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Release: Sept. 8, 2000

FastTrac New Venture entrepreneurial training program starts Sept. 21

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 running Sept. 21 to Nov. 16 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, director of the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.

During each three-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 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 New Venture normally costs $349, but the UI is offering FastTrac at a reduced rate of $99, which includes tuition, course materials including business planning software, and one-on-one mentoring. Enrollment is limited. To register or for more information, contact the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at (319) 335-1022.

FastTrac programs are also being offered at community colleges throughout Iowa. Since 1997, more than 1,100 Iowans have participated in the FastTrac entrepreneurial training programs. This statewide initiative is being supported by the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Software and Information Technology of Iowa, the Iowa Biotechnology Association and the Iowa Small Business Development Centers.