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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 19, 2006

UI JPEC Co-Sponsors Iowa Business Plan Competition

John Pappajohn, Iowa's premier venture capitalist and 1952 University of Iowa alumnus, has launched the Iowa Business Plan Competition in Des Moines.  Initially unveiled at the Venture Capital and Entrepreneur Conference last fall, the business plan competition is designed to stimulate business development and provide support to outstanding business plans. Pappajohn has donated a total of $50,000 to be given to the three best business plans as start-up seed money. This contest is now officially being launched so that businesses and entrepreneurs can develop their plans for submission this spring.

Sponsored by Pappajohn, Equity Dynamics, Inc. and the University of Iowa's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) and the four other Centers across the state, the John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition will promote new entrepreneurial activity and highlight venture capital resources around the state. 

"This is a wonderful opportunity to encourage entrepreneurship in Iowa," said Mary Lawyer, director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development. "John Pappajohn's generosity will help promote new start-ups as well as identify new business prospects."

The contest is open to all new start-up companies, and will award $50,000 in prize money to the top three business plans submitted, with $25,000 for first prize, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third. Applications will be accepted from April 1 to June 30, 2006 and should be submitted to the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa for initial screening. After initial screening, those selected will be given strong scrutiny by the judging panel with the final teams presenting their executive plans to John Pappajohn at the 2006 Venture Capital and Entrepreneur Conference at the Polk County Convention Complex in October and awards made at that time.

Information on rules, eligibility and where to get assistance is available at

Assistance with business plan entries is available at the UI JPEC in Iowa City, as well as centers in Ames, Des Moines and Mason City; the Small Business Development Centers throughout the state; and at Iowa business accelerators and incubators in Iowa City, Ames, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Mason City.

Established in 1996 through the generous support of John and Mary Pappajohn, the UI 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 Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,; Program: UI JPEC, 319-335-1022