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UI JPEC Co-Sponsors Iowa Business Plan Competition

Iowa's entrepreneurs can win up to $25,000 in seed money for their businesses in the second annual Iowa Business Plan Competition, co-sponsored by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa.

Prize money for the contest is provided by a donation from Iowa venture capitalist and 1952 University of Iowa alumnus John Pappajohn. Sponsored by Pappajohn, Equity Dynamics, Inc., the UI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC), and the four other Centers across the state, the John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition promotes new entrepreneurial activity and highlights venture capital resources around the state.

The contest is open to all new start-up companies, and will award $50,000 in prize money to the top three business plans submitted, with $25,000 for first prize, $15,000 for second, and $10,000 for third. Entrepreneurs can apply by submitting an executive summary of their business plan to the UI JPEC between March 1 and April 30. A panel of judges will review the executive summaries and invite selected companies to formally enter the competition by May 15, and full business plans must be submitted by those invited companies no later than June 30.

The judges will then ask seven to 10 finalists to participate in formal presentations and interviews in August and September. The three winners will be announced at the 2007 Iowa Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship Conference October 10 in Des Moines.

Information on rules, eligibility, and where to get assistance is available at www.iowabusinessplancompetition.com.

Assistance with business plan entries is available at the UI JPEC in Iowa City, as well as centers in Ames, Des Moines, and Mason City; the Small Business Development Centers throughout the state; and at Iowa business accelerators and incubators in Iowa City, Ames, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Mason City.

Winners of the 2006 Iowa Business Plan Contest were: grand prize, the iSEEK Corp. of Ames; second prize, Sirrah, LLC of Ames; and third prize, Latham Hi-Tech Hybrids of Sheffield.

Established in 1996 through the generous support of John and Mary Pappajohn, the UI JPEC provides a unique opportunity for all UI students to take courses in entrepreneurship and earn a Certificate in Entrepreneurship in addition to their undergraduate major. In addition to partnering with Iowa community colleges to teach entrepreneurship programs statewide, JPEC offers several programs to foster the development of entrepreneurial skills in Iowa's youth, and supports the creation of sustainable technology companies in Iowa.


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