Entrepreneurs given chances by Pappajohn

Colby Siebersma

Students across Iowa are invited to apply for an entrepreneurship accelerator program for this summer.  

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers are located at five different universities and colleges in the state of Iowa to provide unique and valuable opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs.

The University of Iowa and Iowa State Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers have upcoming events that may benefit students.

The Pappajohn Center at the University of Iowa will host a student accelerator for the first time this summer.

Jennifer Ott, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center Training and Engagement Liaison at Iowa, said this accelerator will have teams of three students paired with a mentor. The teams will then build out their products and present it to investors all in a few months.

As an added perk, this is a paid program.

“Team members will each make $1,000 a month for living expenses,” Ott said. “As a team, they would be eligible for up to $3,000 for meeting milestones.”

These milestones are based off the business model canvas, Ott said. There are six milestones, each of which students can earn $500 for meeting.

“We thought it would be a great to provide students with the opportunity to actually get paid to work on their own business idea over the summer rather than getting a summer job or internship,” Ott said. 

She said this student accelerator is open to students across the state. Anyone interested may apply, but the program does not provide housing.

“I think this would be a great way for students at Iowa State and their peers at the Iowa [sic] to collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other,” Ott said.

This student accelerator program runs June 2 to Aug. 1.

“For students interested in entrepreneurship, it sounds like a great opportunity to experience the challenges of starting your own business in a more forgiving environment than the real world,” said Erik Carlson, sophomore in pre-business, and a participant of the accelerator program.

The Papapjohn Center at Iowa State also has upcoming programs to support student entrepreneurs.

“Next week there is an innovation pitch competition happening on campus,” said Judi Eyles, assistant director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at ISU. “It is open to every student at Iowa State from all majors.”

This event still has openings for students to enter and provides an opportunity for students to pitch their business idea, Eyles said. There is even a cash prize for the winner.

Eyles said all of the Pappajohn Centers in Iowa try to reach out across the state to find young entrepreneurs and give them an opportunity to compete.

“The Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers around the state of Iowa work together and hold numerous programs in order to make valuable opportunities available to students,” Eyles said.