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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 31, 2006

UI Offers FastTrac Training Program For Entrepreneurs

Aspiring entrepreneurs can evaluate business opportunities and develop a business plan at the FastTrac(r) NewVenture(tm) entrepreneurial training program offered by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) and the Small Business Development Center at the University of Iowa.

The sessions will be held on Monday nights in the John Pappajohn Business Building from 6:30 to 9 p.m. starting Sept. 11 and ending Nov. 13. The deadline to register for the fall class is Wednesday, Sept. 6. For more information, or to register online, visit The program is also offered by Cramer IT Consulting, F&M Bank and Hills Bank and Trust Company.

"The FastTrac(r) NewVenture(tm) training program is designed to help Iowans take the first steps to start or grow a business," said David Hensley, JPEC executive director and clinical professor. This nationally acclaimed training program was developed by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City.

"Aspiring entrepreneurs who complete this course will have developed the skills necessary to properly evaluate a business opportunity and leave with a written plan for launching their new venture. They will also know what funding options are available to them," Hensley said. "This is a great way for Iowans to jump into entrepreneurship and discover if running a business is the right choice for them."

Specific topics covered in the program include opportunity recognition, market research and analysis, market penetration, pricing, financial projections, cash flow management and sources of financing. Participants will also learn about the Wellmark Venture Capital Fund, established in 2002 to assist business start-ups in Iowa.

During each session, participants will learn from experienced entrepreneurs and educators. In addition, local business experts will share their experiences and knowledge with the class. Participants will be able to network with other aspiring entrepreneurs and work on their business plans.

FastTrac(r) NewVenture(tm) normally costs $349, but the UI is able to offer the program for $149 thanks to a grant from the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a national partner of FastTrac(r). The fee includes tuition, course materials, a CD-ROM with business planning software and one-on-one mentoring. Enrollment is limited; register online at or call JPEC at 319-335-1022.

JPEC is committed to increasing the entrepreneurial spirit across the state of Iowa and has partnered with the Iowa Community College system and the University of Northern Iowa to deliver additional FastTrac(r) classes across the state. Since the inception of the program in fall 1997, more than 3,000 Iowans have completed the programs.

To find out when and where the next class will be offered in a particular area, participants can contact their local community college or UNI. For a list of FastTrac(r) contacts see:

Established in 1996 through the generous support of John and Mary Pappajohn, JPEC provides a unique opportunity for all UI students to take courses in entrepreneurship and earn a Certificate in Entrepreneurship in addition to their undergraduate major. In addition to partnering with Iowa community colleges to teach entrepreneurship programs statewide, JPEC offers several programs to foster the development of entrepreneurial skills in Iowa's youth, and supports the creation of sustainable technology companies in Iowa.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,