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, comprehensive entrepreneurial education programs to all Iowans. A wide variety of programs are available on campus and online and to MBA students at several locations across the state of Iowa. Entrepreneurial training programs are available to all Iowans from numerous cities throughout the state. JPEC and its university partners also play an important 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 transition, 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 across Iowa. 

I. Entrepreneurship Curriculum and Education Programs

  • New campus-wide graduate programs in entrepreneurship, innovation and tech management
  • Develop partnerships with Iowa community colleges, creating connections to UI entrepreneurship faculty, programs and resources
  • Develop faculty campus-wide in innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Expand development and dissemination of the UI’s STEM innovation program for Iowa high school teachers and students through the UI's Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship

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

  • Support technology-based student internships and engagement with Iowa startups
  • Connect students with startups and early-stage companies participating in Iowa JPEC’s statewide Venture School program for market assessment and strategic business planning
  • Provide strategic business consulting services to existing Iowa small-to-medium size companies through Iowa JPEC’s faculty/student business consulting program

III.  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 Iowa JPEC’s Venture School business acceleration training program, partnering with community colleges and entrepreneurial development organizations
  • Strengthen technical support for faculty and student entrepreneurs through campus-wide collaborations for prototype creation and software application development
  • Develop and pilot an innovation and entrepreneurship training program targeting existing Iowa small businesses to help them identify new products and growth opportunities
  • Develop a statewide mentoring network and program to accelerate successful venture formation