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 JPEC College of Business Administration 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 to middle school and high school teams throughout Iowa. This fall Gabe launched an online platform to further his reach and is now distributing educational media content to Mock Trial Teams throughout the nation. Groothuis Solutions is passionate about providing excellence to all clients and this is reflected through their results. Over 140 students working with the company were able to achieve their mock trial goals at regional, state and national levels. This spring the national competition will be held in Athens, GA and a team utilizing Groothuis Solutions services will be representing Iowa. For more information on Groothuis Solutions, go to: https://www.groothuissolutions.com/
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 will be competing in Des Moines at the end of April. There he will present his business plan and pitch to John Pappajohn and other experts from Equity Dynamics.
Simplistic Views has been capturing memories and creating visually appealing brand advertisements for companies since 2016. While based in Cedar Falls, Corey will travel all across Iowa to film for his clients. He is committed to creating aesthetically pleasing content for his customers. Corey has mainly worked with capturing weddings and has more recently added commercial marketing. Corey is looking to expand his business, and he is currently in the process of identifying different regions of the country to expand to after graduating from UNI December of 2019. To see some of Corey’s work and learn more about Simplistic Views, go to: https://www.simplisticviews.com/
Kayla Kearns was named 2018 College of Business Student Entrepreneur of the Year for her business, Cool Aluminum Products. The selection committee was impressed with her entrepreneurial spirit, her commitment to academics, and her drive to develop a successful business. One product created by Cool Aluminum Products is a clip for a pool cue that shines a laser beam on the ball that the cue ball is lined up to hit. This innovative tool allows consumers to improve their pool skills by visually seeing where the cue ball will go.
Tj Nissen was awarded R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator Business of the Year for 2018. His passion for his business, Network Nirvana, and his impact in developing a more vibrant entrepreneurial community in the Cedar Valley made him an easy choice for the selection committee.
Kyle Coogler was awarded the UNI JPEC College of Business Administration Student Entrepreneur of the Year. Coogler won for his company, CREO, and his leadership with UNIEntrepreneurs, the student organization. CREO specializes in working with employers and prospective employees to find the best fit in organizations for both.
Scott Burak and Grant Keller were the recipients of the R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator Student Business of the Year. They won this award for their company, AdFly Digital, a digital marketing agency.
Scott Burak was the JPEC Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute's business of the year for the most growth in his business in the year after attending OEI. The award recipient is selected by the five JPECs.
Kayla Kearns was the winner of the UNI Elevator Pitch Competition. She advanced to the national competition in Florida sponsored by the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization.
Congratulations to Kyle, Scott, Grant, and Kayla!
Wes Merrill is named the UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year. Merrill won for his company, ThoughtTop. ThoughtTop sells custom-fitted whiteboards that can unlock the freedom to draw, sketch, write reminders, and place new stickers on any surface.
Michael and Cody Caraway are the recipients of the R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator Student Business of the Year. The Caraway’s won this award for their company, Monday Creations, a digital creation agency helping brands engage with millennials.
Keevin O’Rourke wins the Pappajohn New Venture Student Business Plan Competition at the Pappajohn Higher Education Center in Des Moines. He won for his business idea, VIM, a hardware device that attaches to existing weight equipment that can analyze the data and give meaningful action points so individuals can hit their goals.
Brian Hoyer receives UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year and the R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator Student Business of the Year for the success of Rite Environmental. Hoyer continues to grow the company from curbside recycling in Cedar Falls to a full-service company offering recycling, refuse, and other services.
Keevin O'Rourke was selected to be one of ten speakers from the Cedar Valley TedX UNI events on March 29, 2015. His talk was, "How to Make Millennials Want to Work for You."
Russel Karim placed first at the Technology Association of Iowa’s Okoboji area Pitch-n-Grow for his FanFood business in August. FanFood is a mobile app that allows food to be ordered from the stands in stadiums.
Wes Hinton and Sara Koch were on the winning teams for the 2015 Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute’s business stimulation competition in August. Each student received a $250 cash prize.
UNI regional winners for the 2015 Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition held in May in Des Moines were: Keevin O’Rourke and Alec Fetterer for Monday Creations, Tyler Persinger of TwitchBoss, and Bryan Helleso of his aerial marketing business using drones.
Cassie Evers, sophomore finance and management double major, won the UNI Elevator Pitch Competition and advanced to the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization's national elevator pitch competition. She won the UNI competition pitching her concept for a time management mobile application, 25/7.
Zach Hampton and Tyler Polk received UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year for their company, Porky Pine Productions, an online cartoon series.
Aaron Baughman is the recipient of the R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator Student Business of the Year for his excellence in entrepreneurship and small business operation.
Tim Luchtefeld and Michael Klostermann were on the winning teams for the 2014 Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute’s business stimulation competition in August. Each student received a $250 cash prize.
Brian Hoyer has been named Iowa Recycling Association’s 2013 Recycler of the Year. Hoyer won for himself and his company, Recycle Rite, on July 18 in Des Monies. He was recognized for filling a real need in the community and providing social as well as financial benefits. In November, Hoyer was then elected to the board of directors of the Iowa Recycling Association, a non-profit serving the recycling industry. Next, he was awarded the John Pappajohn prize for the most entrepreneurial activity and development from the 2012 class of the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute. Finally, Hoyer was recognized as a Cedar Valley 20 Under 40.
Eric Vander Schaaf receives the UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Nathan Wiemers is the recipient of the R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator Student Business of the Year. Wiemers won the award for his online coffee roasting company, The Roast.
Aaron Baughman, metal casting major, won the UNI Elevator Pitch Competition and competed at the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization's national elevator pitch competition. Baughman also won the pitch contest in Okoboji at the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute in August. For each competition Baughman pitched his company, Anvil Guitars, which manufactures customer guitars.
Johnale Jackson and Jake Kopriva were on the winning teams for the 2013 Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute’s business stimulation competition in August. Each student received a $250 cash prize.
Brian Hoyer and Tim Schulte won one of three $5,000 first place awards in the Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition for Hoyer’s business, Recycle Rite Inc. Recycle Rite provides single-stream curbside recycling services for residential and commercial customers in Cedar Falls and other parts of the Cedar Valley.
Taylor Smothers, senior majoring in construction management, real estate, and entrepreneurship, was selected as the JPEC Student Business Incubator Tenant of the Year. He received this award for his business, Smothers Properties, where he owns three properties with Paige Smothers.
Christian Brown is the recipient of the UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year for his business, CMB Portfolio Management LLC. He was also selected for his publication in the Journal of Economics on the Sum of Perpetuities method for estimating a stock’s fair value.
Emina Halidovic and Summer Kunkle were on the winning teams for the 2012 Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute’s business stimulation competition in August. Each student received a $250 cash prize.
Eric Vanderschaff, senior marketing major, won the UNI Elevator Pitch Competition and advanced to the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization's national elevator pitch competition.
Adam O’Leary and Tony Patterson received $4,000 winning second place representing the UNI Entrepreneurs/Students in Free Enterprise team at the Sam’s Club Environmental Sustainability Challenge. The Challenge provides the opportunity for SIFE teams and Sam’s Club associates to work together to implement environmentally sustainable practices in the facilities and operations of Sam’s Business Members’ businesses.
Nick Cash has been named one of “America’s Coolest College Start-Ups of 2011” by Inc magazine, and is the winner of the 2011 Prometheus Award for Student Innovation of the Year from the Technology Association of Iowa for his business Book Hatchery. Book Hatchery provides self-publishers the ability to manage and sell their texts as well as maximize their publications’ exposure on the Internet. It also aims at creating a strong community for self-publishers seeking a platform of support and an ability to share their expertise for the benefit of all authors.
Greg Jass and Therese Kuster won one of three $5,000 first place awards in the Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition for their business, SEO Solutions LLC. SEO Solutions is a comprehensive internet marketing firm specializing in search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, email marketing, social media management, and web design.
Greg Jass and Nick Cash won the two awards presented annually by the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute Pappajohn Awards. Each year the awards are presented to the two most entrepreneurial students who participated in the previous year’s institute. Judging is based on actual activities associated with entrepreneurship, as well as academic achievement.
Nick Cash and Greg Jass are recognized as the UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year for their excellence in entrepreneurship and education.
Therese Kuster was named the Young Entrepreneur Council/Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Student Entrepreneur of the Year at the National CEO Conference. Kuster won for her business, TargetClick Marketing Solutions.
Ben Frien, UNI graduate, was selected to be a member of the U.S. delegation to the G20 Youth Entrepreneur Summit in Nice, France. The event was hosted by French President Sarkozy for 400 young entrepreneurs from around the world. Frien was selected based on two regional wins at the Global Student Entrepreneurs’ Organizations annual competitions.
Nick Cash and his business Book Hatchery, won one of three $5,000 first place awards in the Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition. Book Hatchery provides self-publishers the ability to manage and sell their texts as well as maximize their publications’ exposure on the Internet.
Nick Cash is one of five finalists in Entrepreneur magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2010 contest. His start-up, Book Hatchery, is located in UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.
Former UNI student, Rich Judas is the owner of Wind-Rich Energy Solutions of Waterloo. Wind-Rich Energy Solutions will be installing a school-spirited, 10 kw wind turbine on the south end of campus next to the Industrial Technology Center.
Adam O’Leary won the UNI Elevator Pitch Competition and advance to the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization's national elevator pitch competition. O’Leary won for the business being developed by the UNI Entrepreneurs student organization, Iowa Land, an acrylic souvenir item for tourists and university alumni. O’Leary also received the UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year award for excellence in entrepreneurship and education.
Stephen Rausch of Ionia, received the UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year award for his family-owned trucking business which has grown to become one of Iowa’s largest sub-contractors in the construction and agricultural industries.
Mark Watje of Cedar Falls, received the UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year award for his small business development of JIT Truck Parts. JIT Truck Parts specializes in providing advanced delivery of parts for trucks and equipment manufacturers in Iowa, Southern Minnesota and Eastern Illinois.
Zach Hedrington won one of three $5,000 first place awards in the Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition. His business, 3Fueled LLC, consults with companies that want to produce energy and byproducts from renewable energy and annually renewable feedstocks.
Travis Lloyd Smith and Dante Means received a $1,000 honorable mention award in the Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition for their business, Band of Christians LLC. Band of Christians is an entertainment company dedicated to providing motivational speaking, professional workshops, and inspirational music for audiences of all ages, races, and backgrounds.
Team Andrews, consisting of Mark Watje, Malcolm Thomas, and Ben Steines, took home the first place prize award of $1,000 from the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization’s Capsim Foundation Business Stimulation academic-year competition. This team won by achieving the highest Balance Scorecard which tracks business benchmarks like return on investment, cumulative profit, and cash flow.
Ben Frein is one of 13 U.S. and 19 international finalists selected through regional competitions to complete for over $150,000 in cash, prizes, and services at the Global Finals for the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards competition. His company, E-Holdings LLC, specializes in Web site design and hosting and operates several e-commerce businesses. His selection as a finalist qualified him to be part of the highly selective accelerator program of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
Ben Frein, graduate of UNI and JPEC, has been selected to compete in the first round of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards competition in Chicago. This is the second time Frein has received this honor.
Travis Steffen wins the UNI Elevator Pitch Competition to advance to the national competition held in Chicago at the National Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Conference.
Stephen Rausch of Ionia, a senior management major and co-owner of Rausch Brothers Trucking, received the UNI JPEC Student Business Incubator Student Business of the Year for his work in the management and growth of the family business.
Ben Frein of Garner, a senior majoring in computer science and finance and owner of E-Holdings, LLC, received an award for special service to the Student Business Incubator for his assistance to other businesses in the program.
Joseph Eibes of Carter Lake, a senior graphic communications major and owner of Theater by Demand and J & J Services (a window washing company), received the UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year award for his growth in the entrepreneurship program with his two businesses.
Tyson Hanish, senior marketing major, wins third place at the national elevator pitch competition held by the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Sixty contestants “pitched” their opportunities to panels of judges in three rounds of competition to narrow down to the top three prize winners.
Business partners Ben Frein and Dustin O’Leary are the recipients of the UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year award. Their company E-Holdings is the parent company of BellyBling.net, an e-commerce site for belly button rings and a new company whose product is a Facebook application.
Carlos Arguello from Carroll, is the recipient of the UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year award. One business is a Spanish/English translation and interpretation service focusing primarily on the banking, medical and legal industries, and the other is a Spanish-language newspaper for Western Iowa that he hopes will eventually serve all of Iowa.
Russell Hotchkiss purchased Waterloo Fire Extinguisher in 2001 from a local family and has since more than doubled its revenue, services, trucks and employees. Hotchkiss received the UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year award for his achievements.