Dupaco Partners for New Innovation Laboratory, Programming in Independence

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa-- Dupaco Community Credit Union and the Dubuque-based Creative Adventure Lab will combine programming content and expertise to empower financial education, community innovation, and entrepreneurship in a new space called The Innovation Lab in Independence, Iowa.

The Innovation Lab at 131 2nd Ave NE, Independence, Iowa, offers coworking space, innovation services, meeting space, and team building activities designed to help entrepreneurs and small businesses launch and grow their businesses.

The space will host scheduled Dupaco financial education sessions and one-on-one consultations by appointment for both members and non-members. The Innovation Lab also features a Dupaco live video teller, which doubles as a publicly-accessible 24-hour automated teller machine (ATM).

“As a not-for-profit cooperative, Dupaco’s mission is to empower people and improve their economic and social well-being,” said Dupaco Chief Marketing Officer Dave Klavitter.  “Small business entrepreneurship is one way to help people better their financial positions. This Innovation Lab is a place for people in the community to connect to each other and Dupaco.”

The Innovation Lab in Independence is also supported by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

While the location is not a full-service Dupaco branch and a Dupaco staff person won’t always be onsite, Dupaco’s Community Outreach and Education team will offer regular financial education opportunities, small business programming and presentations through scheduled appointments at the new Innovation Lab. A schedule of events will be posted online at www.dupaco.com/independence.

Dupaco’s community outreach team also will meet with members through scheduled appointments and will be providing educational programming and presentations at the Innovation Lab, which will be free for anyone to attend.

“The Innovation Lab is not a full-service credit union branch, but it is a point where members can connect with Dupaco,” said Klavitter. “So, we’ve simply dubbed places like this a Dupaco Connect.”

The Dupaco Connect in Independence will provide existing members a connection point with a live Dupaco video teller for many of the same transactions they can do inside a branch, such as deposit cash and checks, do withdrawals, transfers, loan payments, order checks and more.  Dupaco employees located at a central location in Dubuque will remotely operate the video teller machines.  “We expect the video tellers to increase future opportunities for member convenience – to serve more members, in more places, with expanded hours of service,” said Klavitter.

Dupaco is partnering with the nonprofit Creative Adventure Lab because of its mission to foster creativity and innovation to benefit the community. According to Klavitter, Creative Adventure Lab specializes in using creativity and innovation to help entrepreneurs and small businesses be successful. 

The Innovation Lab is a great solution to provide high quality entrepreneurship programs to smaller communities. “More than 40% of Americans live in rural communities and these communities struggle to grow their economy and retain a talented workforce,” said Jordan DeGree, Executive Director for Creative Adventure Lab and the Innovation Lab. “Unfortunately, for these smaller communities, useful innovation and entrepreneurship support services are primarily concentrated in urban centers, leaving many entrepreneurs and businesses with a difficult choice to either forego the competitive advantage these supports provide or leave their community for a larger city.”

“Dupaco was our first choice in this partnership,” DeGree continued.   “The Innovation Lab goes hand-in-hand with Dupaco’s mission to empower people to improve their economic and social well-being.  The financial education and outreach services Dupaco provides to communities they already serve will greatly enhance the Innovation Lab and allow entrepreneurs another great option to launch, grow and remain competitive in their own business space,” said DeGree.

Together, Dupaco and Creative Adventure Lab are hosting a virtual open house where viewers will get a tour and learn more about the newly complete Innovation Lab on Wednesday, November 18.    You can participate in the virtual open house by visiting www.dupaco.com/independence.

To learn more about Creative Adventure Lab’s Innovation Lab, visit www.innovationlab.us


Dupaco Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative. It is dedicated to the financial sustainability of its members, and specializes in customized financial counseling, money advice and education.  It offers savings, loans, investments, insurance and wealth management products for individuals and businesses. Dupaco serves residents in 112 counties throughout Iowa, northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin. Chartered in 1948, membership totals more than 134,000 with assets exceeding $2.3 billion. Visit Dupaco at www.dupaco.com.


Creative Adventure Lab is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that fosters creativity and innovation to generate value for its community. The organization envisions a thriving, successful community in which all people have the tools to launch new ideas and create new opportunities. For more information visit https://www.innovationlab.us

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