The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 24, 2005

JPEC Offers Free Advice To Student Entrepreneurs

Starting this semester, any student with a business idea can walk into the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Lab (BELL) and get free advice during the Laboratory's new walk-in hours.

University of Iowa students can visit with John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) faculty and get feedback on their business ideas Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the BELL, 322 N. Clinton Street in Iowa City. The range of assistance available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in any UI college includes business plan development, opportunity evaluation, startup assistance, mentoring, marketing, and finance, said JPEC assistant director Lynn Jahn.  

The BELL is an applied learning environment for UI students pursuing the creation of a new business. It offers free office space, equipment and resources found in traditional incubators with intense one-on-one mentoring, business plan development and support in an academic environment. The BELL is a natural extension of JPEC's cross-campus academic program that grants certificates in entrepreneurship to undergraduate students and has specialized programs for graduate students, Jahn said. 

Since it opened in May 2004, 55 student participants working in 22 business teams have taken advantage of the services available in the BELL. Several successful businesses have been launched there, ranging from a motocross video production company to a biomedical engineering firm. BELL students come from a variety of disciplines including engineering, liberal arts, fine arts and business.

The BELL program is one of the many services for student entrepreneurs offered by JPEC, a center in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business established in 1996 through the generous support of John and Mary Pappajohn. In addition to providing a unique opportunity for all UI students through the Certificate in Entrepreneurship program, JPEC also partners with Iowa community colleges to teach entrepreneurship programs statewide, offers several programs to foster the development of entrepreneurial skills in Iowa's youth and supports the creation of sustainable technology companies in Iowa.

For more information, contact Jahn at 319-335-3741 or

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

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,