Staying connected

Iowa JPEC's network of alumni is over 4,000 and growing! Check out what our alumni have been up to since graduating from the University of Iowa.

View Full 2019 Annual Report


Congratulations to
Higher Learning Technologies (HLT)

HLT recently reached the milestone of one billion practice questions answered across their platforms! Adam Keune (Iowa JPEC Advisory Council member), Ben O’Connor, and Alec Whitters, are directing this local corridor company that was established while they were students at UI. HLT is leading a local effort to make Iowa City a hub for education technology

Visit HLT

Pivot Bio

Pivot Bio

CEO & Co-Founder, Karsten Temme
PhD Biomedical Engineering ‘10 | MA Biomedical Engineering ‘04 | BS Biomedical Engineering | Certificate in Technological Entrepreneurship ‘02

Karsten Temme combined his passion for engineering and entrepreneurship during his time as a student in Iowa JPEC’s Founders Club program when he founded Xwires Communications, an internet service for farmers whose land was too remote to access cable. Today, he is the CEO and Co-Founder of Pivot Bio, which is delivering to corn farmers the first nitrogen-producing microbe as an alternative to synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. This technology provides both farmers and our planet with a safe and sustainable crop nutrition solution. Pivot Bio is based in Berkeley, California, and closed $70 Million Series B financing this past fall. The company was recently named in the top ten of Fast Company’s 2019 of the World’s Most Innovative Companies’ food category.

Visit Pivot Bio

Fan Food


Co-Founder, CBDO, William Anderson (shown right) | BA Enterprise Leadership '18
Co-Founder, CEO, Carson Goodale (shown left), BBA Finance '16

William Anderson has always been entrepreneurial minded. From creating a lemonade stand in third grade to selling bouncy balls made of rubber bands in fifth grade, today Anderson is the Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer of FanFood. The mobile ordering platform that allows fans at sporting and live entertainment events to order food directly from their seats was founded in 2015 when Anderson and Carson Goodale were students at the University of Iowa. Formed in the Bedell Entrepreneurial Learning Laboratory (BELL), FanFood is quickly finding success. With over 50 partner venues and growing, FanFood plans to raise their series B by early 2020 and become a platform used nationwide. Earlier this year, they raised $2 million in new funding from Phoenix Sports Partners, a Chicago-based investment firm.

Read more

Visit FanFood online

Tara cronbaugh

Congratulations to
The Java House

Congratulations to The Java House on celebrating their 25th anniversary! Tara Cronbaugh (Iowa JPEC Advisory Council member), founder of the Java House, was one of the first entrepreneurship students at the University of Iowa. Today, she continues to support student innovation by serving on our Iowa JPEC Advisory Council. The Java House and Heirloom Salad Company, have become staples to the Iowa City community.

Visit The Java House



Co-Founder and CEO, Nico Aguilar (shown right) | BS Integrative Physiology ‘11, MHA ‘14, MPH ’14
Co-Founder, CPO, Anthony Pham (shown left) | BS Integrative Physiology ‘11, MD ‘16, MPH ‘19

Speeko is a technology company reimagining the future of communication coaching. Speeko’s app combines AI-powered voice analysis with digital lessons and exercises. Currently the #1 rated public speaking app in the Apple App Store, Speeko has tens of thousands of users worldwide. Recently, the company was a featured sponsor of the 2019 Toastmasters International Convention.

Visit Speeko



Co-Founder and CEO, Matthew Rooda | Enterprise Leadership '17
Co-Founder and COO, Abraham Espinoza, Computer Science '17

SwineTech is dedicated to improving animal welfare, productivity, and sustainability within the pork industry. Their internationally recognized technology, SwineGuard, is a farrow monitoring system that reduces pre-wean mortality. SwineTech is currently protecting more than 1,000,000 piglets and has partnered with pork producers representing 18% of the U.S. pork supply. In addition to domestic interest, SwineTech has received inbound orders from Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, and 11 other countries. The team has grown to 12 full-time team members and is looking to continue to advance their team and technology in the years to come. SwineTech has been recognized by Forbes 30 Under 30, MIT, National Inventors Hall of Fame, American Farm Bureau Federation, and most recently was awarded the THRIVE-Forbes Innovation Icon award along with an additional $100,000 in funding.

Visit SwineTech

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ui Alumni Updates

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Shannon Clayborn

BA Dance, Arts Entrepreneurship Certificate, 2010

Shannon Clayborn opened the doors of A Step Above Dance Academy only months after graduating from the University of Iowa. Located in Batavia, IL, A Step Above Dance Academy has grown to be one of the area’s most sought after dance programs. Clayborn has stayed in touch with Iowa JPEC by being a mentor for students.

zach davis

BBA Marketing, 2003

Zach Davis is the Co-Founder and Head of Business Development of Stylitics, a New York City- based technology company in the fashion and retail space. Using AI-driven outfitting and styling, Stylitics partners with major fashion and apparel retailers including Macy’s, Ann Taylor, Kohl’s, Gap, and more. The platform allows retailers to quickly and efficiently utilize existing branded creative assets, such as item photos, to generate outfit based shopping that has proven to increase both customer engagement and brand loyalty. Stylitics recently secured an additional $15 million in Series B funding, bringing their total funding to $21 million.

Nicole (Cook) Gunderson

BBA Finance, 2004

Nicole (Cook) Gunderson is the Managing Director for the Global Insurance Accelerator, the world’s first InsurTech accelerator focused solely on innovation for the insurance industry based in Des Moines, IA. The GIA is not your typical accelerator for startups. It is mentorship-driven by insurance executives and professionals and its investors are insurance carriers. Nicole has previously worked for several other startups including Des Moines based Dwolla, and Speeko – an alumni business of our Founders Club program.

Bryan Stacy

BBA Finance, Entrepreneurial Management Certificate, 2004

Bryan Stacy founded Biem, a sexual health application that empowers people to live healthy, happier lives, allowing them to make better sexual health decisions. Biem, which has been featured by Forbes, allows you to talk with healthcare professionals and to view and share your test results from anywhere– taking the stigma and hassle out of getting tested.

Elise Tresley

BBA Finance and Marketing, 2008

Elise Tresley is the Co-Founder and CEO of mēle, a wellness food company based in New York City. Before establishing mēle, she founded UpScored, an AI-powered career platform, and sold it to a technology company in 2018. Tresley has also spoken to our entrepreneurial students sharing her startup journey. 


BA Computer Science, BBA Management - Entrepreneurial Management Track, 2013

Daniel Zhao came to school at the University of Iowa not knowing any English, but that didn’t hold him back. Today, he is an accomplished entrepreneur living in Los Angeles. Zhao is the CEO of StudyGate, one of the multiple businesses he works on. StudyGate is an on-demand live tutoring service that’s been featured in Forbes, Today, and Inc. publications.