UNI’s Commitment to Iowa’s Business Community

UNI’s Commitment to Iowa’s Business Community

Here in the Business and Community Services (BCS) division at the University of Northern Iowa, we know small businesses and entrepreneurs are the engine of Iowa’s economic development. That’s why over the past decade, we’ve developed robust, individualized, and specialized services to help Iowa’s entrepreneurs. Our programs provide an excellent return on the public investment for the state. For every $1 invested by the Iowa General Assembly, an additional $5 is generated in federal, business-derived and private support dollars for the University’s technology transfer and business/community development activities.

When it comes to receiving assistance for your Iowa-based firm, here is a highlight of just a few of our offerings:

UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center‘s mission is to help student entrepreneurs start and grow their ventures. Our center is one of five across Iowa, and we specialize in providing business consulting, workshops/trainings, and networking events. With the R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator, complete with an in-house accountant, UNI is a great choice for those students who might be thinking about launching their own company while earning their degree. The UNI JPEC is also heavily involved with technology transfer, and can connect Iowa business owners with sources of equity capital. To learn more about the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, contact Katherine Kota-Uyar, Associate Director.

UNI Regional Business Center

The Regional Business Center has a number of online and on-site services. Iowa firms can access free secondary market research, one-on-one business coaching, set up shop in one of our two business incubators, and get connected to other owners who can help them grow. Coming soon will be a statewide Iowa Economic Gardening initiative. For more information, contact Maureen Collins-Williams, Director.

UNI Strategic Marketing Services

Strategic Marketing Services provides high quality, primary market research services to Iowa corporations. Pulling from their experienced research staff, SMS is frequently called on to design and conduct custom research projects. Just some of their capabilities include: in-depth personal interviews and focus groups, world-class survey design, consumer behavior research, and secondary data mining. Contact Ron Padavich to learn more on how SMS can help position your company for future growth.

UNI Iowa Waste Reduction Center

The Iowa Waste Reduction Center‘s mission is to assist Iowa businesses in understanding the complexity of governmental regulations, provide waste reduction strategies, and inform owners of new technologies to improve business efficiencies. They provide: on-site audits with highly trained environmental consultants; air emission regulation training through the Iowa Air Emissions Assistance Program; manage the Iowa Waste Exchange to repurpose material that would otherwise would have been disposed; and have developed VirtualPaint, LaserPaint, and SprayItRight Online Painter Training products, which serve fortune 500 companies in the coatings industry. Jim Olson, Associate Director, would be happy to answer any questions you have, or schedule a time for you to meet with one of our Environmental Consultants.

Go explore the Business and Community Services homepage to learn more about all of our programs at the University of Northern Iowa that support Iowa’s economic development efforts.

Randy Pilkington is Director of UNI Business and Community Services

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