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Garik Himebaugh (18MBA) started EcoStylist, an online marketplace for stylish and sustainably-made men’s clothing, during the 2018 Hawkeye Startup Accelerator Program. This spring, he was accepted and participated in one of the top 5 private business accelerator programs in the country, SEED SPOT, located in Arizona.

At Iowa, there are endless innovative opportunities. The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) is the hub for entrepreneurship education and outreach at the University of Iowa.


MAKING AN IMPACT This past year has challenged us all to innovate and adapt. In March, the University of Iowa moved to all online learning and programming. Our great team quickly modified classes and programs to continue our efforts to educate and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders. Additionally, we expanded programming to support existing Iowa and alumni-owned businesses who were facing unprecedented challenges. Iowa JPEC is committed to advancing entrepreneurial education, innovation, and economic development. There are many opportunities to engage with Iowa JPEC. If you are ready to make an impact at Iowa, please contact me at Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Iowa Strong. - David Hensley, Executive Director


was distributed to support Iowa entrepreneurs.



engaged in Iowa JPEC programming.



that are represented by students taking entrepreneurship courses.



SUPPORTING IOWA ENTREPRENEURS DURING A PANDEMIC The COVID-19 pandemic and country-wide lockdown have pushed many Iowa startups to a grinding halt. Others have been focusing on adjusting their business models to cater to new consumer demands. As a leader in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship across the state, Iowa JPEC wanted to do its part to help these startups grow and to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. To this effort, Iowa JPEC put aside a portion of its annual budget to distribute grants to some of the most promising early stage startups in the state. Program leads from Iowa JPEC’s Venture School, UI Innovators Workshop, Founders Club, and Iowa’s Small Business Development Center nominated companies they have been working with over the last couple of years to be eligible for this grant opportunity. These businesses submitted a short application detailing milestones attained, goals for the year and a budget describing how the grant money will help them achieve their goals. In June, $105,000 was distributed directly to thirteen of these Iowa-based startups. Many of these companies have used the funds to help improve the lives of those affected by COVID-19.

In addition to providing funding, Iowa JPEC offered educational webinars to give advice to small businesses on how to weather the financial challenges brought on by the nationwide shutdown. Experienced entrepreneurial faculty offered personalized consulting services to startups to assist them with questions and concerns they had with keeping their businesses going. Many of our programs were redesigned to be delivered online including our summer Hawkeye Startup Accelerator for student businesses, the youth entrepreneur camps offered by the Jacobson Institute and consulting services through the regional Small Business Development Center. The following page highlights some of the businesses who received grants or significant guidance and support from Iowa JPEC as well as the work they are doing to make an impact during the time of COVID-19.

FBB BIOMED | CORALVILLE, IA | SBDC CLIENT FBB Biomed is a startup international biotechnology firm that is taking on the challenge of defeating COVID-19 and future pandemics. With headquarters and manufacturing in Coralville, Iowa, and a business officer working in Frankfurt, Germany, the company was created to manufacture laboratory-developed tests to screen and index RNA found in the bloodstream. The tests are for the purpose of measuring severity in both infectious and chronic diseases. The company was co-founded by Howard Urnovitz, Ph.D. (shown left), Steven Urnovitz and Julien Rey in the summer of 2019. The Iowa Small Business Development Center and Iowa JPEC employee, Paul Heath, has been working closely with Dr. Urnovitz to identify potential funding and contracting opportunities and to connect him with valuable resources so that this important medical innovation gets into the hands of healthcare providers.

OPENLOOP | IOWA CITY, IA | AWARDED $5,000 GRANT Dr. Jon Lensing (20MD) co-founded OpenLoop (formerly Apollo), a health-tech solution that intelligently matches healthcare providers with medical practices or hospitals seeking quick and efficient temporary staffing. During the pandemic, OpenLoop made their services free for an 8-week period in order to help place providers in areas where they were most needed. Prior to COVID, the company was focused solely on placing doctors, but they quickly developed new intakes and matching systems for all healthcare providers including everyone from assistants and technicians to nurses and physicians. The company grew by 800% over the course of a few weeks.

GERMBOT | DAVENPORT, IA | AWARDED $10,000 GRANT Germbot, founded by Venture School alumni Patrick and Conor Flaherty in 2017, improves the sanitation, health, and safety of floor surfaces by killing bacteria and disabling virus reproduction. The company is expanding its products and technology to help eliminate COVID-19. Germbot used the grant to finalize testing for the UV-Sweep product and building units for field testing. The UV-Sweep is targeted to help sanitize schools and childcare facilities and is effective against a wide range of bacteria and viral threats including COVID-19.

RANTIZO | IOWA CITY, IA | AWARDED $10,000 GRANT Rantizo, founded by Michael Ott (03MS) in 2018, uses a combination of autonomous hardware and user-friendly software to provide a drone spraying platform that identifies problem areas, diagnoses field issues, and sprays and applies required treatments. While originally developed to focus on agricultural spraying, the company is quickly adapting its sprayers to be used to sanitize stadiums, sports arenas, and other large venues in response to COVID-19. Rantizo was also awarded first place and $40,000 at the 2019 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition.

Iowa JPEC Honors Seven Business Innovators The University of Iowa recently announced the recipients of its first-ever Iowa Innovation and Entrepreneurship Honors. Winners were selected not only for their significant accomplishments in entrepreneurship and innovation, but also for their impact on their communities. Iowa JPEC hopes to host an event recognizing these individuals before the end of the academic year.

Scott Heiferman Co-Founder and Chairman, Meetup Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year

Roby Miller Founder, TelePharm Young Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year

Heiferman (94BBA) is known for being both a visionary tech entrepreneur and a passionate Hawkeye. Since graduating from the University of Iowa, Heiferman has started three successful companies. His most well-known company, Meetup, has grown into a tech application that improves individuals’ real-life community connections across the world.

Just two years after graduation, Miller (10BA) founded TelePharm, a telehealth software provider that enables pharmacists to work at the top of their license across multiple pharmacies. TelePharm has enabled pharmacies to open nationwide that provide much-needed pharmacy care access in underserved rural and urban areas. The company currently supports pharmacies in 25 states, serving millions of patients, and has created over 2,000 jobs nationwide.

Heiferman’s first company, iTraffic, was created in 1995 and was the first-ever online advertising agency. He co-founded his second startup, Fotolog, in 2002, a pioneering photo sharing network that pre-dated Instagram and saw over 30 million people upload nearly 1 billion photos—all before the existence of smartphones. Meetup, a platform for finding and building local communities, was co-founded by Heiferman in 2002. Meetup has attracted over 100 million members, with 12,000 Meetup gatherings occurring every day (during pre-COVID time). The company has offices in New York and Berlin. Heiferman served as the CEO from 2002-2018 and brought the company to profitable sustainability when it was purchased by WeWork.

In less than four years following its founding, TelePharm was acquired by Ohio-based Fortune 17 healthcare giant Cardinal Health. Since the acquisition, Miller has continued in a leadership role within the company as it expands into new states and new markets. In addition to his healthtech startup experience, Miller co-founded Built By Iowa, an early-stage venture fund, and has served as an angel investor to several local and nationwide startups.

Honorees pictured from left to right: Scott Heiferman, Roby Miller, Dr. Michael Abramoff, Todd Thompson, Jaison Marks, Nate Elsner and Andrew Austin.

Dr. Michael Abramoff, MD, PhD Founder and Executive Chairman, Digital Diagnostics (Formerly IDx Technologies) Faculty/Staff Startup of the Year

Jaison Marks Co-Founder, CartilaGen Graduate Student Startup of the Year

Dr. Michael D. Abramoff, MD, PhD, is a fellowship-trained retina specialist, computer scientist, and entrepreneur. Digital Diagnostics was founded in 2010 to improve quality and access while lowering the healthcare costs through autonomous Artificial Intelligence (AI). Digital Diagnostics is the first company ever to receive FDA clearance for an autonomous AI diagnostic system. Its first product, IDX-DR, diagnoses diabetic retinopathy by making a clinical decision at the point-of-care, without requiring human oversight. Digital Diagnostics has deployed its AI systems in clinics across the U.S. and has also been working to enter the international market to help prevent visual loss and blindness in people with diabetes.

Co-founded by Marks (17BS, 17BSE) in 2017, CartilaGen is developing an intra-articular drug injection that is capable of preventing post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). CartilaGen has the only treatment that targets the earliest stage of PTOA development by modifying the underlying disease in an easily-performed, costeffective manner. The startup has secured a license agreement with the University of Iowa Research Foundation, has been recognized and awarded funding through several startup competitions, and is currently initiating its first human clinical trial. Additionally, CartilaGen is concurrently looking to expand the indications of its therapeutic through novel preclinical research. Marks is currently a UI graduate student studying biomedical engineering and finance.

Todd Thompson CEO, SmartScripts Venture School Business of the Year

Andrew Austin & Nate Elsner Co-Founders, Peak3 Digital Undergraduate Student Startup of the Year

Established in 2015 by Thompson (98BSPh), SmartScripts uses the latest technology to deliver prescriptions, vitamins, and supplements in a safe, convenient, and accurate system to their patients. This provides a convenient, low-cost option for patients who manage multiple medications. SmartScripts participated in Iowa JPEC’s Venture School program during spring 2017. Since finishing the program, the company has completed their second round of funding (at $7 million), increased revenue by nearly 2,400%, opened two new locations (Fort Worth and Iowa City), and added over 70 full time employees.

Peak3 Digital offers technology consulting, IT, and web design services to small and medium-sized businesses in the Iowa City and Chicagoland areas. The company was founded in 2017 when Austin and Elsner were seniors in high school. They have been active in entrepreneurial student programs during their first few years at UI and have served more than 50 businesses to date. Although run by busy full-time students, Peak3 Digital has earned over $150,000 in revenue since its establishment and currently has two employees. Both Austin and Elsner are UI undergraduate students and part of the Class of 2022.



Once again this year, our entrepreneurship students represented a variety of colleges and areas of study from across campus. These students were able to gain valuable real-world experiences and skill sets through our comprehensive academic program even with a pandemic forcing us to transition to virtual learning settings. In spite of the new challenges, students remained engaged through guest speakers, virtual internships, and consulting projects for Iowa startups and businesses.




EDUCATIONAL TRACKS Multi-disciplinary majors and certificates allow for

Engineering Students – Technological

any Iowa student to study entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship Certificate

Business Students – BBA Management, Entrepreneurial Management Track (or) Entrepreneurial Management Certificate Liberal Arts and Sciences Students – BA Enterprise Leadership

Art Students – Art Entrepreneurship Certificate Journalism Students – Media Entrepreneurialism Certificate ANY Iowa Student – Entrepreneurial Management Certificate

GABRIELA MOYA (21BSE) | ENGINEERING STUDENT Gabriela first got connected with Iowa JPEC through an Entrepreneurship and Innovation class. As a chemical engineering student, her goal is to work in the cosmetics industry someday and perhaps even start her own business. She decided to add the Technological Entrepreneurship Certificate to get connected to resources that would help her do just that. After getting involved with Iowa JPEC programs such as IdeaStorm, our team was able to connect her with an alumni mentor who runs a successful makeup company. This connection has proven to be truly valuable in setting her up for a successful future. Moya is one of many students to be awarded an entrepreneurial scholarship by John and Mary Pappajohn for the 2020-2021 academic school year.

PATRICK PROSSER (20BBA) | BUSINESS STUDENT After taking his first class, Prosser quickly added the entrepreneurial management certificate to compliment his finance degree. “I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to take part in so many Iowa JPEC student programs that expanded my network, improved my skillsets, and provided a new perspective,” he stated. Prosser attended the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute, and participated in two Iowa entrepreneurial student organizations, seeing these programs as an opportunity to network with like-minded students and successful entrepreneurs. Prosser started a business during his time at Iowa. He participated in Iowa Startup Games where he met his business partners and they continued forward pitching their concept in the Iowa Innovation Challenge competition. Their team placed first in their business category and landed a competitive spot in Iowa JPEC’s summer-long Hawkeye Startup Accelerator Program.

NORA BENSELLAM (20BA) | LIBERAL ARTS STUDENT “I chose to study entrepreneurship at Iowa because I wanted to venture into the business world, and I knew the importance of developing the soft skills that the entrepreneurship degree is tailored to. I loved that it was an interactive program, we did not simply learn from a book and take exams. We had to use the skills we were taught to participate in entrepreneurship competitions in and out of the classroom. What better way to learn than to practice and actually use these entrepreneurial skills?”

REAL-WORLD LEARNING Internships – With an Iowa startup or business.

International business – Hands-on experiences

Business consulting projects – Solving problems for

through social projects and travel opportunities.

real companies.

Mentorship program – Connects students with

Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute – Week-long

experienced Iowa alumni and professional mentors.

immersion with college students from across Iowa.

Entrepreneurial student organizations – Builds a

(NEW) Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy – Helps

student’s resume and skillset.n

develop advanced leadership skills.



Our student venture programs bring students together from all areas of study to launch their businesses. Students are provided with the resources they need to take their idea to the next level including mentorship, funding, office space, training, and much more. This past year, our new Iowa Innovation Challenge provided an additional $197,500 in seed funding that was awarded to support student businesses. When the COVID-19 lockdowns hit, our leadership team turned to virtual competitions, training opportunities, and one-on-one mentoring to help our students continue forward with their ventures.




STUDENT BUSINESS PATH Any student, regardless of major or level of

STUDENT PATHWAY experience, can receive support to help start a business. Talk to an expert – Members of our entrepreneurial

IdeaStorm – Entry level pitch competitions encourage students to share their innovative ideas with others, all while familiarizing themselves with the pitching process.

staff/faculty provide feedback on students’ ideas and

Iowa Startup Games – Students, from all areas

how to move them forward.

of study, pitch their idea, form teams and build a business over a weekend.

STUDENTS CARE | CO-FOUNDERS, JACOB NEWCOMB (20BBA), PETER EASLER (20BBA), MICHAEL PENNIMAN (20BBA) Students Care is an official 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission of maximizing the college experience for students with disabilities through student-to-student care and interaction. Since its inception, this student business has participated in the Founders Club program, several pitch and business plan competitions, and most recently completed our Hawkeye Startup Accelerator program this summer – in which they were awarded first place in the final launch day pitches. “One of the biggest benefits of the support Iowa JPEC has provided us has been matching us with a startup mentor who gave us the time and knowledge to help us to grow our organization. In addition, we have had access to the competitions that allowed us to earn additional funding,” the team stated. Next, Students Care is focusing on creating partnerships with other universities to expand the organization and its mission.

FORTIUS ACCESSORIES | FOUNDER, SHAMIRA ROTHMILLER (20PHD) Rothmiller’s involvement in the Hawkeye Startup Accelerator and the Founders Club program helped her launch her business. Fortius Accessories creates products that help track and field throwers to protect and carry their throwing implements (equipment). As a former NCAA track athlete, she was familiar with the need for these products. Fortius Accessories is currently partnering with Iowa’s College of Engineering to have senior students complete their capstone project by taking Rothmiller’s designs and creating prototypes of her products. She is also working on her marketing strategy and developing an online presence for her brand. Rothmiller recently earned her PhD in Rehabilitation and Counselor Education at Iowa.

GRAZE ANALYTICS | FOUNDER, DANIEL MACHLAB (20MSE, 19BSE) Graze Analytics aims to improve restaurants by providing them with live analytics and trends about feedback from patrons. Machlab has recently finished developing his prototype and will begin beta testing, followed by a soft-launch this fall. “Iowa JPEC has benefited me in three ways. First, their programs have provided me a community of support – I have met great friends and advisors. Second, they have exposed me to countless successful entrepreneurs and mentors through the Founder’s Club guest speaker program. Third, they have helped to fund my ideas, enabling me to take risks I wouldn’t have been able to without their support,” he stated.

STARTUP PROGRAMS Founders Club – Business incubator connecting

Hawkeye Startup Accelerator – Summer-long training

students with resources, innovative peers, and

program that helps students develop and launch their

industry experts to launch their business.


Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory –

Multiple Pitch and Business Model Competitions –

Dedicated office and co-working space for innovators

Entry-level to advanced competitions awarding seed

across campus.

funding to help students take their idea to the next level.


As a leading entrepreneurial resource for the state of Iowa, our community training and support programs have been needed now more than ever before. This past year, the new Iowa Innovation Challenge awards combined with COVID-19 grants, helped provide over $180,000 in seed funding that went directly to support community startups and businesses. Iowa JPEC continued to support companies both locally and internationally with virtual business consulting services, training programs, and connections to student interns to work on special projects.





STARTUP TRAINING Our community outreach initiatives help startups and

enabling startups to vet their ideas and develop a

businesses of different levels of experience and are

business plan.

available across all 99 Iowa counties.

UI Innovators’ Workshop – This National Science

Venture School – Innovative statewide training

Foundation I-Corps program was designed to help

program focuses on real-world experimentation,

University of Iowa faculty, staff, and students raise

customer discovery and lean methodologies,

funding to take their innovations to the next level.


CEDAR FALLS, IOWA FOUNDER, RUSSEL KARIM is a premium marketplace platform for B2B clothing sourcing that connects small and midsize fashion brands, boutiques, and retailers directly to verified South Asian clothing manufacturers. The team participated in Iowa JPEC’s Venture School program (co-hosted by UNI) and Launch Day pitch competition and was awarded $7,500 in funding to help advance their company. Dhakai was also a semifinalist in the 2020 John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition and has recently been accepted into the TechStars Iowa accelerator program in which they will participate starting this fall.


INSEER IOWA CITY, IOWA FOUNDER, DR. JEAN ROBILLARD “We, at INSEER, are tremendously grateful to Wellmark and the Iowa Small Business Development Center for their support during the early stage of our company. Without the Wellmark convertible loan and the SBDC support, it would have been very difficult for us to grow and to become competitive in the AI market environment.”

Pani Clean Inc. was founded to provide green, cost-effective water treatment solutions for Iowa, the U.S., and the world. Founded by Iowa faculty and staff, the company is developing a renewable electricity-driven low-cost, fouling resistant, water treatment unit that is designed to be modular and scalable to satisfy various water treatment needs. After participating in Iowa JPEC’s UI Innovators Workshop NSF I-Corps training program this past fall, the team was able to use their training to evaluate their market potential, refine their business model, and shape their strategy to gain traction for growing the business. The team credits the guidance, seed funding, and training they received through Iowa JPEC as helping them to succeed. Pani Clean received a USDA SBIR Phase I award in 2019. The team has a pending application for the USDA SBIR Phase II award, and is currently in the process of submitting the invited proposal to the NSF SBIR Phase I program and will be participating in the advanced NSF I-CORPS National Teams Program.

BUSINESS SUPPORT PROGRAMS Wellmark Venture Capital – Wellmark Blue Cross and

Student Internships – Provides a low-cost solution to

Blue Shield has committed up to $5 million to the

businesses across the state who need assistance on

John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers in Iowa to

special projects while providing UI students with real-

help fund the startup of Iowa businesses.

world learning opportunities.

Business Consulting – Enlists student teams that are

International Support – Research, educational, and

led by experienced faculty and mentors to provide

consulting resources to help organizations pursue

innovative solutions for a variety of business projects

global importing and exporting opportunities.

at no cost to the client.

INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH The Institute for International Business (IIB) was established in 1999 and is a partnership between Iowa JPEC and the Tippie College of Business.





“Preparing for the NASBITE International Student Case Competition enabled me to network with some of the top cosmetic experts in the world. It gave me a process I can use in the future to solve any business problem my clients might face.” Stewart Knights | Iowa Student on preparing for the NASBITE International 2020 Student Case Competition

True to IIB’s mission of promoting entrepreneurship as a tool to empower people in frontier markets and providing Iowa students with cross-cultural and international business skills, we celebrate the success of students and alumni at home and abroad. Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni continue to achieve success with six receiving venture capital funding from various foundations and two named as top female entrepreneurs in Africa. Our students won the NASBITE International 2020 Student Case Competition under the added pressure of preparing and competing virtually due to COVID-19. Prior to travel being disrupted by COVID, the IIB carried out in-person projects in Botswana, Rwanda, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, UK and Haiti. Later, we shifted to online training with entrepreneurs in Senegal and Kenya. To continue to internationalize our college and campus community, IIB has taken a lead role on the Tippie College International Strategy Task Force.

“As a beneficiary of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, it has been a dream come true to have the students and staff come across the globe to implement this very important project for our community. The project came about during Venture School when I pivoted from an idea to this digital solution. It was a pleasure to expose our team to an international partnership that was an experience that only happens once in a lifetime.” Rapula Otukile | Founder, Pilane Pharmacy 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow and Business Consulting Project Client

The Jacobson Institute was established in 2007 as the branch of Iowa JPEC that focuses on K-12 outreach to help contribute to the development of future problem solvers, leaders and innovators.



The Jacobson Institute’s STEM Innovator® was named a STEM Scale-Up Program for Iowa educators by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. 57 educators from 28 Iowa schools participated in professional development, beginning with a week on campus in July 2019. Throughout the school year, educators developed, refined and piloted their unique innovation learning models with students. STEM Innovator® students work alongside business and industry mentors to develop solutions to real-world problems. In the process, students gain critical workforce readiness skills setting them up to succeed as the next generation of Iowa innovators and entrepreneurs.




“A little over a year ago, I created a video production company helping small businesses make high quality videos. I took an entrepreneurship class during high school and used the Jacobson Institute’s BizInnovator curriculum to help develop my concept. This spring, I competed in the Innovator Competition and won seed capital to support my business. I’m proud to be a 16-yearold entrepreneur and know that I will use these skills for the rest of my life.”

“STEM Innovator professional development helped take our program to the next level by giving us access to expertise, collaboration time, tools, and a workable framework. It encouraged our team to act like a startup, designing with our end users (students) in mind. I’m proud of the advances we made and excited to watch our students brainstorm, be innovative, be courageous, and be problem solvers. This is what value-added education looks like.”

David Klinker | Founder, DJKSS Productions LLC BizInnovator Student, Winooski, VT

Nancy Van Wyk | SparkTank Teacher Ottumwa, IA

The University of Iowa America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) was established in 1982. As a part of Iowa JPEC, the center serves businesses in Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Poweshiek, and Washington counties.




SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER The past year for the SBDC has been marked by the transition to help area small businesses address the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. The impact of the virus on society and business activity was a great shock to the economic environment. Center staff changed from meeting clients one-on-one to working with entrepreneurs via phone and virtual means. Much of the Center’s time has been focused on helping businesses comply with new sanitation, cleaning, and personal contact policies as well as assisting with the ever-changing Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan system. In addition, they have expanded their use of technology to advise clients and host workshops and seminars online.


“Immortagen has received funding from the Wellmark Venture Fund to advance development of our proprietary artificial intelligence-driven technology to better match cancer patients with treatments. The support of the SBDC made the application process seamless.” Kristi Thiel Founder, Immortagen | Iowa City, IA

“My experience with Paul Heath, and the SBDC, has been outstanding. Since day one of my ownership in the Firehouse Subs franchise, Paul has assisted me numerous times with developing a pro-forma prior to opening my businesses. He has also been a very trusted advisor in the day-to-day financial assessment of my businesses, once they were up and running. I could not have achieved the success I have thus far, without the financial wisdom provided to me through the SBDC.” John Chadima Owner, HeartlandSubs, Inc. and Firehouse Subs Iowa Cedar Rapids, IA

FEATURED ALUMNI BUSINESSES JIM COBLE (04BBA) PRESIDENT, DQC INTL CORP, 13 FISHING In 2011, Coble founded DQC Intl, Corp., the parent company of 13 Fishing, a manufacturer of fishing rods, reels and bait. Since then, his vision has turned it into a multimillion-dollar global business and is recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the industry. In 2019, Coble brought on a minority investor in the form of one of the world’s leading fishing tackle manufacturers, Rapala VMC, which has spurred the increase in global distribution – now making the partnership one of the largest fishing conglomerates in the world. Coble’s personal approach of connecting with individual fishermen and identifying the market’s needs is believed to have been a driving force in helping take the company from zero to over $25 million in annual sales in less than a decade. 13 Fishing has nearly 100 registered/pending U.S. trademarks and 15 patents on file. Their products have won numerous prestigious industry awards. Coble prides himself on the education he received at the University of Iowa and continues to generously support current students through scholarship opportunities.

L. BRIAN JENKINS (97BA) FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, ENTRENUITY, NFP, AND STARTINGUP BUSINESS SOLUTIONS, INC. L. Brian Jenkins has impacted thousands of youth and adults through his nonprofit, Entrenuity. Founded in 1999, Entrenuity began with direct youth services in entrepreneurship education and expanded to include adult entrepreneurs and returning citizens, as well as training facilitators to teach entrepreneurship using StartingUp Now: 24 Steps to Launch Your Own Business, written by L. Brian Jenkins. Additionally, Entrenuity operates the first Black-owned, enterprise level, co-working space in Chicago, with special emphasis on providing vital business resources to underrepresented entrepreneurs. It also manages two craft coffee shops directed by the only certified Black female coffee director in Chicago. Jenkins is also the author of Know More Nonprofits: Moving From Dependency to Sustainability, founding partner of Renew Pavement Solutions, providing employment to returning citizens, and has spent time giving back to several of Iowa JPEC’s student organizations.

FEATURED ALUMNI BUSINESSES TARA CLARK (08BA) | FOUNDER AND CEO, SOCIAL T Since the launch of Social T in 2010, Clark has helped hundreds of businesses design and launch systems to leverage social media, dramatically impacting their online conversations and digital presence. Clark was one of the first digital marketers offering social media support to businesses in Vancouver, Canada, and continues to be at the forefront of leveraging new social apps for both her clients and team. Clark has been invited to speak at conferences around the world, helping to educate others on digital marketing and entrepreneurship. Over the past decade, Social T has grown to be a successful business with clients spanning a variety of industries, including food and beverage, law, property development, finance, recruitment, and many more. JESSICA COLE (08BBA) | PRESIDENT AND CEO, BECKER’S HEALTHCARE Becker’s Healthcare offers forward-looking business news, analysis, and guidance relating to the healthcare industry through print, digital, and live event platforms. The company equips healthcare leaders with the information and forums they need to learn, exchange ideas, and further conversation about the most critical issues in American healthcare. With nearly 800 clients, the company has grown from two employees in 2007, to over 60 employees and $38 million in revenue today. Cole is the President and CEO of the company and was recently the recipient of the Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Midwest Region in 2019. Becker’s Healthcare has been recognized as one of Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in both 2019 and 2020. In addition to the company’s success, the business is also a large supporter of several charities throughout the Chicagoland area. ANDREW DICKELMAN (16BBA) | CO-FOUNDER AND COO, STRUCTURELY Structurely helps sales and marketing teams make the most of their leads through its proprietary conversational AI platform. In just over three years, and with minimal outside investment, Structurely has grown to be a multimillion-dollar business that currently provides jobs for nearly 20 Iowans. The company is considered to be a thought leader in the conversational AI space in real estate and has been nominated for Inman Innovator Awards, voted the best real estate software in 2018 and 2019 and has been finalists for multiple Prometheus Awards. Dickelman was an active member in Founders Club and started the business during his senior year at Iowa. He and his co-founder, Nate Joens, participated in a number of pitch and business plan competitions. G. ALEX STURWOLD (12BBA) | FOUNDER, APOGEE STORES LLC | CO-FOUNDER, CLEARWAVE MANAGEMENT LLC Apogee Stores LLC is a private company ranked #400 on Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fastest-Growing Companies in America for 2019. The eCommerce business is the leading online retailer of golf cart accessories and parts nationwide. Apogee was founded in 2014 and had over $6 million in sales in 2019 and is pacing $13+ million for 2020 with 10 full time employees. Additionally, Sturwold is the co-founder of Clearwave Management LLC, a private investment company focused on the turnaround and rehab of mismanaged car washes. The company was launched in 2015 and today has five locations, 45 employees, and over $4.6 million in annual revenue. Sturwold was a member of the Founders Club during his time at Iowa and participated and placed in several pitch and business plan competitions.

JOHN AND MARY PAPPAJOHN’S SUPPORT Iowa alumnus, John Pappajohn, is the president of Equity Dynamics, Inc. and Pappajohn Capital Resources in Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Pappajohn became a venture capitalist in 1969 and has been involved in over 100 startups and 50 IPOs and has served as a director in over 40 public companies. In 1996, John and Mary Pappajohn changed the trajectory of entrepreneurship and economic development in the state of Iowa by creating John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers at the University of Iowa and four other educational institutions across Iowa. Their vision to ensure that all Iowans—from college students to community members, have access to high quality entrepreneurship education and support has led to the creation of new ventures and high-quality jobs across the state of Iowa and the world. We are forever grateful for their tremendous support.


CEO, Two Old Hippies and CEO, Bedell Guitars

John Buchanan

Founder, RBP, A Marsh & McLennan Company

Al Bunte

Board Director and Executive Advisor, Commvault

Tara Cronbaugh President, Iowa City Coffee Company Jared Garfield

Co-Founder and CTO, Corvida Medical

Jay Greenzweig

Chief Executive and Scientific Officer, FORCE Communications

Bruce Harreld

President, University of Iowa

Ron Kaminski

President, HBK Engineering

Adam Keune

Co-Founder and Chief People Officer, Higher Learning Technologies

Rob Kincaid

Principal, Momentum Leadership

Josh Krakauer

Founder and CEO, Sculpt

Kevin Krause

Managing Member, Krausewa, LC

A special thank you to all those who volunteer their time to help support Iowa JPEC and its programs.

Roby Miller

Founder, TelePharm

Tom Niehaus

Co-Founder and General Partner, Pivotal Capital Partners, LLC.

John Pappajohn

President, Equity Dynamics, Inc.

Ravi Patel

President, Hawkeye Hotels

Brad Phillips

Founder and Managing Partner, Phillips Stafford Insurance Group

Anne Price

Program Coordinator, Iowa Innovation Corporation

Dan Rehal

Founder and CEO, Vision2Voice

Nick Rhodes

Managing Partner, Obsession Media

Don Schoen

Investor and Consultant

Dennis Sparks

Former Director Global Supply Chain, Pfizer, Inc.

Nicole Strait

Chief of Organization Strategy, Norwest Equity Partners

Zac Voss

President, Voss Distributing, LLC.

Laura Westercamp

Management Consulting Senior Manager, Accenture


JOHN PAPPAJOHN ENTREPRENEURIAL CENTER 108 John Pappajohn Business Bldg., Ste. S160 Iowa City, IA 52242-1994 P: 319-335-1022 |

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2020 Iowa JPEC Annual Report  

2020 Iowa JPEC Annual Report  

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