UNI recognized by international organization as inaugural Student Entrepreneurship Program of the Year

On April 18, the University of Northern Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) will be recognized with the first award for Student Entrepreneurship Program of the Year by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) for its unparalleled work in student entrepreneurship.

Last year alone, the JPEC served 2,531 clients, primarily students, with various programs such as student business incubation, academic classes, competitions, conferences and a student organization.

Started in 1996 from the generous support of John Pappajohn, the UNI JPEC offers innovative and comprehensive programs in entrepreneurship education for students as well as coordinating UNI’s intellectual property and technology transfer activities.

Located on campus in the Business and Community Services building, the R. J. McElroy Student Business Incubator, a competitive program of the JPEC, intensively guided 79 student business owners last year. Since the JPEC’s incubator program began in 2005, 77% of the business owners of incubated businesses are still involved in entrepreneurship.
2015 student incubator tenants
Over the years, the students and businesses involved in JPEC programs have won many awards. Some of these are:

  • Finalist for Entrepreneur magazine’s Collegiate Entrepreneur of the Year and one of 10 in Inc. magazine’s coolest college start-ups

  • College start-up of the year winning a Prometheus Award from the Technology Association of Iowa for College startup of the year

  • Young Entrepreneur Council/Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization student entrepreneur of the year

  • Iowa Recycler of the Year 2013 by the Iowa Recycling Association

  • Okoboji-area Pitch-n-Grow competition winner

  • Newman Civic Fellow, this award recognizes students for their outstanding contributions in service to their campuses and communities

  • Underwriting Exposed award in 2015 at the Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit

InBIA is a nonprofit organization of 2,100 members from 60 countries that advocates for advancing global entrepreneurship and incubation through information, education and advocacy.