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University of Iowa Venture School Kicks-off on April 8 in Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids, IA – April 6, 2015 – The University of Iowa Venture School, an intense six-week program for entrepreneurs, kicks-off in Cedar Rapids on April 8 with eight teams from the corridor and runs from April 8 through May 15. UI Venture School was brought to Iowa’s Creative Corridor through a partnership with Kirkwood Community College, Iowa Startup Accelerator, the EDC and The University of Iowa – John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center Programs.

The curriculum for Venture School—developed by the National Science Foundation at Stanford University and the University of California – Berkeley, allows entrepreneurs to evaluate their business model with real world engagement. By building customer relationships which test the strength of the team’s product or idea, entrepreneurs can modify their products before the investment stage of their venture.

The teaching team for the Cedar Rapids cohort includes UI Lecturer and serial entrepreneur, Kurt Heiar; UI Adjunct Lecturer, Kirkwood Community College Adjunct Instructor and President of IPC of Iowa, Inc., Kimm Harris; President and CEO of Geonetric, Inc., Eric Engelmann; Regional Director of Kirkwood Small Business Development Center, Scott Swenson; and Vice President of Marketing and Strategy, Julie Zielinski.

Mentors for Cedar Rapids Venture School include Randy Bachman of IntoNew Technology Resources, David Oliver of Iowa Startup Accelerator and the Police Law Institute, Mat Winegarden of ConnectFive, Tim McDougall of Strategic Innovation at Gazette Communications, Dan Smith of ACT and Iowa Startup Accelerator, Ben Dillon of Geonetric, Inc., Devin Miller of Balance Financial, and Mark Reimer of Accel Innovations, LLC.

The University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) is committed to being a national leader in teaching and supporting innovation and entrepreneurial development. JPEC is proud to play an important role in the development of Iowa-based technology and high-growth start-up companies. JPEC and its Venture School program helps entrepreneurs by accelerating the startup process and increasing their odds of success. UI Venture School is the state of Iowa’s only National Science Foundation I-Corps Site.