University of Northern Iowa

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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...

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Join us for the Elevator Pitch Competition taking place on October 9th, at 5pm in the Scholar Room at the Rod Library. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winners as well as 3 honorable mentions.

Register by completing the Intent to Compete form attached. These forms are due by Friday, October 5, and they can be emailed to

A workshop will also be offered on Tuesday, September 18th, at 5pm in the Scholar Room at the Rod Library. Laurie Watje will be presenting on how to give a pitch and what criteria you will be judged on for the upcoming competition.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Photographed left to right: Russel Karim, Therese Stevens, Greg Jass


Check out which JPEC alum were named in the Courier’s class of 2018 20 Under 40 awards:

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

For three days at the end of August the JPEC and Center for Business Growth and Innovation Staff hosted the Cedar Falls High School Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) program strands for their beginning of the semester orientation. Once the school year begins, the business/communications/design strand will be hosted in the Business and Community Services Building on campus. The three day workshop emphasized:

"Self-awareness" - Increasing the awareness of each participant regarding their personality temperament and that of others in their strand.  

"Team Awareness" - Increasing the awareness of the value of a diverse team and the value of creative thinking.