Annette Hacker, director,
Office: (515) 294-4777
Judi Eyles, ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, (515) 296-6532
Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986
Iowa State to host Collegiate Entrepreneurs Iowa Conference March 3
AMES, Iowa -- An annual student entrepreneurship conference created at Iowa State University five years ago is returning to campus from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 3, in the Scheman Building, Iowa State Center. The Collegiate Entrepreneurs Iowa Conference is free to all Iowa college and university students, although registration is required.
Judi Eyles, assistant director of the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, said the conference allows student entrepreneurs (or students with an interest in starting their own firms or launching a commercial product) to network with like-minded students, college and university faculty members and professional business owners and investors. About 300 students attend each year.
"Iowa State's Entrepreneurship Club created this conference in 2001," Eyles said. "Each year builds on the success of that first effort. Each Pappajohn center rotates hosting the event. Students help plan and run the conference."
The opening speaker for the conference is John Pappajohn, Des Moines, founder and president of Equity Dynamics, Inc., and Pappajohn Capital Resources, a venture capital firm. He also founded the five Pappajohn Entrepreneurship Centers in Iowa (Iowa State; University of Iowa, Iowa City; University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls; Drake University, Des Moines; and North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City).
Featured professional entrepreneurs will be Roy Reiman, founder of Reiman Publications, a specialty printing company now owned by Madison Dearborn Publishing; Betty Baudler Horras, Ames, the first woman in Iowa to own a radio station and later a radio syndicate purchased by Clear Channel Communications; and T.J. Paskach and Will Schroeder, two former Iowa State chemical engineering students who turned an innovative ice cream freezing technology into a national franchising business called Blue Sky Creamery.
Several breakout sessions will feature student entrepreneurs and alumni from across Iowa who have started companies. Iowa State has four student entrepreneurs and several alumni presenting at this year's conference. Each will talk about their successes and challenges in launching a business.
Other sessions at the conference include how to write a business plan, how to finance a start-up, and a special session for faculty and staff about teaching entrepreneurship.
Also at this year's conference, the three winners of the 2006 Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan Competition will be announced. The competition is open to any Iowa university or college student/team with an interest in starting a business. Regional finalists will be selected Monday, Feb. 20, and will compete the morning of the conference. Three winners will receive $5,000 cash awards to be used as seed capital. Iowa State had two statewide winners at last year's competition.
The conference is sponsored by the five entrepreneur centers in Iowa and CEO, a Chicago-based entrepreneurship network serving more than 500 college and universities.
The Collegiate Entrepreneurs Iowa Conference will be in the Scheman Building from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 3. The conference was created by the Entrepreneurship Club and Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship five years ago and has grown into a major networking and information event for Iowa college and university students. The event is free but registration is required.