Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth Initiative

State Appropriation $2,000,000

The entrepreneurship and economic development growth initiative is a collaborative partnership among the University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC), the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Office of the Executive Vice President & Provost, and the colleges of Business, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Health Sciences.

Iowa JPEC offers nationally recognized campus-wide entrepreneurial educational programs open to all Iowa students. Both undergraduate and graduate courses are offered online as stand-alone courses or as part of certificate and degree programs. Entrepreneurial training programs are available to all Iowans from numerous locations. Iowa JPEC and its university partners also play a vital role in the development of Iowa-based technology and high-growth start-up companies. Whether providing one-on-one consulting services and group training, working with startup companies on technology commercialization, directing UI students on advanced field study projects, or providing training and seminars to business executives, the University seeks to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders. The recurring allocation of $2.0 million will develop entrepreneurship curriculum and programs, expand direct support to Iowa startups and small-to-medium enterprises, and accelerate new venture formation.

Entrepreneurship Curriculum and Education Programs:

  • Expand campus-wide graduate student education and co-curricular programs in entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology commercialization.
  • Deliver advanced professional and entrepreneurial development programs for select undergraduate students participating in entrepreneurship and innovation academic programs.
  • Expand faculty entrepreneurship and innovation development programs.
  • Expand development and dissemination of the STEM Innovator, Biz Innovator, and Kid Innovator programs for Iowa high school and middle school teachers and students through the UI's Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship

Direct Support to Iowa Startups and Small-to-medium Enterprises:

  • Support student internships and full-time employment opportunities to help meet the human capital and talent needs of existing Iowa entrepreneurial and family-owned businesses.
  • Connect students with startups and early-stage companies participating in Iowa JPEC’s statewide Venture School program for market assessment and strategic business planning assistance.
  • Expand strategic business consulting and venture mentoring services delivered to Iowa family-owned and existing small-to-medium size companies through Iowa JPEC’s entrepreneurial venture outreach and engagement programs.

Acceleration of New Venture Formation:

  • Continue offering the National Science Foundation I-Corps technology commercialization training program to University of Iowa faculty and graduate students.
  • Expand statewide delivery of Venture School business acceleration training program, partnering with select community colleges and entrepreneurial development organizations.
  • Strengthen technical support for faculty and student entrepreneurs through campus-wide collaborations for prototype creation, software development, and accessing venture capital.
  • Lead a statewide professional venture mentoring network to accelerate entrepreneurial venture formation and growth in collaboration with the other Pappajohn Centers across Iowa.