Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute 2014

28 Jul 2014

News Release

9th Annual Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute Set for August 3-8

SPENCER— The ninth annual Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute is scheduled to take place August 3-8, at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory on West Lake Okoboji. 32 students from five of Iowa’s colleges and universities will be participating in this opportunity. The students in attendance will have an advanced study of entrepreneurship through an entrepreneurial simulation. Seminars during the week will educate students about networking and entrepreneurship opportunities in Iowa.

The Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute is a joint effort of the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, Buena Vista University, Iowa Lakes Community College, and the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation.

“OEI has become a flagship program for this region and in Iowa,” said Kathy Evert, president and CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, “Thanks to the tremendous time and support from individuals in the region, the five colleges and universities, the host families, and the dozens of sponsors who make this possible each year.”  We are all looking forward to welcoming these 32 students to the Corridor region next week and continue the tradition of making a difference in their lives and leaving a lasting impression.”

Each school has a competitive application and interview process that is used to select the students who will participate each year.

Students attending this year’s OEI from the University of Iowa are: Tyler Finchum, Muscatine, IA; Arabella Franze-Soeln, Storm Lake, IA; Steven Hensley, Iowa City, IA; Meghan Horihan, Manning, IA; Ryan Johnson, Willowbrook,IL; Emily Roberts, Sugar Grove, IL; Nicole Romanelli, Urbandale, IA &  John Sheeley, Fort Myers, FL.

Students attending from Iowa State University are: Jared Beymer, Denison, IA; Ryan Bush, Rock Island, IL; Justin Coaldrake, Johnston, IA; Nicholas Donlin, Ottumwa, IA; Morgan Hampel, Plymouth, MN; Ben Jacobson, Johnston, IA; Lana Miller, Williamsburg, IA and Keisuke Sato, Tokyo, Japan. 

Students attending from the University of Northern Iowa are: Chris Aguero, Muscatine, IA; Mitchel Christoffel, Le Mars, IA; Soren Hultman, Iowa City, IA; Michael Klostermann, Delhi, IA; Tim Luchtefeld, Morton, IL; Wes Merrill, Spencer, IA; Keevin O’Rourke, Makuoketa, IA  & Mitchell Phillips, New Hampton, IA.

Students attending from Buena Vista University: Thomas McFadden, Alta, IA; Ashley Mendenhall, Salix, IA; Pukar Pradhan, Kathmandu, Nepal & Kirsten Van Zuiden, Carroll, IA.

Students attending from Iowa Lakes Community College: Brandi Alexander, Buffalo, NY; Carissa Anderson, Hawarden, IA; Tony Davis, Ames, IA & Austin Sweeney, Sutherland, IA. 

Students will work in teams on a computer-based simulation that incorporates the creation and operation of a new business. There will be a fundraising round where the teams present their plans to community volunteer venture capitalists to acquire capital to fuel growth for their simulated companies.

The community service project will continue this year, with the students volunteering their time at Special Youth Challenge. SYC is a non-profit organization that teaches and assists youth with disabilities to participate and enjoy shooting sports in the great outdoors. SYC provides training and other necessary aides to help the hunters achieve this goal at no cost to them. The OEI students will be doing general yard work and painting wall to help SYC prepare for their annual fundraiser in the upcoming weeks.

Students will also have the opportunity to visit eight local companies and learn more about entrepreneurs in their place of business. The local companies the students will be visiting are: Blink Marketing, Clary Lake Service, Thinix, Heartland Ranch, Kozy Heat, Emagine Marketing, Tecton Industries and Bank Midwest. 

Residents of the Great Lakes area are opening their homes to host the 32 students during the week, providing the students with a full quality-of-life experience of the region.

The Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute is part of the Corridor’s overall entrepreneurial initiative and efforts to enhance entrepreneurial activity and new business starts in the Corridor region.

For more information about the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute, contact Libby Glaser at lglaser@lakescorridor.com.