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NIACC Pappajohn Center Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2021 Venture School

 The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center is now accepting applications for the Fall 2021 cohort of the University of Iowa’s Venture School program. The Fall 2021 program will be held as a hybrid in-person/online on Thursday evenings, and will kick-off on September 30th. Classes will be held virtually every Thursday for the next 7 weeks through November 4th on Zoom. U of I Venture School is a premier statewide program for entrepreneurs and is built from a streamlined curriculum developed by the National Science Foundation I-Corps at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. Venture School emphasizes real-world entrepreneurship and innovation based on a leading-edge curriculum. You will encounter the chaos and uncertainty of creating new ventures while also being challenged to create your new business model, make pivots or preserve your original plans based on your discovery.

Fall 2021 Venture School classes will be held as a hybrid class with a combination of in-person and online weekly classes via Zoom from September 30th to November 4th. An in-person orientation will be held Thursday, September 16th at the NIACC campus. In-person classes will meet on the NIACC campus on November 11th for the Launch Day Pitch Competition. All other weekly classes will be held online via Zoom.

Each Venture School team will be assigned a local entrepreneur as their coach. Participating teams will be eligible to compete for cash awards both locally and at the state level during the Venture School launch day at EntreFEST 2022. Last year’s Mason City graduates were awarded $13,000 in prize money during the 2020 EntreFEST pitch competition. The cost for the program is $299.

Contact Candi Karsjens at with questions or if you are a local entrepreneur interested in becoming a Venture School coach. To apply for the Fall 2021 cohort, visit and select the Mason City cohort in the drop-down menu. The deadline to apply is September 9, 2021.

The NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center is the expert in rural business innovation and success. In partnership with North Iowa’s Small Business Development Center, together we provide tools, support, and resources to Iowa’s entrepreneurs. We counsel both new and existing local businesses, from Main Street to industry leaders. We’re growing Iowa’s entrepreneurial culture through grade school initiatives, college and community programs, and business training and development. Contact the NIACC Pappajohn and SBDC Center at 641-422-4342 or

North Iowa Area Community College, founded in 1918, is a nationally-recognized, two-year college located in central North Iowa.  With approximately 3,000 career and transfer students, the College has been recognized by the Aspen Institute as a leading community college in the nation.  NIACC welcomes students from across Iowa, Minnesota, the nation, and the world. The College has served as a leader in student-centered learning, community engagement, and collaborative leadership for more than 100 years. Choose NIACC First.


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