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Judi Eyles, Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, (515) 296-6532
Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- Seven Iowa State University students will have the opportunity to pitch their innovative business ideas to Iowa venture capitalist John Pappajohn and his investment team at Equity Dynamics, Inc. in Des Moines on Friday.

The Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship announced the winners of the Iowa State regional competition on Monday. They will join the winners from four other regional competitions in the fourth statewide Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition, to be held at the Des Moines Marriott on Friday, Dec. 5. Twelve teams will compete for three, $5,000 cash awards from John Pappajohn.

Iowa State's winners include: Jeffrey Myers, MBA (York, Pa.) for his business plan, "Uganda Coffee Company;" Jon von Gillern, senior in computer engineering (West Des Moines) for his business plan, "Delphi Greek Solutions;" and a team of MBA students consisting of Augusto Canales (Ames), Melissa Harris (Ames), Vitaly Pecharsky Jr. (Ukraine), Laurie DeGeus (Woodbury, Minn.), and Willy Nunez (Puerto Rico) for their business plan "Construction Lingo."

Other regional winners participating in the statewide competition include (with business names in parentheses):

Drake University: Paul Harmon (ID Nine)

The University of Iowa: B. Michael Keller and Bryk Lancaster (Flexon Solutions), Steven Davis and Brian M. O'Leary (BIO:::NEOS), and Megan Wettach (The Megan Amanda Collection)

University of Northern Iowa: Dulce Culpepper and Claudia Ramirez (Mundo Latino LLC) and Henry Munoz and Charity Yesis (

North Iowa Area Community College: Tammie Calvert (Dreamland Web Page Design and Computer Repair), Kelley Bahl (Portraits by Kelley), and Heather Neagle and April Ciavarelli (Why Not?)

"Even for those students who don't win the top awards, having the opportunity to present their entrepreneurial ideas to a well-known venture capitalist like John Pappajohn is a learning experience that cannot be replicated in the classroom," said Judi Eyles, associate director of the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.

Winners will be announced at 12:45 p.m. this Friday, following the business plan presentations.


NOTE: Media are invited to attend the awards ceremony at 12:45 p.m. and will have the opportunity to interview student winners immediately following.

Iowa State University
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Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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