Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory
BELL ADDRESS (map):
322 N. Clinton St.
Iowa City, IA 52245
Learn how you
can start your business between classes.
The Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory (BELL) is a business incubator for entrepreneurial students pursuing the creation of a startup while attending the University of Iowa. Individual students and teams in the program receive a dedicated office space in the remodeled 10,000 square-foot facility, enabling them to concentrate on developing their business concepts.
As part of JPEC's cross-campus academic program, students in the program also receive intensive one-on-one mentoring, business plan development, and a variety of other assistance from JPEC and SBDC faculty and staff.
The BELL has 17 private offices for aspiring student entrepreneurs. Each office in the business incubator is furnished with a computer, office equipment, high-speed Internet access, and a phone line. In addition, several conference and multipurpose rooms are available to students.
Friday Roundtable Luncheons
BELL participants have the opportunity to meet and make connections with local entrepreneurs and successful business leaders through weekly roundtable luncheons. Past speakers have included:
- Dick Schwab, Angel Investor and Entrepreneur
- Duane Roth, CEO of Connect
- Joel Sorinsky, Founder and Owner of Theory Chicago
- John Vratsinas, President of Vratsinas Capital Resources, LLC and JVC Buildings
- Mike McCoy, CEO and Chairman of BillMyParents.com
- Rodney Anderson, Founder and President of Panchero's
- Scott Bush, President of Templeton Rye
- Tara Cronbaugh, Founder and Owner, Java House and Heirloom Salad Co.
- Tom Bedell, Chairman of Pure Fishing and Founder of Two Old Hippies and Bedell Guitars
Villafana Entrepreneurship Mentor Program
Several times throughout the semester, participants in the BELL have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with successful entrepreneurs. Students receive intensive mentoring as they discuss their business or concept, the challenges they face, and plans for starting or growing their business.
- UI Competitions
- Regional and National Competitions
- Wellmark Venture Capital Fund
- State grants
- Area Angel Investors
Networking and Community Exposure
The physical building not only provides office space for student startups, but also serves as a venue for connecting entrepreneurs with key faculty, community leaders, and business professionals. JPEC hosts several events through the year to provide students an opportunity to gain exposure by showcasing their startup. Such events include:
- BELL Open House
- Homecoming Tailgate
- Innovation Expo: Entrepreneur Showcase
- Des Moines Student Showcase
- BELL Biz Fair
- Hawkeye Entrepreneurship Summit
As a result of these activities, many startups receive local, and even national, press! View a few of the article written about student startups at the BELL below:
- Entrepreneur Magazine
- Silicon Prairie News
- Des Moines Register
- The Gazette
- University of Iowa: IowaNow
Students in the BELL program earn one UI elective credit hour for each semester of participation.
Download the program application form and return it to S160 Pappajohn Business Building.