studen venture

Launching Student Startups

Our student venture programs bring students together from all areas of study to launch their businesses. Students are provided with the resources they need to take their idea to the next level including mentorship, funding, office space, training, and much more. This past year, our new Iowa Innovation Challenge provided an additional $197,500 in seed funding that was awarded to support student businesses. When the COVID-19 lockdowns hit, our leadership team turned to virtual competitions, training opportunities, and one-on-one mentoring to help our students continue forward with their ventures.

View Full 2020 Annual Report

2020 Impact

188

STUDENTS PARTICIPATED IN THE FOUNDERS CLUB PROGRAM

$274K

IN SEED FUNDING AWARDED BY IOWA JPEC TO SUPPORT STUDENT BUSINESSES

Student Business Path

​​​​​​Any student, regardless of major or level of experience, can receive support to help start a business.

  • Talk to an expert - Members of our entrepreneurial staff/faculty provide feedback on students' ideas and how to move them forward
  • IdeaStorm - Entry level pitch competitions encourage students to share their innovative ideas with others, all while familiarizing themselves with the pitching process
  • Iowa Startup Games - Students, from all areas of study, pitch their idea, form teams and build a business over a weekend

Startup Programs

 

Featured Student Businesses

students care

CO-FOUNDERS | JACOB NEWCOMB (BBA '20), PETER EASLER (BBA '20), MICHAEL PENNIMAN (BBA '20)

Students Care is an official 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission of maximizing the college experience for students with disabilities through student-to-student care and interaction. Since its inception, this student business has participated in the Founders Club program, several pitch and business plan competitions, and most recently completed our Hawkeye Startup Accelerator this summer - in which they were awarded first place in the final launch day pitches. "One of the biggest benefits of the support Iowa JPEC has provided us has been matching us with a startup mentor who gave us the time and knowledge to help us grow our organization. In addition, we have had access to the competitions that allowed us to earn additional funding," the team stated. Next, Students Care is focusing on creating partnerships with other universities to expand the organization and its mission.

fortius

FOUNDER | SHAMIRA ROTHMILLER (PHD '20)

Rothmiller's involvement in the Hawkeye Startup Accelerator and the Founders Club program helped her launch her business. Fortius Accessories creates products that help track and field throwers to protect and carry their throwing implements (equipment). As a former NCAA track athlete, she was familiar with the need for these products. Fortius Accessories is currently partnering with Iowa's College of Engineering to have senior students complete their capstone project by taking Rothmiller's designs and creating prototypes of her products. She is also working on her marketing strategy and developing an online presence for her brand. Rothmiller recently earned her PhD in Rehabilitation and Counselor Education at Iowa.

daniel

FOUNDER | DANIEL MACHLAB (MSE '20, BSE '19)

Graze Analytics aims to improve restaurants by providing them with live analytics and trends about feedback from patrons. Machlab has recently finished developing his prototype and will begin beta testing, followed by a soft-launch this fall. "Iowa JPEC has benefited me in three ways. First, their programs have provided me a community of support - I have met great friends and advisors. Second, they have exposed me to countless successful entrepreneurs and mentors through the Founders Club guest speaker program. Third, they have helped to fund my ideas, enabling me to take risks I wouldn't have been able to without their support," he stated.