Iowa State University

Benjamin Allen, College of Business, (515) 294-2422
Michelle Johnson, News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- A $1 million gift from Des Moines businessman and entrepreneur John Pappajohn will fund a new entrepreneurship center at Iowa State University. The gift was announced Monday, Sept. 9, at Engineering Animation, Inc. in the ISU Research Park.

The center will enable entrepreneurs to test new technologies and eventually market them commercially through the formation of new companies or the expansion of existing companies. The center will focus on technologies developed by faculty and students in ISU's Colleges of Engineering, Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, but will serve as a state-wide resource for entrepreneurs.

The center will also provide educational courses, programs and outreach services to develop the entrepreneurial interests of Iowa State students, faculty and other Iowans.

Pappajohn is funding similar entrepreneurial centers at the University of Northern Iowa, Drake University and North Iowa Community College. Pappajohn previously donated $1.5 million to fund the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.

"This center will help Iowa State strengthen its emphasis on entrepreneurship by involving students and faculty in several of our programs in the study and practice of entrepreneurship," said ISU President Martin Jischke. "It will also play to our strengths in technology transfer and economic development, especially in the areas of agriculture, veterinary medicine, engineering and the sciences."

"This generous gift has provided ISU and the College of Business with an extraordinary opportunity to advance entrepreneurial education," said Benjamin Allen, dean of the College of Business. "It also enables us to assist in Iowa's economic development by serving as a resource to aspiring entrepreneurs."

The center will work closely with all of ISU's colleges, as well as many of its centers including the Small Business Develoment Center, Center for Advanced Technology, Center for Industrial Research and Service, Center for Animal Health, and the Utilization Center for Agricultural Products. The College of Business will oversee the center.

Pappajohn also donated an additional $50,000 to support the most promising start-up companies created through the center.

Pappajohn is the founder of Guardsman Life Insurance Company in Des Moines. He is currently the president of Equity Dynamics Inc. and the sole owner of Pappajohn Capital Resources, a capital firm that specializes in health care, medical and other highly technical industries.

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