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Release: Aug. 22, 2000

JPEC sponsors first Iowa Venture Capital Conference

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa's entrepreneurial community will gather at the first annual Iowa Venture Capital Conference Wednesday, Sept. 6 at the Des Moines Marriott.

The conference, co-sponsored by the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC), is free to University of Iowa students. It offers a broad range of networking opportunities, informational workshops, and presentations to companies, investors, and entrepreneurial students seeking fast track success. Featured speakers include Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, Iowa entrepreneur and investor John Pappajohn, and McLeodUSA Chairman and CEO Clark McLeod.

"My dream continues to be to help Iowa become one of the most dynamic entrepreneurial states in the country," said John Pappajohn, president of Equity Dynamics. "This conference provides an ideal opportunity for students, investors, and entrepreneurs to form valuable relationships," said Pappajohn.

In addition to the keynote addresses, several panel discussions will be offered. Experts from the field will explain how to bring together the right team to position the enterprise for success in "Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures." In "Attracting the Right Money," panelists will discuss the stages of funding, sources of appropriate funds, and how entrepreneurs can communicate with the appropriate audience. "How to Build and Use Entrepreneurial and Investor Networks" will explain how to utilize networks of experts to help companies grow. Successful Iowa entrepreneurs will share their experiences and lessons learned in "Entrepreneurial Success in Iowa." Through these panel discussions, participants will have the opportunity to learn how entrepreneurs can contribute to local economies throughout the state.

"Iowa entrepreneurs are leaders in innovation. Our goal is to match Iowa entrepreneurs with investors to spur the growth and success of entrepreneurial ventures in the state," said Bob Henningsen, division administrator with the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

Conference registration is $30 if postmarked by Aug. 25. Registrations postmarked after Aug. 25 or turned in at the door will be $35. Student registration is complimentary; transportation for UI students to and from the conference will be provided.

The Iowa Venture Capital Conference is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers, and Equity Dynamics, Inc. Conference co-sponsors include the Ames Economic Development Commission, Ernst & Young LLP, and MidAmerican Energy Company.

Students should register with the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at (319) 335-0260. For more information, contact the Center or call Michele Waber at the Iowa Department of Economic Development at (515) 242-4730. See also, click on "Iowa Venture Capital Conference agenda."