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John Pappajohn Entrepreneur Center
(319) 335-9985
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: April 11, 2002

UI hosts entrepreneur camp for Iowa high school students

Photo: Justin Wilkinson Wilkinson attended BizCamp, has built a successful canary breeding business in DeWitt, Iowa. In 2001, the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) selected Wilkinson as a Youth Entrepreneur of the Year

The University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) is offering a weeklong residential camp June 23-28 for Iowa high school students where they can explore entrepreneurship and compete for seed capital grants for starting a new business or college tuition.

The camp runs 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily at the John Pappajohn Business Building with additional activities scheduled in the evening.  BizCamp is open to Iowa students who have completed 9th through 11th grades. There is no fee for the camp, which is made possible through a grant from The William Zimmerman Foundation.

The camp will culminate with a business plan competition where participants can compete for seed money for student-run businesses or for college tuition; successful businesses will be highlighted on the Iowa Youth Entrepreneurship website.

At the camp, students will have an advanced opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship technology and e-commerce by developing an on-line plan to start their own business. They will also learn how to identify and evaluate entrepreneurial opportunities, write business and feasibility plans, and find financing for new ventures.

"It's a chance for students to come to the University of Iowa and learn about entrepreneurship and develop their own business ideas," said Dawn Bowlus, JPEC Youth Entrepreneurship Coordinator. "It's also a chance for business-oriented students to meet and share ideas."

UI entrepreneurship faculty, experienced entrepreneurs and business experts will teach the daily sessions. Students will also be able to work on their business ideas with the assistance of entrepreneurial experts.

The program is sponsored by JPEC, the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and the University of Iowa through a grant from The William Zimmerman Foundation of Fairfield, Iowa.

Applications for the camp are available from JPEC and on its website at All applications are due May 17. Housing in UI dormitories will be provided, but students must provide their own transportation to the camp. Enrollment is limited to 32 students statewide.

JPEC is also sponsoring a Youth Entrepreneurship Camp for Eastern Iowa students in grades four to six July 8-12.For more information, contact Bowlus at (319) 335-0985 or email