The North Iowa Area Community College John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (NIACC JPEC) conducted the Youth Entrepreneurial Academy on June 19-23. Fifteen high school students representing eleven school districts participated in the Academy. This is the 13th year for the Youth Entrepreneurial Academy.
The NIACC JPEC extended invitations to all North Iowa juniors and seniors though 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 JPEC staff. Schools who had students participate included:
Clear Lake: Kaitlynn Cash
Garner-Hayfield: Samantha Guscette, Vanessa Hartman
Mason City: Calvin Becker
Newman: Aaron Morse
North Butler: Alli Souhranda
North Iowa: Jacob Crowder
Northwood-Kensett: Zachary Schmidt
Osage: Casey Palsic, Garret Spitz
Riceville: Kayla Rickerl, Tami Runde
St. Ansgar: Stephanie Kittleson
West Fork: Ethan Sprung, Sam Cain
The objectives of the Youth Entrepreneurial Academy were to expose 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 ideas. On Thursday, group presentations were given to an audience of 60 individuals. Ted Bair, Small Business Development Center Director; Mike Dirksen, NIACC Business Division Chair and Professor; Sue Rognes from Sue Casa in Clear Lake and Cathy Swager, of Cathy Swager Consulting LLC served on a panel that provided suggestions and encouragement for the students’ business plan presentations.
Alli Souhrada from North Butler said, ” This was definitely an experience I will always remember, which was filled with lots of laughs, friends, and new windows of opportunities.”
Katie Cash from Clear Lake said “YEA was a great learning experience and definitely a lot of fun!”
“A once in a life time experience; it’s surely something I can’t describe, an all-in-one camp!” said Zachary Schmidt from Northwood-Kensett.
Following the daily classroom activities, the students traveled to several area businesses to learn first-hand knowledge from area entrepreneurs. At this year’s academy we highlighted the Osage and Clear Lake areas where the students learned the entrepreneurial stories of how all these businesses were formed. Monday’s tours included Milk House Candles with Eric Sparrow; Kountry Kupboard with Lynn Peaster; The Front Porch with Susan Engelhardt; Teluwut with Troy Krahenbuhl and Becky Wagner and Ecky’s Ice Cream Shoppe with Lisa Eichmeier in Osage. The second day they toured Laube’s Cutting Edge Fitness with Jason Laube, Cabin Coffee in Clear Lake with Brad and Angie Barber and heard from Derek and Lizanne Engh from Britt Lumber LLC. The group also enjoyed pizza as they listened to Pat and Gene Galasso’s entrepreneurial story at GeJo’s by the Lake.
Brad and Angie Barber, owners of Cabin Coffee Company; Randy Smit, NIACC Marketing/Management instructor; and Tim Putnam, NIACC JPEC associate director, served as instructors. Tom Kirby, a John Adams Middle School teacher, and Diana Wright, an ISU student, served as counselors during the Academy. Two former YEA graduates, Kevin Breister and Morgan Wilde, also assisted the attendees during the week.
Funding for the 2011 Youth Entrepreneur Academy was provided by the John K. and Luise V. Hanson Foundation and the NIACC JPEC. This year students were again able to earn two semester credit hours for attending the Academy or a $500 scholarship for classes taken at NIACC.
The national NACCE Innovation Award winning NIACC JPEC 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.