David Hensley, Director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center was the speaker on Feb. 28.
Visitors and Guests
David Hensley-- Speaker
Khushi Kapoor-- Guest of Nancy Pacha
Ethan Seylar-- Guest of Nancy Pacha
Phil Peterson (incoming President) presided for Deb Dunkhase, President.
Members expressed sympathies to Dick Huber and Liz Nichols, who both lost their mothers recently.  We were glad to see Tom Novak was present at the meeting after the loss of his wife, Louise.
Nan Mercier handed out fliers about the Shelter House Book Sale that will take place at the Johnson County Fair Grounds, Building C March 25-26. Donations will be received until March 19th.  No magazines, please. Volunteers are needed to sort books and to set up before the sale starts.
Nancy Pacha introduced two Interact students who talked about a fundraiser the Iowa City Interacts will carry out on March 26 at the Coralville Center for the Arts as a benefit for IA MOST.  Tickets are $10 each and includes supper to be held during the program intermission.  The Interact clubs are also cooperating in an elementary book drive to be distributed to the elementary schools in town.
Rotarians in the News: It was mentioned that there was a nice article in The Press Citizen on University Camera, owned by our member Roger Christian.
Deb Galbraith said she heard from a friend from France who would like to her two children exchange with some Iowa City children for two weeks this summer.  Talk to Deb if you are interested.
The speaker started by saying that this year is the 20th anniversary of the John Pappajohn’s Entrepreneurial Center. David Hensley has worked there from the beginning.  The entrepreneurial program at UI is the largest in Iowa and is the leader nationwide. Their purpose is to help young adults and others who are interested in starting a business to develop their dreams. The business world has changed, he said, in the sense that entrepreneurs have to be productive quickly. The Center trains students in every field of study in one group, which makes for unique situations.
The Center started with 200 students, now there are 4,000. They need more classrooms.  While the school teaches theory, it concentrates on how theory applies in the real world.
For example, in the Iowa Medical Innovation Program, the entrepreneurial center goes directly to the Medical School to find problems to solve.  Another program is an immersion week which features CEOs of area companies.  The center has developed student "incubators" in order to foster the success of start-ups among the student community.
The Speaker mentioned several success stories. Even during 2008-10 one student developed a successful solution to mixing chemotherapy drugs for patients and was able to raise $30 million toward a solution. Another student has been successful with a telepharmacy program to assist rural patients with receiving their prescription drugs. Another student has become a successful consultant to women entrepreneurs and has one of the most successful podcasts in the country.  Another project helped to streamline the organ donation process, and another solved the problem of piglets being trampled in their pens by larger hogs.  The Entrepreneurial Center wants to provide each person in Iowa with an opportunity to reach their entrepreneurial dreams.
Business people can help by serving as mentors, competition judges, guest speakers, and sponsors for competitions, among others.  To help, contact Phil Jordan or David Hensley.