Panther power represented at annual entrepreneurship challenge
University of Northern Iowa 2019 alumnus Jacob Smith and quantitative economics major Cole Wetzel have been selected as one of the Top 25 Finalist teams for the Schultz Entrepreneurship Challenge as part of e-Fest 2020, which is a three-day celebration of undergraduate entrepreneurs featuring workshops, networking and four separate competitions awarding a total of $250,000 in prize money. Over 120 student submissions were submitted from over 65 colleges and universities across North America.
Smith and Wetzel pitched their venture, PastimeU, which is a comprehensive mobile platform for students to view non-academic information and events happening on campus. Smith and Wetzel co-founded PastimeU this fall with the help of the UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) staff and are current tenants in the R.J. McElroy Student Business Incubator, which is a program of the JPEC.
Due to restrictions imposed by COVID-19, Smith and Wetzel will be unable to compete in the final challenge. According to event organizers, “although we are disappointed not to host the amazing three-day finals event in Minneapolis in April at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, thanks to the generous support of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, each finalist team will be awarded a $3,000 prize and their college or university a $1,000 grant.
The UNI JPEC serves students interested in entrepreneurship through the center’s established applied and academic programs. The applied program offers three levels of service; networking, business support or physical incubation. The academic program offered through the UNI JPEC and housed in UNIBusiness’ Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, includes a Certificate in Entrepreneurship or Minor in Entrepreneurship for business and non-business majors.