Each year, eight students from UNI join 24 other students from The
University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Buena Vista University, and Iowa Lakes Community
College for OEI held in early August at Lake Okoboji.
The students participate in the advanced study of entrepreneurship including an
entrepreneurial simulation; seminars with successful entrepreneurs, business leaders and
community leader; and networking. Students find OEI to be one of the most rewarding
experiences of their college careers. In addition, three credits are awarded to the students who
attend this week-long process to compensate them for the hours put in.
Not only do the students network with each other, but they also interact with business
owners to receive insight from experienced entrepreneurs. Students are incentivized to give
100% throughout the week because they pitch to actual venture capitalists. In some cases, this
week-long program leads to full-time positions after graduation.
Timothy Dau, a senior marketing major, and Devin Uhlenhopp, a junior marketing major,
were the two UNI student winners at OEI 2017.
The other UNI students attending OEI were: Joel Allison, Kyle Coogler, Justin Hoerner,
Nathan Person, Ivy Pruisman, and Julie Van Ee.
Coogler, a senior communications / public relations major and owner of CREO, said of
the experience, “I loved the opportunities OEI presented to me, and I cannot wait to tell others
about it! Dive in 100% and challenge yourself. You will also meet some of the most well-
connected people in the country.”
OEI is supported by area businesses; the Board of Regents; the Iowa Economics
Development Authority; the Pappajohn Centers at UIowa, UNI, ISU; Buena Vista University;
Iowa Lakes Community College; and the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation.