Get inspired

Iowa JPEC sponsors several speaker series each year that are designed to bring successful entrepreneurs and business leaders to campus to inspire students and entrepreneurs alike. These events also provide outstanding networking opportunities. In addition to the two annual lectures below, we bring in additional entrepreneurial speakers throughout the year. Be sure to check our events calendar for updates on upcoming speakers.

Jeff Hoffman

John R. Hughes Lecture Series

Held annually in the fall semester, this lecture series is co-sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust Company and is named after the late John R. Hughes, former president of the bank. John R. Hughes was instrumental in helping the company grow throughout the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area, thus becoming a model of entrepreneurship and prosperity.

Past Lectures

In fall 2016, we welcomed Jeff Hoffman to Iowa City. Jeff Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, worldwide motivational speaker, published author, Hollywood film producer, and a producer of a Grammy-winning jazz album in 2015. He has been the founder of multiple startups, has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known companies, including,, ColorJar, and more. Watch a video of Hoffman's lecture here.


Oscar Salazar

Ben S. Summerwill Lecture Series

Held annually in the spring semester, the Ben S. Summerwill Lecture Series, formerly known as the MidWestOne Lecture Series, is presented by MidWestOne Bank and Iowa JPEC. The purpose of this lecture is to promote entrepreneurship and economic development in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area. This program is named for the late Ben S. Summerwill, founder of Iowa State Bank & Trust Company, now known as MidWestOne Bank. Ben S. Summerwill was an adventurer and entrepreneur whose compassion and hard work changed the lives of many right here in Iowa City. Check back soon for an announcement on our spring 2018 speaker.

Past Lectures

In spring 2017, we welcomed Oscar Salazar, Founding CTO of Uber, to Iowa City. Oscar Salazar Gaitan is a seasoned entrepreneur, senior executive, and investor in numerous successful technology firms. Salazar was one of the early architects and the founding CTO of Uber. Through Uber, he was instrumental in helping to redesign the architecture of on-demand transportation worldwide. As founder and CEO of Citivox (2010-2013), Salazar helped create technology to enable non-governmental organizations and individuals to monitor and report electoral fraud, crime, and infrastructure problems that needed attention in Mexico. You can view an article about Oscar's lecture here.