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Release: April 24, 2002

UI entrepreneurial class generates funds for NYC firehouse

Joe Sulentic's entrepreneurship and new business formation class expanded business course requirements this year to include making a difference where possible. So, inspired by the courage and dignity of New York City firefighters after Sept. 11, the class is selling 70,000 T-shirts this semester to raise $350,000 to refurbish an aging New York City fire station.

The shirts have New York City Fire Department emblem on the front and a picture of the Engine Co. 55's station house on the back. The t-shirts carry the theme "Heroes Wanted."

The current goal for the 100 students in the entrepreneurship class is to raise $350,000 in profits for the firehouse. The main focus is to sell t-shirts and to organize other small local projects as a group to generate revenue and expand entrepreneurial experience. The class chose several target markets to focus sales promotions, including schools, corporations, campus, firehouses, and small towns.

The t-shirt is being sold through companies all over the Midwest, as well as fire departments and schools. Members of the class are planning t-shirt sales at RiverFest May 3-5 and recently sold them at the spring football game on April 20. The shirts, which are $10 to $13 and come in various sizes, can also be ordered online at

The Entrepreneurship and New Business Formation class, which is designed to gain practical experience and skills about entrepreneurship, is part of the program of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at the Henry B. Tippie College of Business.

Last semester's 54-member class went to New York City after organizing several fund raising activities, including selling "Heroes Wanted" t-shirts, magazine subscriptions, coupon books and arranging corporate sponsorships. Sulentic and 16 class members traveled Nov. 29-Dec. 1 to donate $5,000 for the NYC Ladder Company 4 Scholarship Fund. The efforts are chronicled at

For more information, contact Joe Sulentic at 351-0013 or,, and Charles Cox at (563) 505-1227 or