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UNI, UI announce first Venture School Entrepreneurial Training Program in Cedar Falls

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Venture School, originally started in the state by the University of Iowa, is designed to help entrepreneurs increase their odds of success. Venture School is a new approach to entrepreneurial training, based on a leading-edge curriculum that emphasizes the Lean Startup methodology. Venture School has completed three cohorts in Iowa City and will be offering the program in Cedar Falls this fall through a partnership with the University of Northern Iowa. Instruction will come from UI lecturer and serial entrepreneur Kurt Heiar, Dan Winegarden from UI, as well as Paul Kinghorn and Laurie Watje from UNI.
“I was thoroughly impressed by the simple, common sense approach of Venture School,” said Nate Kaeding, founding partner of Short’s Burger & Shine and Tailgate Iowa. “My eyes were opened to the importance of real, substantive market research and customer discovery; both are invaluable exercises for any startup venture. ¬I’ll never again look at my startup projects, or anyone else’s, the same.”
After completing Venture School, startups will continue to have access to numerous university resources, including strategic business assistance, technology consulting services, prototyping assistance and internship programs. “Venture School trains entrepreneurs to connect with real customers to validate their business model, increasing the likelihood of success,” said David Hensley, associate vice president for economic development and executive director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa. “When a team comes into the program, we help guide them through early stage market research, provide mentors with real-world experience, and then connect them with other resources, both inside and outside of the university, enabling them to more confidently launch their businesses.”
There will be an informational session held from noon to 1 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19, at the
Business and Community Services building (BCS), 8120 Jennings Dr. Cedar Falls. The event is open to the public; entrepreneurs and those engaged in the startup community are encouraged to attend. Several entrepreneurs who have been through Venture School will also be in attendance, along with University of Northern Iowa and University of Iowa staff. For more details, visit www.bcs.uni.edu/venture-school.
Venture School curriculum was developed by the National Science Foundation at Stanford University and the University of California – Berkeley.

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