University of Northern Iowa

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Empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

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. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Every other Tuesday, we will be posting on our Facebook page about a different student business within JPEC. This week we were excited to feature Corey Behrens. He is the owner of Simplistic Views, a wedding videography business, and based right out of the R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator.  He has a passion for what he films for his couples and after you see some of his work, we know you'll agree!

He is often see drinking coffee and long boarding when it's nice out. Corey spends a lot of time in his office working hard because he promises his clients a 1 month turnaround for videos, which is unheard for many videography businesses. Corey enjoys collecting things and his fav...

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

It’s no secret that the logo an organization chooses can define them for years to come. Look at Nike, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Apple, and even Starbucks. You see their logo and you are instantly reminded that you haven’t been there in awhile or even just reminded that you really like their product. A logo really creates a story for customers and that’s why we thought it was a good time for us to go on the hunt for a new one. We decided that we wanted a fresh and new look!

We teamed up with Wes Merrill, a past JPEC student, to create a whole new look for our center. Throughout the process we had several meetings with Wes and worked on narrowing it down to a certain logo and words that...

Friday, October 12, 2018

University of Northern Iowa (UNI) senior marketing and management double major, Gabe Groothuis of Marion, won the UNI Elevator Pitch Competition that was held on campus Tuesday, October 9th.  He will get to test his pitch against college students from around the nation at the National Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) Conference Elevator Pitch Competition which will be held in Kansas City, Mo this November 1 through November 3. Groothuis shared, “I am very blessed to be the winner of this year’s pitch competition. I have been working on scaling and growing my business this year and am excited to work with the JPEC to take my ideas to the next level. I am looking forward to repr...