The Flourish Fund + The Rook Room

Our co-founder and co-owner, Annelise, has been selected as a finalist for the 2023 Flourish Fund – a yearly contest aimed at supporting local women and gender non-conforming business owners – and we’d love your help in supporting Annelise and The Rook Room take home the top prize.

Scroll down to learn more about the Flourish Fund and what you can do to help!

Wait, What Did Annelise Win?

We’re very proud to let you know that our Rook Room co-founder and co-owner, Annelise, has been announced as one of just THREE finalists for this year’s Flourish Fund! Each year, The Flourish Fund helps to raise money to support women and gender non-conforming business owners.

This year, Annelise applied to represent The Rook Room and the new project we’re working on to combat the “loneliness epidemic” that we’re calling Solo. Her application was accepted and she was chosen as one of the 2023 finalists!

Aside from her work with The Rook Room, Annelise is also a rockstar at Iowa Public Radio and is incredibly engaged in the wider Des Moines community – especially as a part of the Drake Neighborhood Association and as a Drake University Alum.

Other finalists include Beth Mensing and her business Pints by Beth as well as Kate Thomas and her business Fireweed Acupuncture.

Annelise, Beth, and Kate are all incredibly deserving and we’re honored to have Annelise honored alongside these amazing women.

What is The Flourish Fund?

As we touched on above, Flourish is a project created in 2018 and spearheaded by Love Local and FuseDSM that aims to support women and gender non-conforming business owners in the Des Moines area who are in the early stages of starting their businesses.

Each year, Love Local and FuseDSM hold an annual community investment event called The Flourish Fund. During the event, finalists each get 5 minutes to pitch their business and/or projects they are working on. Guests will get to vote on their favorite pitch and the winner will receive funding for their ventures.

To be selected, businesses must be woman- or gender-non-conforming-owned (The Rook Room is proud to be majority woman-owned and LGBTQ-owned) and operate as a for-profit organization.

How are finalists evaluated? According to the Love Local site, “We bring together volunteers on our ‘external review committee’ who review applications, score them 1-5, and the top three finalists are selected from their votes.”

For more information, visit Love Local’s website.

How Can I Help Support Annelise and The Rook Room?

Love that question and thanks so much for your interest!

The winner of the Flourish Fund will take home the majority of money from the event on September 26th. As stated on the Love Local site, “Every dollar of your ticket goes to the winner!” Each event attendee will get to vote for one of the three finalists and the finalist with the most votes wins.

Here’s the catch – you can only vote by attending the event. So if you’d like to support Annelise and The Rook Room, we encourage you to purchase a ticket to the event, plan to attend, listen to Annelise’s pitch, and then vote. Simple!

But don’t wait until the last minute – there are only 200 event tickets available. Tickets are $30 and include light bites (plus a vote, of course!).

As an awesome added bonus, we’re throwing a Flourish Fund Thank You Party on September 28th – ONLY for people who attend the Flourish Fund event. Psst, there’s also free beer! Learn more here.

To learn more and purchase your ticket, visit the FuseDSM event page or click the button below!

Get Your Ticket Now

Thank You For Your Support

Whether you’re planning to join us at the Flourish Fund event or are just excited to support The Rook Room in any way you can, we are beyond grateful! We built The Rook Room for you – our community – and can’t wait to see what it can become.

If you want to learn about other ways to support The Rook Room any time of year, visit the Our Plans page on our website or click the button below!

How Can I Help?