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Welcome to the Panther Caucus, an initiative that engages alumni, students and friends working to increase public and legislative support for the University of Northern Iowa. Periodic emails will be sent to Panther Caucus members about some of the great things happening at UNI. Sign up for the Panther Caucus mailings or follow Panther Caucus on Twitter through @nipanthercaucus.

September 15, 2016

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the University of Northern Iowa's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC). For two decades, the UNI JPEC has inspired students to engage in business formation and development.

The R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator continues to remain a bright spot within UNI's JPEC and strives to exceed expectations in student entrepreneurship. In April 2016, UNI's JPEC was awarded the first-ever Student Entrepreneurship Program of the Year award by the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA). This showcased the astounding student entrepreneurial efforts of the UNI JPEC on a world stage and demonstrated UNI JPEC's dedication over two decades to enhance student entrepreneurship.

“The JPEC has used the same model we teach our student entrepreneurs with regard to our program development and growth. This has allowed us to thrive for 20 years and evolve to meet the needs of our entrepreneurs. We are incredibly proud to provide insight, resources and opportunities to entrepreneurs and look forward to serving student entrepreneurs for years to come,” said Katherine Cota, UNI JPEC associate director and intellectual property officer.

Additionally, the UNI JPEC continues to expand its legacy through ongoing educational programs, venture competitions and a student organization. Each year, the program consistently offers new opportunities for incoming students, educators and entrepreneurs.

As they have for the past two decades, the UNI JPEC will continue to serve students and entrepreneurs alike through its innovative opportunities, excellent interactive education and trailblazing programs.

Staff from UNI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial CenterStaff from UNI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

Did You KnowDid You Know?

77% of JPEC student business owners are still in business today, either continuing to run the company they started while a student or starting a new business.

Last year, 16 student business owners ran 13 businesses while employing 72 individuals in the R. J. McElroy Student Business Incubator. The incubator program intensively served another 29 affiliate businesses last year and has provided space and guidance to 78 businesses since 2005.

Since 2011, 36 businesses and nonprofits, primarily located in Iowa, have been helped with major projects through the academic entrepreneurship program.

June 22, 2016