NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center Hosts Youth Entrepreneurial Academy
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Posted by: Kristina Moy
John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center Hosts Youth Entrepreneurial Academy
The North Iowa Area Community College
John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (NIACC JPEC) conducted the Youth
Entrepreneurial Academy June 17-21.
Thirteen high school students representing seven school districts
participated in the Academy. This is the
fourteenth year for the Youth Entrepreneurial Academy.
Invitations were extended to all North
Iowa juniors and seniors through area high school guidance counselors and
teachers earlier this year. Applicants
were asked to complete an application packet which included recommendations
from teachers, counselors and parents followed by an interview with Pappajohn
Center staff. Participants included:
City - Holly O’Connell
Lake - John Glynn
- Becky Wrolson and Mackenzie Benning
- Enoch Pedersen
City - Bailey O’Brien, Besim Pivic, Grant Johnson, Janikka Costorena, and
- Alyssa Lau
- Starr Huebsch
- Alyssa Schwarck.
The objectives of the Youth
Entrepreneurial Academy were to introduce students to entrepreneurship, provide
students with an opportunity to apply their skills and creativity, help
students understand critical thinking skills and give students another career
option of being a "job creator” instead of a "job taker.” Part of being a job creator requires
development of a business idea and a plan to put that idea into action. During the week-long academy, student teams
completed this challenge and developed business plans for their unique business
Brad and Angie Barber, owners of Cabin
Coffee Company; Randy Smit, Dordt College Professor; and Tim Putnam, NIACC John
Pappajohn Entreprenurial Center associate director, served as instructors. Tom Kirby, Mason City High School and Diana
Wright and Abby Nolte, Iowa State University students served as overnight counselors
during the academy. Two former YEA
graduates also assisted the attendees during the week, they included: Spencer
Stensrude, NIACC/Buena Vista and Katie Cash, Clear Lake High School/NIACC. The participants got first hand advice on
financials for their businesses from representatives from accounting firms of
Hogan-Hansen, Kevin Dolphin CPAs and RSM McGladrey.
Following the daily classroom
activities, the students traveled to several area businesses to learn
first-hand knowledge from area entrepreneurs.
This year’s academy highlighted Charles City, Mason City and Clear Lake
areas where the students listened to the entrepreneurial stories of how these
businesses were formed. Sunday afternoon
the participants heard from Tom & Annette Cruse at Pita Pit and then completed
the Ropes Course at the YMCA directed by Chelsie Wood. Monday’s tours were to Charles City to Jendro
Sanitation with owner Alan Powell, Rustic Corner with owner Tami Vetter and
Three C’s Bistro with James Cavanaugh.
The second day they toured Eternity Wireless with Steve Ross and Brian
Hendrikson, TeamQuest with Cindy Chizek, Brad Kunst and Vernon Johnson and
GeJo’s by The Lake with owners Gene and Pat Galasso. The final entrepreneur that talked and fed
the students was Mike Owens from Owens Family Concessions ETC on Wednesday
day on Thursday, group PowerPoint presentations were given to an audience of 50
including families, friends and four "investors.” Alan Powell, Jendro Sanitation; Veronica
Litterer, Director of the Charles City Area Chamber; Brian Randall, All State
Insurance; and Mark Olchefske, Director of the North Iowa Business
Accelerator/Incubator at NIACC served on a panel of "investors” that provided a
critique and encouragement for the students’ business plan presentations.
Funding for the 2012 Youth
Entrepreneur Academy was provided by the John K. and Luise V. Hanson Foundation
and Pappajohn Center. Students were able to earn two semester
credit hours for attending the Academy or a $500 scholarship for classes taken at
NIACC or online.
national NACCE Innovation Award winning NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial
Center provides college level courses and degree programs in entrepreneurship,
as well as comprehensive consulting services for business start-ups, existing
industries and owner transitions in the North Iowa region. Space is available for start-up businesses
in the North Iowa Business Incubator. For more information, contact the NIACC
JPEC at 641-422-4111.
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