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Release: Jan. 26, 2000

Entrepreneurial training program starts Feb. 3

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and Small Business Development Center at the University of Iowa will offer the nationally acclaimed FastTrac New Venture entrepreneurial training program starting Feb. 3 to March 30 in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.

The FastTrac New Venture program is designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs evaluate their business opportunities and develop a plan for successfully starting a new business. The Thursday evening classes are also being offered in Cedar Rapids in partnership with Kirkwood Community College.

"Participants who make the commitment to complete this course should leave the class with a definite answer as to whether their business opportunity can be profitable. If the result is to start a new business, the written plan can be used to obtain financing and guide the new business. If the idea does not merit starting a new business, the participant will have learned the skills necessary to properly evaluate their next opportunity," explained David Hensley, associate director of the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.

During each three and one-half hour session, participants receive high-quality instruction from experienced entrepreneurs and educators. In addition, guest entrepreneurs and local business experts share their experiences and knowledge with the class. Participants can also network with other aspiring entrepreneurs and work on their plan to launch their new venture.

Specific topics include characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, opportunity recognition, market research and analysis, marketing strategies, financial forecasting and management, and sources of financing.

FastTrac programs are also being offered at community colleges throughout Iowa. FastTrac courses have been offered in 35 states and completed by more than 20,000 entrepreneurs nationwide.

The program normally costs $349, but the UI is offering FastTrac at a reduced rate of $99, which includes tuition, course materials, and one-on-one mentoring. Enrollment has begun, and only a few openings remain. To register or for more information, contact the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at (319) 335-1022.