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Release: Sept. 17, 2001

JPEC co- sponsors Venture Capital Conference Sept. 25

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa's entrepreneurial community will gather at the second annual Iowa Venture Capital Conference to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at the Polk County Convention Complex in Des Moines.

The event, co-sponsored by the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC), is free to UI students, faculty and staff courtesy of the JPEC.

The conference offers a broad range of networking opportunities, informational workshops, and presentations to companies, investors, community leaders, and entrepreneurial students seeking fast track success. Featured speakers include Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, Iowa entrepreneur, investor and Equity Dynamics President John Pappajohn, Access Direct founder and President Thomas Cardella, The Homemaker's Idea Company founder and President Madolyn Johnson, and Jacobson Companies Chairman of the Board and founder Richard Jacobson.

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

In addition to the keynote addresses, several panel discussions will be offered. Experts from the field will explain the nuts and bolts of putting a business deal together in "Structuring a Deal." In "Valuation and Exit Strategies," attendees will learn how to determine a company’s worth and what investors should receive in return for their investment in a company. "Legal Considerations" will focus on the issues that must be addressed in every start-up to avoid unnecessary headaches while also ensuring the success of the business. Through these panel discussions, participants will have the opportunity to learn how Iowa's own investors and entrepreneurs contribute to local economies throughout the state.

Additionally, the 2001-2002 Venture Network of Iowa forums will be kicked-off at the conference, providing attendees the opportunity to learn more about Iowa’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs while they pitch their business plans to an audience of investors.

"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 C.J. Niles, director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

To register, UI students, faculty and staff can contact Carolyn Norton at JPEC, (319) 335-1022 or via e-mail at; the student registration deadline is Sept. 21. Transportation for UI students to and from the conference will be provided. Others interested in attending should register through Tonja Richards, at the Iowa Department of Economic Development at (515) 242-4754. Regular conference registration is $35 for the public.

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 Ernst & Young LLP, MidAmerican Energy Company, The Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, the Ames Economic Development Commission, and Wells Fargo.