Annual Report_2018

University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) strives to develop leaders and innovators while accelerating entrepreneurship and economic growth.

Check out some of the highlights from FY 2018 by downloading a complete copy of our Annual Report, or by exploring the information below.

View Full 2018 Annual Report

FY 2018 Impact


Fastest Growing UI Major

Over Past 5 Years (Enterprise Leadership)

Degrees Represented

Students from 101 undergrad degrees at UI took an entrepreneurship course

Two UI student businesses were recognized nationally

Both businesses took first place at prestigious national business competitions
David Hensley Iowa JPEC


A Note from Iowa JPEC's Executive Director

Iowa JPEC believes all undergraduate students should have access to a comprehensive study of entrepreneurship and innovation. We offer multiple interdisciplinary undergraduate academic programs designed to teach the entrepreneurial mindset and to develop key technical and leadership skills. These abilities are necessary for students who choose to pursue entrepreneurship as their career, as well as for students who choose to make an impact within an existing organization.

Every semester, students from over 100 different degree paths collaborate in Iowa JPEC programs and courses to identify problems and craft innovative solutions to positively impact society. Iowa students are required to be active learners—applying their knowledge by launching new ventures, completing strategic business consulting projects for Iowa businesses, and supporting social enterprises and global businesses.

Beyond the traditional entrepreneurship curriculum, Iowa students are exposed to courses in leadership, diversity, professional communications, technology and sustainability. Iowa JPEC also offers a broad scope of campus-wide co-curricular programs including ideation events, startup weekends, competitions, clubs and organizations, mentoring programs, speaker series and networking events. This breadth of programming is designed to develop entrepreneurial leaders who are prepared to pursue their dreams and impact the world. Iowa JPEC is campus-wide, experiential, innovative and impactful.

5 Areas of focus

Iowa JPEC programs and services are represented by the following five areas of focus. Click on the areas listed below to view highlights from the past year.


We believe learning happens well beyond the walls of the classroom. At Iowa JPEC, we offer students a wide variety of opportunities to dive into experiences that will prepare them for life after graduation. It's these opportunities that caused students from 101 different undergrad degree programs from across campus to take entrepreneurship courses this past year. Our programs continue to reach UI students from a variety of areas of study and continue to steadily grow. We are happy to announce that Enterprise Leadership (BA) is the fastest growing major at the University of Iowa over the past five years. 

Student Ventures_FY18

Our student venture programs are available to ALL students at the University of Iowa. Whether students start a business through the Founders Club or participate in one of the competitions hosted by Iowa JPEC, they can enhance their business and communication skills while building a network of entrepreneurial leaders. Iowa JPEC provides support for all student businesses through funding opportunities, mentorships, and even assisting students to travel to compete both nationally and internationally. This past year, two UI student businesses took top prizes at national competitions.


The Institute for International Business (IIB) is dedicated to advancing knowledge and international skills in business and educational communities through research, education, and consulting. The IIB prides itself on the continuing relationships it builds and maintains throughout its different programs including the Mandela Washington Fellowship and business consulting projects. This past year, students provided consulting services for 22 international clients many of whom are past Mandela Washington Fellows. 

Faculty Innovators

Iowa JPEC is a leading entrepreneurial resource in Iowa. Whether it's helping to launch a new startup, or providing resources for existing businesses to grow and scale, we're proud to play a role in training and supporting innovators across the state of Iowa. Once again this year, our statewide Venture School program helped entrepreneurs master the startup process through real-world experimentation, customer discovery, and the Lean LaunchPad methodologies. 

Youth Programs_FY18

The Jacobson Institute's STEM Innovator and BizInnovator programs continue to grow, reaching high school teachers and students across Iowa and the nation. Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have teachers actively using our programs. STEM Innovator and BizInnovator teachers in 25 states are certified to offer University of Iowa college credit. This means Iowa JPEC was able to impact 25,000 youth innovators this past year.

Iowa Wave

Iowa JPEC alums create the Iowa wave shirt to support children’s hospital

Both Iowa Entrepreneurship alums and UI football letter winners, Cy Phillips (BA, Certificate in Entrepreneurship ‘06) and John Mickelson (BBA, Certificate in Entrepreneurship ‘03, MBA ‘07, JD ’07) teamed up with the help of their wives to show their Hawkeye pride and support of the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital (UISFCH) by creating The Iowa Wave Shirt.

“The Iowa Wave Shirt” is a 501c3 which sells apparel to raise money for UISFCH. After the first football season of selling apparel, the organization donated more than $440,000 to UISFCH in 2017.

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Celebrating Impact

Celebrating Impact - with John Pappajohn

This year, John Pappajohn celebrated his 90th birthday, and his entrepreneurial spirit is still as strong as ever. John and his wife Mary are the visionaries and philanthropists behind the creation of the five John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers across the state of Iowa, including Iowa JPEC at the University of Iowa.

In 1969, John organized Equity Dynamics, Inc., a financial consulting entity and Pappajohn Capital Resources, a venture capital firm in Des Moines, Iowa. He was one of the nation’s early venture capitalists. Since this time, he has been involved in over 100 startups, 50 IPO’s and has served as a Director in over 40 public companies. Additionally, the Pappajohn’s have gifted more than $100 million to various philanthropic causes.

All of us would like to thank John and Mary Pappajohn for their continued support of Iowa JPEC and the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Iowa and beyond.