University of Northern Iowa

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Empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

On Friday, April 26th, three tenants whose businesses are located in the R. J. McElroy Student Business Incubator program competed in the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition. The competition was hosted in Des Moines with John Pappajohn and Dan Storck with Equity Dynamics along with Dan Cosgrove, Chief Strategy Officer at Growers Edge Financial in Johnston, IA and Tom O’Reilly, President of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA judging the competition to determine the three state finalists.

Gabe Groothuis, a Senior, Marketing and Organizational Leadership double major from Marion, Iowa, pitched his company, Groothuis Solutions.  Groothuis Solutions, whi...

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Corey Behrens, a junior, of Mason City, Iowa, studying digital media production and the owner and operator of Simplistic Views, a photography and videography startup has been selected to receive the 2019 R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator Student Business of the Year award. Corey said regarding receiving this award, “I am very gracious and honored to receive this award and the mentoring that the staff at the UNI JPEC has provided me.” Corey and his business, Simplistic Views, have resided in UNI JPEC’s Student Business Incubator since the winter of 2017. Corey also recently found out that he advanced to the state level in the Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition and...

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Gabe Groothuis, a Sales Management and Organizational Leadership double major, from Marion, Iowa, was recognized at the UNIBusiness Leadership Celebration on April 11, 2019 as the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center Student Entrepreneur of the Year.  Gabe was UNI’s 2018 Elevator Pitch Competition winner and represented UNI at the National CEO conference in Kansas City this November advancing through to the second round before being eliminated.  Gabe also runs his business, Groothuis Solutions, out of the RJ McElroy Student Business Incubator program which is housed in the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. 

Groothuis Solutions provides Mock Trial Training Solutions...

Monday, March 25, 2019

UNI Early Founders Program is an 8-week summer program for University of Northern Iowa students or recent graduates to focus on their startup or business idea.  Students will receive $5,000 per individual or up to $10,000 per student team for the opportunity to spend their summer dedicated to achieving their startup goals and pursuing entrepreneurial aspirations.   The selection process is competitive, with only a limited number of spots for the summer program. We are currently not taking anymore applications, but stay tuned for updates about this program.

Click Here to read more about the program



**Deadline for applications: Friday, April 19, 2...
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Gabe Groothuis, founder, operator, and owner of Groothuis Solutions, has been a tenant at the UNI JPEC for two semesters now. With the help of another Student Business Incubator (SBI) Tenant, Corey Behrens, Gabe has been growing Groothuis Solutions to become an online platform that distributes educational media content to high school programs throughout the nation to better their mock trial programs. Previously, Gabe offered in-person consulting and clinics, and after scaling his business, he is able to offer three different online courses to his clients: Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

Gabe has a simple goal for Groothuis Solutions: Become the world's best Mo...

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Five Cedar Falls High School students have had their nose to the grindstone and are making tracks in their business, oldpeoplebrand. Hollis Wilson, Camden Dusenbery, Joey Dunning, Mack Eastman, and Lars Christiason began the oldpeoplebrand in mid-December of 2017. The group of friends decided to come together and start a clothing brand that derives from prevalent streetwear and attempts to promote their idealistic type of culture throughout. Some of the clothing items offered at the online shop are hand printed and produced right here in the Cedar Valley by the boys themselves. By making use of each other's individual talents, oldpeoplebrand successfully la...

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Our newest addition to the incubator, Jessica Wise, had the opportunity to showcase her business, White and Yellow T-shirt Co., on Main Street, in Waterloo, for Shop Downtown Saturdays. White and Yellow offers four distinctive lines of t-shirts with uplifting quotes on them and donates 10% of the profits to local charities specifically tied to that line.

Jessica shared, “Having the opportunity to be in-store has provided me with connections both online and offline. Simply interacting with customers and sharing my excitement about the pop-up has created more buzz with the White & Yellow online community. I absolutely love the connections that I have made or made strong...

Thursday, December 06, 2018

TJ Nissen is a 2018 Graphic Technologies fall graduate and the owner of Network Nirvana, a business in the JPEC’s R. J. McElroy Student Business Incubator. In 2018, TJ was awarded the UNI JPEC Business of the Year award to recognize his hard work and dedication.

TJ is no stranger to graphic design and technology. In fact, he used his network to get some artwork for his new game worlds. When asked about these unique pieces in his office, TJ was all too excited to share the story behind them:

"The images seen on the walls in my office are canvas wraps produced at the graphics lab here at UNI. They are hand-made, full color canvas wraps on 16x20 inch wooden frames. T...

Monday, November 12, 2018

CEDAR FALLS — The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Northern Iowa received a development grant from e-Fest to support its entrepreneurship program and student activities.

This $1,500 award is issued by e-Fest sponsor Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. This is the UNI JPEC’s second year receiving the award.

E-Fest offers student entrepreneurs workshops and networking opportunities, as well as the chance to compete in the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge.

The grant will fund entrepreneurship education and activities for UNI JPEC students and help students form teams to compete in e-Fest 2019. More information can be found at eiexchange.c...

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Over 1,000 college students from around the world attended the three day conference in Kansas City. They had the opportunity to network with other students and listen to presentations from "seasoned entrepreneurs", Gabe Groothius, with Groothius Solutions, advanced to the second round last week at the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization Global Conference and Pitch Competition. He presented his elevator pitch to the panel of judges and placed in the top 16 overall. "I am very thankful for this opportunity to give my pitch a group of amazing individuals," says Gabe. He attended this after winning UNI JPEC's Elevator Pitch competition in the early Fall.