Success Story Archive

The business owners and entrepreneurs that we assist are the driving force behind Iowa’s economic growth. Our SBDC personnel are very dedicated and diligent and always do their best to help Iowa’s businesses to flourish and grow. Each entrepreneur is unique and has a great story to tell. Have fun reading these stories and be sure to check out each company’s website or Facebook page for even more information.

Refresh Web Marketing, Cedar Falls

Derek Franzen received marketing assistance from the Iowa Small Business Assistance Center at the University of Northern Iowa, plus became a tenant in UNI’s Innovation Incubator, in order to start his web and graphic design business.

Derek Franzen realized early in his life that he wanted to stick around the Cedar Valley and be part of the community that helped him become who he is today. He’s always loved using his imagination to find creative ways to solve problems, so going into graphic and web design just came naturally to him. He took art classes at his high school and graduated from Hawkeye Community College with a degree in Web Design and Development.

During college Derek worked part-time as an Internet Marketing Assistant and upon graduating gained new responsibilities as a Customer Retention Manager. A few years later he was hired by a large company to be part of their web design team. After several years there Derek realized that his true passion lay in providing web and graphic design services at an affordable cost to small businesses.

Derek went to the Iowa Small Business Development Center at the University of Northern Iowa where he received professional business counseling on business formation and accounting from SBDC Director Dan Beenken. Dan also recommended that Derek apply for tenancy at UNI’s Innovation Incubator. After being accepted into the Incubator, the SBDC provided more counseling, including marketing assistance on web design, logo design, marketing collateral development, marketing strategies, and mobile app development.

Derek’s business is named Refresh Web Marketing because he likes to help businesses refresh their marketing materials and keep them simple. He believes that a company’s website and marketing materials set the tone for how their customers view them and he doesn’t want his clients stuck with a website or marketing materials that don’t reflect their business’s purpose or mission.

Derek is very grateful for the assistance he’s received from the Iowa Small Business Development Center saying, “The Small Business Development Center was a great step for Refresh Web Marketing. It gave me the opportunity to meet motivated, entrepreneurial people like myself and form great relationships. Anytime you take a risk or leap into a new venture, it’s going to be a learning experience from the very beginning. The SBDC did a great job of sharing their knowledge and expertise about the business world in an impactful, real-world way.”

With every new day Derek’s business is growing in a positive direction, plus he has a great team of people to utilize and work with while tackling projects. SBDC Director Dan Beenken feels that Refresh Web Marketing fits a local niche market of mid-sized web development projects that larger firms shy away from.

So if you are interested in refreshing your business’s image, website and marketing materials, check out Refresh Web Marketing at Derek will combine his modern design techniques with his company’s arsenal of creative skills, plus add just the right amount of awesome.