University of Northern Iowa

jpec logo

Early Founders Program 2019 Student Entrepreneurs

Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

UNI Early Founders Program

We are so excited to launch our Early Founder's Program this summer! This program will kick off on Monday, June 3rd and will wrap up on Friday, August 2nd. We have six driven students who will be developing and growing their business plans throughout the summer. Each business is at a different level of growth, which leaves plenty of room for improvement for each student. We are excited to be working with such a motivated group of young entrepreneurs and sharing their progress with you. Leading up to the kickoff date, we will be revealing more about each of our students and the businesses they plan on working on this summer.


Jessica Wise – White & Yellow T-Shirt Co.

Jessica Wise, a junior, Marketing Major, is the owner and founder of White & Yellow T-shirt Co. (W&Y). W&Y is a small online brand that simply wants to make people happy and encourage people to live life to the fullest. W&Y currently has four lines of tees, all named after the people who have inspired Jessica. Each line gives 10% of its profits to a different non-profit.

Jessica is excited to learn and then fully apply what she’s learned to both White & Yellow and any future businesses that she may have one day. The Early Founders Program will be her opportunity to be coachable and absorb as much knowledge as she can. With many goals on her mind, Jessica picked out a few that she would like to achieve in the next few months:

1. Establish a clear brand image

2. Introduce at least 10 new products or tee designs throughout the summer

3. Build brand awareness

4. Host or participate in three pop-up locations

Jessica shared, “Giving my business the time it deserves is something that I’ve wanted for a very long time, and I can’t wait to work towards my goals without distraction or worry!”


Akanksha Sahni – FlourishPack

Akanksha Sahni is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology. She also plans on working towards getting a certificate in Global Health and Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

This summer, Akanksha will further develop FlourishPack through the Early Founder's Program, which is her business project that targets the menstrual health of women. She has done extensive market research with the exploration of this idea and found that most women do not have a good experience with menstruation. Akanksha hopes to help many with her new project.

The FlourishPack is a subscription box that helps improve the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, environmental, and intellectual health of women during menstruation. The goal of FlourishPack is to accelerate the overall wellness of women’s health and help them flourish through their creative subscription box.


Ross Vande Voort – Golf Scorecard App

Throughout the Early Founders Program, Ross Vande Voort, a junior, Mathematics Major, will develop an app for tracking golf statistics while maintaining a simple design for ease of use. Being a math and computer science student and an avid golfer, Ross will blend his greatest passions by pursuing this venture.

Ross is excited to unleash his full creativity while working on his business. He’s also looking forward to meeting new people and seeing how they tackle the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur. While coding his app, Ross is determined to learn new skills in the computer programming field that’ll assist him in building a community of unique and creative entrepreneurs.

With graduation around the corner in December, Ross is confident this program will help him figure out what his future holds.