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University of Iowa News Release

Release: Feb.12, 2003

UI Center Helps Train Entrepreneurs with FastTrac New Venture Classes

Do you have an innovative idea for a business or have an opportunity to buy a business? Don't know where to start? The University of Iowa's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) can help with its FastTrac New Venture classes.

Co-sponsored by the Small Business Development Center at the UI, this nationally-acclaimed entrepreneurial training program will held on Thursday evenings from Feb. 27 to April 17 from 6 p.m. 9 p.m. in Iowa City.

The FastTrac New Venture program is designed to help entrepreneurs evaluate opportunities and develop a plan for successfully starting a new business.

"Aspiring entrepreneurs who complete this course will have developed the tools necessary to properly evaluate a business opportunity and leave with a written plan for launching their new venture. In addition, participants will learn more about the new funding opportunities in Iowa, including the Wellmark Community Ventures Fund," explained David Hensley, director of the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.

Specific topics include characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, opportunity recognition, market research and analysis, market penetration, pricing, financial projections, cash flow management, and sources of financing.

During each session participants learn 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.

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. The Iowa Department of Economic Development and the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation are supporting this statewide initiative.

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 Carolyn Norton at the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at (319) 335-1022.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: (media) George McCrory, University of Iowa News Services 319-384-0012, Caroyln Norton, UI JPEC, (319) 335-1022 or

OTHER INFORMATION: See for more entrepreneurial resources available through JPEC.