University of Northern Iowa

jpec logo


In 2016, the UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) was recognized as the Best Student Entrepreneurship Program in the world by the International Business Innovation Association (, an organization of 2200 members from 62 countries. The JPEC would not have received this honor were it not for the generous individuals and organizations below that support us in our work to provide a comprehensive program in entrepreneurship education for student populations. 

R. J. McElroyR. J. McElroy

R. J. “Mac” McElroy enriched the lives of thousands of people in northeastern Iowa as a pioneering radio broadcaster and as founder of the Black Hawk Broadcasting Company. The company grew to include radio and TV stations, the most prominent of which was Waterloo’s NBC affiliate, KWWL Television. Mr. McElroy’s final gift to the community was the establishment of the R. J. McElroy Trust, a charitable foundation designed to benefit deserving young people. Since 1965, the McElroy Trust has helped thousands of children and youth through grants and scholarships in northeastern Iowa.





T. Wayne DavisT. Wayne Davis

Two years after his death in 1992, T. Wayne Davis, founder of Control-o-fax Corporation and developer of the Control-o-fax system, was inducted posthumously into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame. Not only was Mr. Davis a consummate entrepreneur, but his accounting innovation, the control-o-fax billing system, aided hundreds of small firms and professionals to gain control of their accounting and billing systems, enhancing their own prospects for financial success. Mr. Davis was also an active proponent of his community, tirelessly contributing his time, energy, and money to numerous causes, both in the community at large and at the University of Northern Iowa. A major gift of $1 million was contributed in his memory for a new performing arts center at UNI (Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center) and for an academic program in entrepreneurship at UNI.





Incubator Suite Sponsors

  • Kathy McCoy
  • H. D. "Ike" Leighty
  • R. J. McElroy Trust
  • Peterson Genetics, Inc.
  • Ross Christensen Family
  • Young Plumbing & Heating Co.
  • Central Iowa Power Cooperative
  • Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute
  • Jorgen and Camilla Heidemann
  • Robert and Margaret Bradford
  • Grinnell State Bank
  • Eric & Kelli Schaefer
  • MidAmerican Energy
  • Farmers State Bank

Annual Scholarships

  • John and Mary Pappajohn
  • Joe Nelson (Ike Leighty Family)
  • Chad and Laura Chandlee
  • Grinnell State Bank