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, which was established in 2017, is a consulting company for high school level mock trial teams. Gabe initially provided hands-on workshops to teams in Iowa and recently scaled his business through an online subscription platform providing students throughout the United States access to his training content and videos.
Corey Behrens, a Junior, Interactive Digital Studies major from Mason City, Iowa, pitched his business, Simplistic Views. Simplistic Views is a videography business which was initially launched as a wedding film-making service. Corey is currently expanding his services to the commercial market by creating promotional videos for businesses. Corey is passionate about creating dramatic, story-driven films for individuals and businesses.
Isaac Hackman, a Sophomore Marketing major from Mason City, Iowa, pitched his company, Isaac Hackman Photography. Isaac offers a variety of photography experiences, from senior photos, wedding packages and more recently tapping into commercial business photography. No matter who Isaac works with, he aims to capture the raw moments of emotion for his clients. He’s recently been working with Yesway to promote their new sodas.
All three of our students returned to Cedar Falls energized by the opportunity to pitch directly to John Pappajohn and the panel of judges. Each student was awarded $500 and recognized as a regional winner at the luncheon ceremony which took place after the competition. We are incredibly proud of all of the time, energy, and dedication these students have put into their businesses and pitches.