: Management & Entrepreneurship
Project Partner 
Led by 

Student teams in two Tippie College of Business courses, Marketing and Sustainability and Business Consulting developed marketing strategies to build broad community awareness of Innovate 120, a new innovation hub located in Maquoketa and serving the broad eastern Iowa region.  

Innovate 120 is a new concept for Maquoketa and Jackson County, focusing on providing a hub for entrepreneurship, co-working and collaboration.  It supports small, growing businesses with access to updated facilities, flexible workspaces, and the latest conferencing technology at a lower cost. Innovate 120 aims to create an entrepreneur ecosystem in Jackson County by growing the skills and capabilities of growing businesses and residents through business coaching, workshops, and competitions.  By engaging the younger generation, Innovate 120 will position Maquoketa as a business incubator and hub for employment potential that will attract innovation and talent.

According to the Innovate 120 Facebook page, four main pillars guide Innovate 120's efforts:

  • Build: A key component of Innovate 120 is to drive entrepreneurship. It will become the home base for entrepreneurship programs in Jackson County, providing ideation and business model guidance, accelerator programming, brand and marketing expertise, and office space for them to grow. We aim to partner or develop venture funding to help support these business concepts through early stages.
  • Learn: The pandemic has opened up our concept of how we learn, both as formal students and as life-long learners. Innovate 120 will provide monthly programming from staff and industry experts that is open to area residents and business people. Development of a year-long youth entrepreneurship program in partnership with local schools is an important objective.
  • Work: As companies around the country have embraced a work-from-home model, an alternative work environment will meet the need for flexible work and meeting spaces. The historic bank lobby and mezzanine will be renovated and modernized to include open seating and individual offices, enabling flexible use and allowing for growth. Meeting rooms will support multimedia presentations, in-person collaboration and remote video conferencing.
  • Connect: The community can benefit from a new space and new ideas to come together. Connecting over common ground and breaking new ground can help drive individual and collective growth

Innovate 120 needs to establish broad awareness in the community. Three teams in the Tippie College of Business course Sustainability and Marketing and one team in Business Consulting worked independently to develop recommendations for increasing brand awareness to reach supporters, community partners, educators, and emerging entrepreneurs.