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Release: Sept. 7, 2001

FastTrac New Venture entrepreneurial training program starts Sept. 20

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 Sept. 20 to Nov. 15 in Iowa City.

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.

"By the time they complete the course, participants should leave the class with a definite answer as to whether their business opportunity can be profitable," said David Hensley, director of the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. "If they determine to start a new business, the written plan an entrepreneur develops during the course 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."

During each three-hour session on Thursday evenings, 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.

The UI is offering FastTrac for $99, which includes tuition, course materials including business planning software, and one-on-one mentoring, a reduction from the usual $349charge for the course. 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, over 1,600 Iowans have participated in the FastTrac entrepreneurial training programs. The Iowa Department of Economic Development and the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation are supporting this statewide initiative.